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E-M:/ Possible Cultural Roots that make it difficult to reduce over-consumption?



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Enviro-Mich message from Eric Sun <esun.mba2001@ivey.ca>
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I cannot help but think that one aspect of the
"There's always more resources" assumption that makes
us think that we can consume more lies in the history
of the westward expansion from the 13 original states.
 Too crowded in New York or Philly? "Go west, young
man!" to greener pastures and a new life.  Over time,
the lack of pressure to change habits because one
could easily exploit virgin territory a short walk
away might have enshrined this attititude that assumed
there was plentiful resources at one's beck and call.

How can we counter this "Assumption of Plenty" and
replace it with the awarenss of a "Myth of Plenty"
since cirsumstances have changed (i.e., we cannot
expand west anymore...), when the former is so
ingrained in the American psyche, perhaps on an
unspoken level?

While the environmental footprint illustrates
conceptually a person's impact on their surroundings,
how can we demonstrate this in tangible, experiential
ways that capture the attention and imagination of men
and women without alienating them?

Eric Sun

Sidebar: 
In this way the movie "Independence Day" was an
environmental movie with the over-consumptive aliens
the evil force to be fought against....

--- Roger Kuhlman <rokuhlman@yahoo.com> wrote:

> 
> Of course environmental problems in the United
> States
> are due to both over-consumption and
> over-population.
> Reducing over-consumption to sustainable levels is
> an
> extremely difficult problem. America has never
> voluntarily reduced its consumption in its history
> and
> the cuts in consumption required to get to
> sustainable
> levels would be massive. Just try telling people
> that
> their standard of living must drop steeply. They
> just
> will not do it.
> 
> On the other hand since population growth in America
> is 90% caused by excessive immigration, it can be
> controlled. First you stop illegal immigration
> entirely and then reduce legal immigration to low
> pre-1965 levels of 100,000 per year. With low native
> birthrates, the population will then stabilize on
> its
> own. Long-term you plan national population policy
> to
> aim at lower human numbers in the more distant
> future
> (75 to 150 years out). With a smaller population
> base
> to support, controls on consumption become less
> problematic.
> 
> Roger Kuhlman
> Ann Arbor, Michigan
> 
> --- William Tobler <williamtobler@critterswoods.org>
> wrote:
> 
> > Of course it is both.
> > 
> > Do you really think that you are going to get Joe
> > Public to cut his consumption to a significant
> > percentage?
> > Do you really think that this is a solution other
> > than a short delay of the inevitable?
> >   ----- Original Message ----- 
> >   From: Jan O'Connell 
> >   To: TANYA J CABALA ; John Rohe ; Lowell Prag ;
> > enviro Mich 
> >   Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 10:01 PM
> >   Subject: Re: E-M:/ Re: Roger Kuhlman's pet peeve
> > ...
> > 
> > 
> >   I can certainly concur with Tanya here.   The
> > problem with the United States, I would say is
> more
> > with
> >   consumption rather than population.   I believe
> we
> > have 4-5% of the world's population here in the
> U.S.
> > 
> >   and consume 24% of the world's energy.
> > 
> >   Jan O'Connell 
> >     ----- Original Message ----- 
> >     From: TANYA J CABALA 
> >     To: John Rohe ; Lowell Prag ; enviro Mich 
> >     Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 5:03 PM
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> > 
> >     I still believe that we need to look at
> > population more from a global
> >     perspective, than strictly from our own
> > country's perspective.  It's the
> >     planet that has the overpopulation problem,
> not
> > just the United States.  If
> >     we were truly serious about world
> > overpopulation, we would be focusing our
> >     efforts at improving our policies relating to
> > contraceptives in developing
> >     countries and greatly increasing the ability
> of
> > women everywhere to take
> >     control of their reproductive rates.    The
> > majority of women in the United
> >     States have that control in the United States
> > and I believe that is the
> >     reason our birth rates have decreased.
> > 
> >     Tanya Cabala
> > 
> >     -----Original Message-----

> >    
> >
>
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> >     Enviro-Mich message from "John Rohe"
> > <john@rohemail.com>
> >    

> > 
> >     Lowell Prag asks Roger Kuhlman: Is it
> necessary
> > to keep posting your
> >     predictions on population, as an appendage to
> > other peoples postings not
> >     directly a thread related to your pet peeve?
> It
> > is really getting tiresome.
> > 
> >     Lowell, As a citizen with a concern over our
> > legacy, I wonder whether you
> >     might be willing to dignify Kuhlman's pet
> peeve
> > with your input on the
> >     optimum level of immigration for a
> > sub-replacement level fertility nation,
> >     like the United States. You might prefer to
> > ignore Kuhlman's pet peeve, but
> >     the issue will not ignore you. We inhabit a
> > planet having a net gain of over
> >     200,000 every day (yes, that's births minus
> > deaths, daily). What is the best
> >     level of immigration for the nation today? Or,
> > do you suggest that we just
> >     ignore the issue and let the foot traffic at
> the
> > border determine this vital
> >     issue for your children? John Rohe

Eric Sun
c: 416.832.1594
e: esun.mba2001@ivey.ca

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