Reducing energy consumption dictates change of feelings

by Ginosar  

When we were starving as cave people and often had nothing to eat, we developed a strong urge for more food, and more possessions.

That essential need was justified in the past, it was a basic survival need. It is still driving most of us.

But it is no longer justifiable.

In most of the developed world we have a considerable amount more than we need for survival and also much more than we need for leisure. But, especially in the US, we can not let go of this urge of the past for more and more things. From food to luxury cars.

We can't overcome this way of feeling. Just look at our history for at least the last sixty years. It is now so much a basic part of our lives. We buy unneeded stuff even when we can not afford to.

To reduce global warming our wasteful consumption need to be reduced because every thing we do requires energy, more electricity, more fuel, and thus create more greenhouse gases.

This strong desire for more and more; bigger TV, larger cars, larger houses, is not ready, or capable to an intellectual change. You can not just decide to drop this long-held feeling. It works for a few, but not for the majority of the population.

These ingrained feelings have to change, to adjust to lower appetite for more.  And it is very hard to change long-held cultural attitudes and it takes a long time. Unfortunately, global warming is accelerating so fast that our ability to reduce consumption is inadequately slow.

Since we are not able to change our ingrained desire for a more luxurious way of life, we must have governmental actions to curtail consumption. Higher taxes would do some of it. We have to pay back our immense national debt of about $30,000 per each man, woman and child!

May be the permanent decline in the economy that is going on will do some of it through lower wages. And may be more expensive products due to higher energy costs, would cut our abilities to have too much. But these may not be enough. We still believe that we in the USA can do anything we want.

It is a serious national dilemma. People wants all they can get, deep self-centerness. Congress wish for reelection will follow their wish and not what the country needs. How do you change this circle of inaction?

I have no answers.

I just wonder if it is at all possible to find the viable path to reduce global warming for a society that is governed by decision makers that are so removed from reality, and that have ingrained inability to grasp the total story, and value their reelection more than the need of the society?

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