A recent report revealed that If all of humanity lived like an average resident of Indonesia, only two-thirds of the planet’s biocapacity would be used; if everyone lived like an average Argentinean, humanity would demand more than half an additional planet; and if everyone lived like an average resident of the USA, a total of four Earths would be required to regenerate humanity’s annual demand on nature.
This means we have one of three options:
1. Learn to live with less.
2. Continue to consume as much as we do and use violence to make the rest of the world consume less.
3. Destroy ourselves with consumption.
So, we all want to live more sustainably. But it’s hard. Where do we begin? How do we do it?
My long time friend and fellow philosopher Nathan, along with his wife Nicolina, have started a new blog, Real Sustainable Habits, to help everyone do just that.
The blogs aims to help readers by showing how they can preserve the planet by:
adopting a plant-centered, vegetarian, or vegan diet,
getting in shape with a brief exercise regimen that actually works,
living like royalty even with modest means,
or gaining better control over your mind.
So stop on over to their blog! It’s fun. Way cooler than this one! (No, not really! And we expect to see you all back here soon!)
Last week I promised that my series of posts on Vatican II would begin every Thursday beginning this week. However, in the midst of finals, I have had little chance to write anything for this week. For that, I apologize. Hopefully something will be up soon.
In the meantime, I would like to draw attention to this recent news story:
It turns out some Bishops are suggesting that sins against the environment are not just sins by equivocation: They are real offenses and should be brought up in Confession.
Some day I hope to write a paper (or more probably an entire book) outlining an ethical theory which values contingent things based on their levels of actuality (ie. on their ontological status). In this theory, everything has some value, and its very being is good, and nothing ought to be corrupted save for some higher good which can not be achieved by any lower means. We ought to eat plants, rather than animals, whenever possible. We ought to treat one another as the highest of contingent beings. The beauty of the world, good in its own right, ought not to be exploited needlessly.
I know that I myself am often guilty of consuming too many of the earth’s resources. Not only has this taken a toll on our planet, it has often meant suffering for other human beings who are the victims of a capitalist paradigm that allows military forces to oppress others so that our standard of life may be disproportionately pleasurable. I’ve bought plastic silverware when I did not feel like washing dishes; I’ve failed to recycle; I’ve bought cheap plastic trinkets I do not need; I’ve driven when I could have carpooled; I’ve consumed factor goods at a needless pace.
It is my hope that by practicing deep, mindful meditation I will be able to begin overcoming these vices. And by God’s grace, I may remember to bring them to Confession.