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FROM MY CORNER, The End of Overconsumption?

Howell Hurst Consumerism, Humans, People

Presently, the petroleum industry has been brought to its knees. It is massively overproducing more oil than is needed. This is evidence that the human race in its greed for “Luxury” has been wasting its finite physical resources.

Essentially, we have an unlimited supply of sun, wind, and ocean wave energy to run the world and sustain human life. But the petroleum industry has for decades kept us all over-consuming the Earth’s finite quantity of oil.

Now, the oil industry is trapped within its own potential bankruptcy, by its own greed for profits at the cost of human existence. Religious people might call this “God” showing the human race the folly of its greed.

As a “Humanist,” I call it the scientific facts of earthly existence having finally  brought us all to a moment of truth. For decades renewable energy proponents have been telling the petroleum industry to reposition its management capacity into solar, wind, and ocean technologies.

They have fought this idea tooth and toenail in their lust for profits. They have supported dictatorship countries to promote over-consumption of oil. They have repeatedly in developing countries disabled people for oil profits. The oil industry in recent years endlessly worked to gain increased access to Russian oil.

In America in the 1960’s, when I was briefly j. Walter Thompson’s merchandising manager for the American Petroleum Institute, I saw how oil companies promoted over-consumption with endlessly-advertised auto driving campaigns.

The oil and auto industries are now being forced by physical reality to face up to the truth that their historical interests, as presently constituted, are opposed to the actual survival needs of human beings.

We are now pressed to an existential wall by this pandemic. If it is not solved scientifically rather than “economically,” the consequences will be bad. If our military, industrial, digital,energy industry does not face up to the present reality of what is scientifically needed, the results will be extremely bad.

If our political leaders insist on what they call “an economic solution,” that is continued overconsumption, this will end up a disastrous event. If, instead, they look facts in the face and carefully design and orchestrate a worldwide reduction in consumption, it will produce a vitally needed turning point in worldwide civilization.

The entire world economy needs to be redesigned by a collaboration among all countries. Can we be optimist about this? That depends on whether we can finally face facts and deal with the concrete reality of our situation.

Can we find that we do indeed contain within ourselves enough common sense to sustain ourselves long term?

We will see, won’t we?

I believe we will.

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