Monday 21 October 2013

The Conundrum by David Owen

Subtitled 'How Trying to Save the Planet is making our Climate Problems worse' this has to be one of the most depressing books I've ever read. Chapter by Chapter Owen dismantles the optimism behind green technologies and lifestyle approaches including solar power, energy efficiencies, wind power, 'back to the land rural living' and electric cars and shows that all of them in fact encourage consumerism and therefore increase the amount of resources we use, therefore making our environmental problems worse.

His conclusion is that only by vastly cutting down on the amount we travel and the amount we consume can we even remotely hope to prevent rampant climate change from destroying life as we know it.

I have always believed that consumerism is the main problem but just because I can see the truth in what Owen writes in this book doesn't make it any less depressing.

Owen concludes the book by saying:

'What's proven impossible, at least so far, is to commit to taking steps that would actually make a large, permanent difference on a global scale. Do we honestly care? That's the conundrum.'

And this book offers no answers (apart from the implied answer that everyone in the world needs to immediately commit to frugalism and voluntary simplicity).

Personally I'd like to think that towns such as G├╝ssing in Austria could be showing us the way forward. I also would have liked the book to have taken a more holistic approach taking biodiversity into account much more than it does.

The Conundrum by David Owen published by Shortbooks.

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other websites where you can find out more.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Juliet - from my advanced age I really cannot afford to think too much about the future, it is too depressing. I know people always talk about the good old days and I try not to think along those lines, but often it does seem to me that we are dashing headlong towards destruction. New atomic station in Somerset is no help to my thinking either.

EG CameraGirl said...

I believe in rugalism but I fear that's not what capitalism is based on. I think we humans are in very serious trouble. Yes, that IS depressing, isn't it?

EG CameraGirl said...

Oh, it's FRUGALISM I believe in. ;))

RG said...

... and I think that, back about 10,000 or so years ago, such similar thoughts are why Gods were invented.

bunnits said...

We should all try to reduce our "getting and spending."

Crafty Green Poet said...

Weaver - I agree

EG Camera Girl - yes, our financial systems rely on the opposite of fragulaism

Rabbits Guy - very likely true!

bunnits - I agree totally!

Bill said...

the inevitable
has been delayed
we regret the inconvenience

Gerard said...

As long as people believe that buying something brings happiness (and as long as they remain blind to the fact that buying more stuff hasn't made them any happier) we will have this issue. The U.S. way of thinking has grown increasingly consumeristic. Not happy? Buy electronics, cars, houses, toys, more fry pans, etc.

It is depressing...