Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The story of Stuff

For those of you who haven't seen this....Great story of production, consumption and disposal...and as a result a little long... but definiltey worth a watch and some thought. Enjoy.
via http://www.storyofstuff.com/


George McKee said...

It's sincere, it's committed, it shows a lot of hard work, it's true, and it's doomed to failure. It's doomed for two reasons: first, the system really did "just grow", "just like gravity". It's a huge network of local optimizations that will not, and maybe cannot be globally optimized for a closed global system.

To succeed, Green solutions must be profitable solutions -- more profitable than their non-green competition. Green solutions must also be sexy. An insightful post on Reprap titled Why Accountants are Dull and Guitarists are Sexy observes that "Parts of the human mind are for wasting glucose in a way that cannot be faked. Your brain dumps about 20% of your body's energy budget out of your head every second of your life. You cannot pretend to paint a picture well, or pretend to write a quatrain of iambic pentameters well - you cannot pretend to be witty. You need to waste real glucose to do those things, all of which have no utilitarian value."

For Green to succeed, Green advocates have to show that they can recapture that 20% that's historically been wasted in show-off, use it to become wealthier and more glamorous, and show it in a way that cannot be faked. "The story of Stuff" may resonate with a small counterculture population, but it is constructed to fail at changing the world.

Justin Hamilton said...

Green does have to be profitable. And in the long run, on energy savings alone, it will be.

Lucia and I are looking into green/socially responsible mutual funds to put our money where our mouth is.