“The opposite of consumption is not frugality; it is generosity.” — Raj Patel

The existential threat comes from humanity believing that humanity is more important than the resources it needs. Our entire civilized way of living is exactly backward economically. We extract instead of nurture, all in the name of competitive humans climbing on top of the pile of dead humans they create with belief systems based on fantasy.

The Aristocrats (money, tech, religion) believe that they will overcome an extinction event by being the last ones standing on top of the pile. What they don’t understand about an extinction level event (think “Venus”, not “greenhouse”) is that the one last white guy with his personal helicopter that takes him to his personal hospital bunker….will also die.

The main problem I see with your article isn’t really something you can change. It’s the use of statistical numbers and probability to explain the problem. If you say “19% chance of dying this century from an extinction level event”, it fails to illustrate the collective risks and people’s ability to ignore them. There just isn’t a good way to get across the chasm between our consumer society’s conditioned ability to ignore reality and the reality of consumerism’s effects on resources.

You can’t explain how, even if humanity survives (unlikely at this point), the planet won’t have easily reachable petroleum to start over as we know it, everything will be contaminated with plastics and chemicals after the factories and cities burn (when there just aren’t enough people left to put out fires or pump water), and disease and danger will be wrapped up in darkness and cold, dry silence.

Statistics just don’t convince people of anything unless those statistics show them what they want to see (profits and free stuff). Humans (as we have created them through marketing) can’t understand how the consumerism system has built aristocratic lotteries that only favor the rich, with about the same chances of success as Powerball, yet they continue to work for them and buy their stuff (as well as Powerball tickets).

If you can sell raffle tickets to the extinction, you might have better luck getting people involved. You could give away a planet.

Reader. Fixer. Maker.

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