An Excess Of…Stuff? 

Black Friday: what is this event? Is it really anything more than an encouragement to buy more stuff we don’t need? Is everyone who’s so eager to ‘save’ money even aware of the recent COP26 discussions where world leaders finally began to understand the dangers facing humanity?

So, what has consumerism to do with the climate emergency? Where to begin? Everything we buy, everything, is created with energy. Much of that energy comes from fossil fuels. In fact, in China and India, major producers of goods sold on Black Friday, most energy is produced from coal, the most polluting of all. Fossil fuels are the greatest source of CO2 in the atmosphere, causing the climate crisis. It’s as simple as that. The more stuff we buy, the more we power climate change, and the sooner we help humanity to commit suicide.

Think that’s an exaggeration?

Climate change has increased drought in many lands. Overuse of underground sources by agriculture to grow food, means many aquifers are now running dry, and others are seriously polluted. By the end of this decade, that’s less than nine years away, scientists, statisticians, and those with full information in the UN, predict that three billion, yes, 3,000,000,000 people, over a third of the world’s population (7.9 billion), will have too little fresh water to drink and to grow food. Place yourself in those unfortunate shoes for a moment and imagine what’s likely to happen. It’ll start with mass migration. Some of lands that border those in distress will, from a sense of panic or self-defence, begin to ‘deter’ these refugees by shooting them. Inevitably, local wars will break out and from that will grow war on a global scale. Nations with the means and desire will capitalise on the situation, overrunning less able states, spreading death and destruction that will inflame the crisis further. Unavoidably, likeminded nations will gang up on others they see as unfriendly. It’s possible, bearing in mind the proliferation of nuclear weaponry, that some irresponsible, or merely desperate, states will use those weapons we all hoped would prevent such war. What then?

It may seem a great leap to go from excessive buying of goods to the possibility of nuclear war, but it’s almost inevitable. I say ‘almost’ because we, the people, can do something to prevent such an outcome. We need to start, NOW, to utilise less of almost everything we consume. We need to get together to persuade those who pretend to lead us, whether they’re corporation CEOs, elites, politicians, gangsters, dictators, billionaires, bankers, religious leaders, or kings and queens, that if they fail to change their ways, we will take the necessary action to force them. Am I advocating revolution, rebellion? That rather depends on the attitudes and actions of those we perceive to be in charge. The ball, as they say, is in their court.

What we can’t do, as responsible and concerned citizens of any nation, is allow the situation to continue as it is. We’ve already run out of time to talk about the future in any meaningful way. We’re at the cliff edge. What we must do NOW is decide what really matters to us and how we’ll make changes that will at least lessen the coming climate emergency. If we make the wrong choices or decide against acting, the outcome will be the fault of all who hesitate. The future remnants of humanity will judge us, knowing we had the information, the opportunity, and the means to prevent the coming crisis.

So, this Black Friday, please put the future of humanity before the needless purchase of that new TV, sofa, dress, suit, or whatever it is you crave. We can easily live without such things. But we won’t live long on a planet without the means to support our species.

6 thoughts on “An Excess Of…Stuff? 

  1. I don’t buy on “Black Friday” – I have never been much of a shopper, but I don’t need any of the stuff that’s being peddled. It’s the day after American Thanksgiving and its proliferation in other countries is silly, to say nothing of destructive and selfish, as you point out. It has not done well in this country but that’s not the point; we have to reduce our purchasing and consumption (and reduce our population, too).

    Climate change is here and BC has been getting hit hard. We registered record temperatures during two heat waves in the summer (one town registered 49C and then was obliterated by fire the next day) and record fires followed. Now it has been hit by record rainfall that has caused landslides (people on highways were trapped between two of them) and flooding with an entire town evacuated.

    It’s crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh how I wish more people thought like you, Lynette. We might then stand a chance of at least reducing our climate impact. But I fear we won’t achieve the urgent need to reduce our carbon footprints enough by 2030 to prevent the temperature increase exceeding 1.5C. It’s our children’s generation and their offspring I feel most concern for. We, the generation most responsible for the crisis, will be gone before the real effects click in.
      Keep safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Given the amount of ‘stuff’ we threw out when we moved, I am very reluctant to get more. Mainly toys for my grandchildren and books for some children we know. Food and coffee for others since these are disposable! We seem to have a lot less trash too. Moving will do it.
    Remind people about water as well! Don’t run it while brushing your teeth, take short showers, use a dishwasher (used less than washing by hand!). I’m sorry, I seem to be virtue signaling and I don’t mean to!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not virtue signalling, Noelle, merely spreading best practice based on long experience and common sense. Waste seems unimportant these days; we throw away huge quantities of items and food that have rarely been used and, in the case of food, have been bought without thought for the environment. I just hope to make people think before they buy here.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You are preaching to the choir, but unfortunately, very few are listening. They won’t until the lemmings are running over the cliff and they finally are looking down at the devastation will they scream WTF! The whole world is pointing fingers at each other. Blaming everybody else for everything bad that is happening. I don’t know how many times I have heard the phrase, “Just throw money at it!” No one wants to take care of themselves. Everyone wants the late greatest thing that comes on the market! And they have to toss the latest last year’s thing in the trash. No one is making it attractive and cost-effective to re-cycle anything. That cost-effective thing is one small thing that should be promoted! Does anyone remember picking up bottles and returning them for pennies? In some states, they still do that. We should be putting on our thinking cap and start planting the conservative seed in more minds. There are many things that should and could be done, but are avoided because of convenience!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, Brenda. Convenience, even though it actually the exact opposite of what is claimed, is the modern curse. But we’ve raised our children in a throw-away world, so we shouldn’t really be surprised if the younger generations have no concept of make and mend or ‘repair’. And, of course, this constant spending on renewal of items we rarely use is driven by a sophisticated and powerful promotions machine, for which we all pay in the price of those things we buy.
      The first question everyone should ask themselves before they buy anything is, ‘Do I NEED this?’ not, WANT it, but NEED it. And the second, and equally important, is ‘Is it sustainable?’ Those two questions asked before every purchase would reduce consumerism by a hefty factor.

      Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.