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Consumption Junction - Too Much is Never Enough

Consumption Junction - Too Much is Never Enough

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Published by Frank A. Sicoli
Philosophy meets politics meets environmentalism. Written in 2005, by Frank Sicoli
Philosophy meets politics meets environmentalism. Written in 2005, by Frank Sicoli

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Published by: Frank A. Sicoli on Feb 04, 2012
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Consumption Junction: Too Much is NeverEnough
We are have seen weird Times in this country before, but the year [2005] is beginning to look super weird. This time there really is nobody flying the plane… We are living in dangerously weird times now. Smart  people just shrug and admit they’re dazed and confused. The only onesleft with any confidence at all are the New Dumb. It is the beginning of the end of our world as we knew it. Doom is the operative ethic.Hunter S. Thompson
Fear. That’s exactly what I feel on this rotten night. It’s 8:55 PMon Thursday and the President just finished up his long overdue pressconference. Forty-eight minutes of nonsense spouting out of thatbrainless toad; could’ve gone the full hour but didn’t want to take uptelevision time from the sponsors – “for the sake of the economy”. Today’s topics were rising oil prices and Social Security reform. Hespent four minutes discussing oil prices, claimed we need to “addressthe root causes that are driving up gas prices”, and concluded that weneed to “maximize oil production” to meet the growing demand forfossil fuels. Then he spent the rest of the time drilling home the SocialSecurity plan with the same old stump speech he has been kickingaround for the last sixty days. “Social Security worked fine over the lastcentury, but the math has changed…” Dubya knows about math?
 You ask, “What the hell does this have to do with Hans Jonas’
TheImperative of Responsibility…?” 
 To which I reply, “What doesn’t thishave to do with
The Imperative of Responsibility…?” 
Allow me toexplain: The underlying message of President Bush’s speech exemplifieseverything that is wrong and evil with America and moreover theAdministrations failure to address the rootof our problems.Shortsightedness and utter disregard for the quality of life on earth is anominous position for any citizen to take in this wretched year, 2005.[Author’s Note] I planned on taking a different approach to Jonas,but I never expected the President’s speech to be the catalyst. Thetiming worked out perfectly. After several times over, I realized that
The Imperative of Responsibility…
dovetails perfectly with the currentcondition of planet earth and his words scream off the page now morethan ever. Therefore, Jonas’ philosophy of “responsibility” is much toopoignant, prescient, and crucial for life on this planet to bastardize withcomplex and esoteric philosophical jargon. Of course, this is always anoption. But, I find a down-to-earth approach more conducive tounlocking the message in this wonderful and prophetic text. Keep inmind that Jonas wrote this text as a warning to people about thedangers of neglecting to take “responsibility” for generations to comeand for sustaining the quality of life. The warning call was eventuallytaken up by the increasingly popular fields of environmental ethics, eco-philosophy, and deep-ecology. Unfortunately, some scientists think
they were too late. “Planet Earth stands on the cusp of disaster andpeople should no longer take it for granted that their children andgrandchildren will survive in the environmentally degraded world of the21
This is not alarmist propaganda – it was reported by1,300 scientists in 95 countries. We are doomed.President Bush made the case that we must “maximize oilproduction” to meet growing demand because it is the most effectiveway to lower gas prices, and moreover, less intrusive to the economythan the environmentally sound alternatives. There is a red thread thatruns throughout the administration’s global strategy: The BushCorporation is more concerned with meeting demand and maximizingoutput, instead of reducing consumption. At this very moment,population numbers are spinning out of control. This in turn is causingan unprecedented rise in consumption. “Between 1960 and 2000, theworld population doubled from three billion to six billion. At the sametime, the global economy increased more than six-fold and theproduction of food and the supply of drinking water more than doubled,with the consumption of timber products increasing by more than half.”Planet Earth can only bring forth a limited amount of natural resourceswithout eventually leading to a complete global environmental attack. The failure to perceive earth as something finite and vulnerable isone of the key problems that developed from all previous ethics. In thisregard, Kant is one of Jonas’ favorite victims. Jonas felt that an
Steve Connor. The Independent, 30 March 2005.

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