Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How Christmas-Style Consuming Endangers Our Planet

Launching another of WalMart's mammoth cargo ships
Our appetite for cheap Christmas gifts and manufactured products from China and other developing countries requires massive numbers of huge cargo ships to bring us all the stuff our consumer appetites demand. These giant freighters use a  frightening amount of fuel, and together discharge more carbon pollution than all of the cars in the world, according to an article in the Daily Mail, and they mostly return to their home ports empty.

Then there is the enormous environmental harm done by the coal consumption and other resources needed to manufacture all of these goods in far away places like China, resulting in it becoming one of the most polluted countries in the world. According to a recent study cited in the Guardian, 1.6 million Chinese die each year of exposure to intolerable levels of pollution in their atmosphere and water supply. That's 4000 deaths per day in China alone, which provides 91% of all of WalMart's products, as one example.

But aren't we helping poorer countries economically by buying all of these manufactured products in huge numbers?

Bottom line: Any economic system that depends on the overconsumption by some for the financial survival of others is neither moral or sustainable. Thus we need to find more creative and God-honoring ways to celebrate the birth and life of Christ than by buying ever more quantities of things--stuff we'd all be better off without.
From National Geographic's "How Much is US To Blame For "Made-in-China" Pollution?

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