Friday, July 20, 2007

Do environmentalists conspire against their own interests?

Yesterday I came across an interesting essay in the July issue of Harper's Magazine, which prompted me to examine my beliefs and actions as an environmentalist.

The essay, The Idols of Environmentalism, by Curtis White, was originally published in the March/April 2007 issue of Orion Magazine as the first of a two-part series on environmentalism. The second essay, published in the May/June 2007 issue of Orion, is titled The Ecology of Work, subtitled “Environmentalism can’t succeed until it confronts the destructive nature of modern work – and supplants it."

These essays are worth pondering. That’s what I intend to do this weekend. If you, like I, am disturbed by walking into Macy’s and being confronted by a thousand purses/wallets/blouses/shirts, I hope you’ll take time to read these essays.

(artwork by Teun Hocks, presented in conjunction with The Ecology of Work essay)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you should mention being disgusted by stores that are overflowing with merchandise.

Two recent events in my life have produced a very uneasy feeling about all that merchandise.

First, when I shopped at Mervyn's recently, and saw how inexpensive most of the items were I thought I couldn't buy anything so cheap when surely it was that way because it was made by slave labor.

Second, when visiting my grandson, I noted that he had been given so many clothes that my daughter had resorted to putting most of them in the attic, intending to pass them on to a charity or return them to the lenders. Again, I thought that surely all or most of those clothes were made by slave labor.

I bought two items at Mervyn's and couldn't bring myself to add any more clothing to my grandson's wardrobe.

Without success I searched for a stuffed animal NOT made in China, fearing that any little stuffed animals of Chinese origin were made by slave labor, poisonous, or both.

No wonder so many people in this country are un- or under- employed. Indeed, we need to reform how clothing and toys are made so that the producers are fairly compensated and the consumers are conscious of what their purchases mean.