Wednesday, 13 January 2010

BTP3: Where Will all the iPods Go?

Smash the iPods, roll the cars off a cliff and take the pets out back and shoot 'em! Hurry, there's no time to waste! The State of the World Report 2010 is fast approaching and when it gets here it won't be taking prisoners! I've already burned down my house and moved into a tree, why haven't you? Am I being too brash? Going too far? Perhaps, but as ever, that's Beside the Point!

Too much? Probably, but I'm feeling a little hard pressed to portray just how much of a change that the State of the Word Report is asking for. Somehow the tabloid reactions of "radical" and "biggest cultural shift in human history" just don't seem to cover it. It's huge. We're talking Crocs or popper tracksuit huge. Huge. What's even more amazing is that it's more then likely going to be absolutely bloody useless.

Crocs -Bigger then Jesus?

Allow me to try to explain this a little. For those of you who don't know, The State of The World is a report published yearly by earthscan which basically sets out the state of mother Terra environmentally speaking. It covers everything from economy to religion in relation to the environment but it's main aim to to keep earth and humanity ticking over for generations to come. On paper (recycled naturally) this sounds like a good and noble purpose until you consider the scope and indeed, limitations of the report's conclusions.

The report basically calls for an end to consumerism for a more sustainable sociological model. So imagine a world where things like iPods, takeaways and even pets are either removed or "minimized" and far off exotic holidays are a definite no-no. Sounds rather daunting and a little unfair. Sure I want to save the planet and lets face it, no one needs a new phone every 12-18 months and we could all very easily recycle a lot more of our waste, but all of the reports reforms seem to be aimed at the consumer and not industry. If I'm going to lower my standard of living and enjoy more basic luxury's I want to know that industry is towing the line. How about I recycle all of my waste if we companies stop pumping toxic sludge in the sea? I'll happily organize a car-pull if companies finally build cars that don't pump out fumes.

This one-sidedness smacks of defeatism on the part of the reports producers. For years industry has being pushed to act more responsibly, as have governments in countries that are major contributers of carbon emissions; like the U.S., China and the newly emerging India. I'm willing to bet that the reports author's are moving away form pressuring powerful institutions and focusing on the more "pliable" consumer. It's like giving up on cars and going after the methane pumping cows -it's a half hearted approach and it won't work. The fact that the soon to be published report will not be for sale in the U.S. and India seems to add weight to this argument, it's a shock revelation that almost makes a mockery of the report's intention to educate people.

In the end what the report seeks to achieve is something no one can argue against, Earth is our home and we should be doing more to take care of it. However, I feel that the way The State of the World 2010 is attempting to go about this is full of problems. It misses the importance of co-operation while alienating the public with it's overbearing demands on our way of life. With a section called "Environmentally Sustainable Childbearing" it's easy to see why people will find this report hard to swallow, it takes our very human functions and makes them appear clinical and inhuman. Despite all this the report should make for a fascinating and educational read, I strongly urge you to combat the damage caused by it's limited release and pick up a copy, then send it to a friend in the U.S.

The report
will soon be available from earthscan's web page priced 14.99.




Drew once burned down an entire rain forest -just for kicks.

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