Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism. - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:41 PM
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Default Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism.

There is an article .. a statement to the United Nations that I came across recently that was raising the same questions as being discussed on threads here on ToS. Its about how to forge alternatives to a culture of consumerism.
It states that we individually and collectively need to re-examine at our deepest levels the human experience and that the shift needs to be one from being "competitive insatiable consumers of goods" and "objects of manipulation by the market" to more spiritually minded purposes of life.

"Beyond informed policies and ‘greener technologies’ it is a transformation that will require an earnest examination of our understanding of human nature and of the cultural frameworks driving institutions of government, business, education, and media around the world. Questions of what is natural and just will need to be critically re-examined. The issue of sustainable consumption and production, under consideration by this Commission, will need to be considered in the broader context of an ailing social order—one characterized by competition, violence, conflict and insecurity—of which it is a part."

it goes on to suggest ...

Progress at the technical and policy levels now needs to be accompanied by public dialogue—among rural and urban dwellers; among the materially poor and the affluent; among men, women and young persons alike—on the ethical foundations of the necessary systemic change. A sustainable social order is distinguished, among other things, by an ethic of reciprocity and balance at all levels of human organization. A relevant analogy is the human body: here, millions of cells collaborate to make human life possible. The astounding diversity of form and function connects them in a lifelong process of giving and receiving. It represents the highest expression of unity in diversity. Within such an order, the concept of justice is embodied in the recognition that the interests of the individual and of the wider community are inextricably linked. The pursuit of justice within the frame of unity (in diversity) provides a guide for collective deliberation and decision-making and offers a means by which unified thought and action can be achieved.

and notes ...

"Ultimately, the transformation required to shift towards sustainable consumption and production will entail no less than an organic change in the structure of society itself so as to reflect fully the interdependence of the entire social body—as well as the interconnectedness with the natural world that sustains it."

Addendum:

The main objective of the 10-Year Framework for Programmes is to be a global framework for action on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) that countries can endorse and commit to in order to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production patterns, thereby promoting social and economic development within the carrying capacity of ecosystems and de-linking economic growth from environmental degradation. The main challenge is to provide not only the key programs of the framework, but also the mechanisms for their implementation (e.g. financial support, capacity building, and technical assistance). See: Proposed Input to CSD 18 and 19 on a 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. Third Public Draft (2 September 2009). Prepared by the Marrakech Process Secretariat: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

According to the Worldwatch Institute, consumption expenditures per person almost tripled between 1960 and 2006. (Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 201: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Cultures. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010.) 60 billion tons of resources are extracted annually—50 percent more than 30 years ago. (Tim Jackson, Prosperity without growth? The transition to a sustainable economy. London: Sustainable Development Commission. March 2009; http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publ...wth_report.pdf). The 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment found that some 60% of ecosystem services—climate regulation, the provision of fresh water, waste treatment, food from fisheries, etc.—were being degraded or used unsustainably. (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2005.)

Hope that others find it inspiring and hopeful that there are others out there in the political and social realms whom do see the 'shift' that needs to happen.
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Last edited by Mika; 07-14-2010 at 06:49 PM. Reason: to add addendum notes
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