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Consumption oriented policies dooming earth?

tvarad

Golden Member
Jun 25, 2001
1,130
0
0
I lived in the U.S. for 2 decades and saw the effects of a highly efficient consumption oriented society first-hand. During that time, I used to visit India, my home country every couple of years. During the eighties, it used to look pretty much the same during every visit. From the nineties onwards, the pace of change has quickened and now the consumption bug has bitten hard. I am sure there are Chinese who will attest to the same pattern in China on an even larger scale. Disposable income is increasing which is fueling the consumption boom. I moved back to India a few years ago and watching the pace of change first-hand is breathtaking.

Until the emergency of China and India we had about a billion (correct me if I'm wrong) living in the U.S., Europe, Japan and a few other countries who had set up highly-developed consumption oriented societies. Now we have another 2.5 billion people coming on stream just in India and China alone. Does the earth stand a chance? I mean pretty much everything has to be dug out of the ground and I know it sounds like the doomsday scenario being painted here so what is the fate of earth?

Here's an example of some of it's effects:

Asia's rainforests vanishing as timber, food demand surge: experts
 

1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
5,269
490
126
Consumption oriented policies dooming earth?

Yes all in the name of short term profits with no thought as to effects on people, or the environment especially if that cuts into those same profits.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
29,991
3,485
126
Originally posted by: tvarad
and I know it sounds like the doomsday scenario being painted here so what is the fate of earth?

Here's an example of some of it's effects:

Asia's rainforests vanishing as timber, food demand surge: experts
Humans will realize that we have already overpopulated the earth. Our societal nanny state structures are the ideal incubators for the natural reaping when a couple billion of us are incapable of providing for ourselves.
 
Sep 12, 2004
16,852
59
86
Where finite resources and an ever increasing world population are concerned it really doesn't matter how we stretch those resources out. Eventually they'll be depleted, with not enough to go around.

In the future we will have to innovate, adapt, or die.
 

superstition

Platinum Member
Feb 2, 2008
2,219
216
101
Humans will realize that we have already overpopulated the earth.
The human ability to rationalize always wins. Most people really believe in some sort of magical solution to the ecological crisis - that humanity will somehow come up with ways to repair ecological disintegration.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
In short, yes, i think that's the case. It was one thing when 5% of the world (the US) overconsumed, and something else when multiples of that do. They've always said the US lifestyle is not something that can be sustained by the planet if more people do it. On the other hand, the US is about to reduce its consumption in coming years because of our overconsumption's problems with debt. link to newspaper story

It's a global shift that some are calling the Great Reckoning.

For a generation, economists warned that Americans were living too large. With wallets crammed with credit cards and home-equity loans available to any homeowner who could sign his or her name, consumers went on a debt-fueled buying binge. Living rooms bulged with the latest in snazzy electronics and garages filled with shiny new cars and trucks. Restaurants were fully booked, and airlines whisked happy passengers to dream vacations around the world.

Now, that shop-till-you-drop, I-want-it-all-and-I-want-it-now era may be coming to an end. It couldn't last because it was built on a mountain of money borrowed from overseas.

Year after year, the United States bought more from the rest of the world than it sold as foreign nations cranked out shipload after shipload of goods destined for American consumers. By 2006, the U.S. international deficit in trade and related payments exceeded $800 billion, about 7 percent of the entire economy.

It was only thanks to the kindness of strangers that such a drain of dollars was able to continue. Every year, overseas investors poured hundreds of billions of dollars into U.S. stocks, bonds, real estate and other assets, largely offsetting our taste for imported goods...

The United States is now in the early stages of a prolonged period of belt tightening, a contraction not seen in decades...

-- The U.S. housing bubble - especially the shaky subprime mortgage market - was inflated not only by U.S. lenders, but by foreign ones too. As mortgages were repackaged in the form of exotic securities, banks and investment funds in Europe and elsewhere snapped them up. When the market crumbled, those investors were left with hundreds of billions of dollars in losses.

Not surprisingly, many foreign investors lost their taste for U.S. securities. When the Federal Reserve pushed down interest rates in response to the housing crisis, overseas investors had another reason to yank their money and put it to work in markets where returns were higher. In the second half of 2007, foreign investment flows into the United States fell to about $623 billion, about half what they were in the first six months of the year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

-- As foreign investors lost interest in U.S. markets, the dollar tumbled. Since the beginning of 2007, the greenback has fallen 17 percent against the euro, the currency of 15 European nations, and 13 percent against the Japanese yen.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,969
3,757
126
I'm too busy killing everybody around me to protect my little piece of turf to worry or fret about what happens to the earth. I'm to busy staying alive to survive.
 

Duwelon

Golden Member
Nov 3, 2004
1,070
0
0
Originally posted by: Craig234
In short, yes, i think that's the case. It was one thing when 5% of the world (the US) overconsumed, and something else when multiples of that do. They've always said the US lifestyle is not something that can be sustained by the planet if more people do it. On the other hand, the US is about to reduce its consumption in coming years because of our overconsumption's problems with debt. link to newspaper story

It's a global shift that some are calling the Great Reckoning.

For a generation, economists warned that Americans were living too large. With wallets crammed with credit cards and home-equity loans available to any homeowner who could sign his or her name, consumers went on a debt-fueled buying binge. Living rooms bulged with the latest in snazzy electronics and garages filled with shiny new cars and trucks. Restaurants were fully booked, and airlines whisked happy passengers to dream vacations around the world.

Now, that shop-till-you-drop, I-want-it-all-and-I-want-it-now era may be coming to an end. It couldn't last because it was built on a mountain of money borrowed from overseas.

Year after year, the United States bought more from the rest of the world than it sold as foreign nations cranked out shipload after shipload of goods destined for American consumers. By 2006, the U.S. international deficit in trade and related payments exceeded $800 billion, about 7 percent of the entire economy.

It was only thanks to the kindness of strangers that such a drain of dollars was able to continue. Every year, overseas investors poured hundreds of billions of dollars into U.S. stocks, bonds, real estate and other assets, largely offsetting our taste for imported goods...

The United States is now in the early stages of a prolonged period of belt tightening, a contraction not seen in decades...

-- The U.S. housing bubble - especially the shaky subprime mortgage market - was inflated not only by U.S. lenders, but by foreign ones too. As mortgages were repackaged in the form of exotic securities, banks and investment funds in Europe and elsewhere snapped them up. When the market crumbled, those investors were left with hundreds of billions of dollars in losses.

Not surprisingly, many foreign investors lost their taste for U.S. securities. When the Federal Reserve pushed down interest rates in response to the housing crisis, overseas investors had another reason to yank their money and put it to work in markets where returns were higher. In the second half of 2007, foreign investment flows into the United States fell to about $623 billion, about half what they were in the first six months of the year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

-- As foreign investors lost interest in U.S. markets, the dollar tumbled. Since the beginning of 2007, the greenback has fallen 17 percent against the euro, the currency of 15 European nations, and 13 percent against the Japanese yen.
I've heard several times that the weaker dollar is increasing the exporting of US goods, basically fixing this problem naturally as more countries can afford US goods more and more. I'm no economist though but it sounds like natural market forces may balance it out naturally, at least to some extent.

Personally though, i don't carry any credit card debt. student loans though...
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,206
3,256
126
Originally posted by: Duwelon
Originally posted by: Craig234
In short, yes, i think that's the case. It was one thing when 5% of the world (the US) overconsumed, and something else when multiples of that do. They've always said the US lifestyle is not something that can be sustained by the planet if more people do it. On the other hand, the US is about to reduce its consumption in coming years because of our overconsumption's problems with debt. link to newspaper story

It's a global shift that some are calling the Great Reckoning.

For a generation, economists warned that Americans were living too large. With wallets crammed with credit cards and home-equity loans available to any homeowner who could sign his or her name, consumers went on a debt-fueled buying binge. Living rooms bulged with the latest in snazzy electronics and garages filled with shiny new cars and trucks. Restaurants were fully booked, and airlines whisked happy passengers to dream vacations around the world.

Now, that shop-till-you-drop, I-want-it-all-and-I-want-it-now era may be coming to an end. It couldn't last because it was built on a mountain of money borrowed from overseas.

Year after year, the United States bought more from the rest of the world than it sold as foreign nations cranked out shipload after shipload of goods destined for American consumers. By 2006, the U.S. international deficit in trade and related payments exceeded $800 billion, about 7 percent of the entire economy.

It was only thanks to the kindness of strangers that such a drain of dollars was able to continue. Every year, overseas investors poured hundreds of billions of dollars into U.S. stocks, bonds, real estate and other assets, largely offsetting our taste for imported goods...

The United States is now in the early stages of a prolonged period of belt tightening, a contraction not seen in decades...

-- The U.S. housing bubble - especially the shaky subprime mortgage market - was inflated not only by U.S. lenders, but by foreign ones too. As mortgages were repackaged in the form of exotic securities, banks and investment funds in Europe and elsewhere snapped them up. When the market crumbled, those investors were left with hundreds of billions of dollars in losses.

Not surprisingly, many foreign investors lost their taste for U.S. securities. When the Federal Reserve pushed down interest rates in response to the housing crisis, overseas investors had another reason to yank their money and put it to work in markets where returns were higher. In the second half of 2007, foreign investment flows into the United States fell to about $623 billion, about half what they were in the first six months of the year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

-- As foreign investors lost interest in U.S. markets, the dollar tumbled. Since the beginning of 2007, the greenback has fallen 17 percent against the euro, the currency of 15 European nations, and 13 percent against the Japanese yen.
I've heard several times that the weaker dollar is increasing the exporting of US goods, basically fixing this problem naturally as more countries can afford US goods more and more. I'm no economist though but it sounds like natural market forces may balance it out naturally, at least to some extent.

Personally though, i don't carry any credit card debt. student loans though...
US Exports are Increasing, but not enough to "Fix" anything.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
493
126
Is the Earth going to die and disappear from our consumption? No.
Will we destroy ourselves? Possible

But the Earth will continue until the Sun's fuel is spent and it expands beyond the asteroid belt. Which will ultimately consume the Earth in a fireball.
 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,017
571
126
Originally posted by: Duwelon
Originally posted by: Craig234
In short, yes, i think that's the case. It was one thing when 5% of the world (the US) overconsumed, and something else when multiples of that do. They've always said the US lifestyle is not something that can be sustained by the planet if more people do it. On the other hand, the US is about to reduce its consumption in coming years because of our overconsumption's problems with debt. link to newspaper story

It's a global shift that some are calling the Great Reckoning.

For a generation, economists warned that Americans were living too large. With wallets crammed with credit cards and home-equity loans available to any homeowner who could sign his or her name, consumers went on a debt-fueled buying binge. Living rooms bulged with the latest in snazzy electronics and garages filled with shiny new cars and trucks. Restaurants were fully booked, and airlines whisked happy passengers to dream vacations around the world.

Now, that shop-till-you-drop, I-want-it-all-and-I-want-it-now era may be coming to an end. It couldn't last because it was built on a mountain of money borrowed from overseas.

Year after year, the United States bought more from the rest of the world than it sold as foreign nations cranked out shipload after shipload of goods destined for American consumers. By 2006, the U.S. international deficit in trade and related payments exceeded $800 billion, about 7 percent of the entire economy.

It was only thanks to the kindness of strangers that such a drain of dollars was able to continue. Every year, overseas investors poured hundreds of billions of dollars into U.S. stocks, bonds, real estate and other assets, largely offsetting our taste for imported goods...

The United States is now in the early stages of a prolonged period of belt tightening, a contraction not seen in decades...

-- The U.S. housing bubble - especially the shaky subprime mortgage market - was inflated not only by U.S. lenders, but by foreign ones too. As mortgages were repackaged in the form of exotic securities, banks and investment funds in Europe and elsewhere snapped them up. When the market crumbled, those investors were left with hundreds of billions of dollars in losses.

Not surprisingly, many foreign investors lost their taste for U.S. securities. When the Federal Reserve pushed down interest rates in response to the housing crisis, overseas investors had another reason to yank their money and put it to work in markets where returns were higher. In the second half of 2007, foreign investment flows into the United States fell to about $623 billion, about half what they were in the first six months of the year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

-- As foreign investors lost interest in U.S. markets, the dollar tumbled. Since the beginning of 2007, the greenback has fallen 17 percent against the euro, the currency of 15 European nations, and 13 percent against the Japanese yen.
I've heard several times that the weaker dollar is increasing the exporting of US goods, basically fixing this problem naturally as more countries can afford US goods more and more. I'm no economist though but it sounds like natural market forces may balance it out naturally, at least to some extent.

Personally though, i don't carry any credit card debt. student loans though...
I just paid off my credit card too. It's something to be proud of.

I agree with GenX. This earth has been here for millions of years before us, and will be here millions of years after we have left her.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,969
3,757
126
I think it fairly obvious that destroying the earth in this discussion meant destroying it as a place that can support the current trajectory of human civilization.
 
Oct 30, 2004
11,450
20
81
Perhaps the subject for this thread should read:

Overpopulation and population explosion dooming the quality of human life on this earth.
 

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