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Planned obsolescence, anyone?

14 years ago

Greetings everyone,

With all of the turmoil going on in our society, it seems to me that we need to rethink the directions in which our economy has been going, and, to a substantial extent, continues to be.

I lived for a time where people had nothing ... and it was hugely difficult to find work. Fifty years ago, yes ... but such experiences etch inerasable patterns on one's heart.

Suppose you were forced to leave all that you have behind ... carrying just the clothes on your back.

In our settled society, that would be tough enough ... but suppose you lived in an area where modern war had swept across a substantial portion of your country ... not once ... but four times.

We have become used to a plethora of resources.

But I've heard the suggestion that, were the world as a whole to live in a fashion similar to that to which we North Americans (and Europeans) have become accustomed ...

... that it would take the resources of four planets to meet our needs.

We do not have four planets.

And, even with the highly developed and innovative skills which we've built in the last three or four generations ... we still haven't found ways to overcome that shortage.

Seventy years ago ... horse-drawn wagons hauled blocks of ice down city streets to put into ice-boxes to keep food more or less cool.

In the country: pan of cold water in the basement.

Sixty years ago ... they started to build refrigerators.

Fifty years ago ... they built a refrig that'd last for 40 years.

Thirty years ago ... they had technology that, though computers were primitive, could put men on the moon.

Ten years ago ... they built a refrig that quits after 10 years. And, with sealed operational units, can't be repaired.

When I dialogue with God ... and S/He asks about how skilfully and responsibly we've used the scarce resources of the world ... how can I justify such waste?

We need to insist to the makers of refrigerators that they build them (once more) to last for fifty years!

Even if, as they'd be very little more expensive, I were to buy one for me ... and one to contribute to someone in the Third World (rather than five for me, right?)!

And build five times as many ... to meet the needs of many poor folks in the world who've never been able to afford one. And consequently lose precious food.(1)

Which will need more power ... so we need to build environmentally friendly generating systems (read: solar/wind ... and small, which don't lend themselves to enthusiastic acceptance by the rich and powerful that like to be at the head of large corporations that arrange to have them provide an ongoing income from big facilities).

Plus .. the people in countries with improving lifestyle like TVs ... and rechargeable batteries for cell phones, etc.

While the transfer towers for the cell phones need power, also.

Think conservationist. And high quality things ... which will last longer ... for more people.

Planned obsolescence? ... Making more junk (to build a "landfill" mountain within a couple of miles of my house) with no regard for the impoverished of the world ... is disgraceful.

When God talks to me ... do you think that S/He, who conserves/reuses/recycles everything in nature ... will encourage me to carry on with such selfish wastefulness as has been our lifestyle for a couple of generations??

How can I justify our lifestyle ... without being embarrassed?

While millions must exist on minimal food (which their lack of work makes it difficult to afford) ...

... dirty water (frequently at quite a distance from home) ...

... minimal education ...

... and skeletal healthcare?

While we build a frig to last a fifth as long as we're capable of doing - to keep the economy going.

ole joyful

1. For simpler/cheaper saving of precious food in the Third World - let's simply build rat-proof storage places for plain food, e.g. grain ... remember - the rats eat first! (And sh!t everywhere ... including where they eat!) (Yes - prior to altering *the word*, I got censored).

Remember mice in your house??

Prior to going upscale - farmers used to say "manure" as a four-letter-word!

o j

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