The effects of industry should not be underestimated

>> Monday, September 14, 2009

I think sustainable is fine, I just think we just need to broaden the frame. For example, we try to conserve water, but...the vast majority of water used is not used for bathing and washing—it has nothing to do with low-flow toilets; it's used by industrial processes and industrial agriculture. We can use fluorescent bulbs all day long, but the majority of our electricity is used by industry. You can go down the list where we're trying to be more sustainable and [every category is] dwarfed by what our military and our industry are using. We need a fundamental rethink of how we've constructed our economies: the idea that growth is good, and the understanding of the carrying capacity of the earth for human flesh. In the absence of oil, the planet had only a billion people on it and it was groaning under that—and, at that we were killing off whales like crazy. Arguably, the planet might only be able to handle half a billion people without oil—and we've hit peak oil. We've got to figure out how to keep the other 6.5 billion from starving, and to stop producing more of them. I mean we need some fundamental rethinks here and they all tie in to how we view ourselves in relation to each other and in relation to the planet.
Thom Hartmann in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle's The Thin Green Line


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