Magazine article UN Chronicle

The Pandemic of Consumerism

Magazine article UN Chronicle

The Pandemic of Consumerism

Article excerpt

Periods of global warming are not in and of themselves a human invention. But humans have invented ways of turning a natural cycle into an abnormality whose severity can exceed the tragedy of one atomic bomb or even several atomic bombs. However, we cannot see the explosion because we live in it, because it seems to be an evident freak of nature to which we must all resign ourselves.

The world's governments are too busy trying to save humanity from the "great crisis"--the economic crisis--by stimulating the same consumption that is leading us to unmitigated disaster. If the level of global destruction has not yet reached the dreaded status of full-blown catastrophe, it is only because consumerism has not yet reached its supposedly desired levels.

In this collective delusion, development is confused with consumerism, wastefulness with success, and growth with fattening. The pandemic is considered a sign of good health. Its "success" has been so overwhelming that there is no ideology or political system in the world that is not bent upon reproducing and multiplying it.

New technologies could help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but it is unlikely that this would be sufficient in a world that is just at the beginning of its capacity to consume, to squander, and to destroy. …

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