New report says we must embrace a basic future to survive
From The Independant, Sunday Jan 10, 2010
Ditch the dog; throw away (sorry, recycle) those takeaway menus; bin bottled water; get rid of that gas-guzzling car and forget flying to far-flung places. These are just some of the sacrifices we in the West will need to make if we are to survive climate change.
The stark warning comes from the renowned Worldwatch Institute, a Washington-based organisation regarded as the world's pre-eminent environmental think tank.
Its State of the World 2010 report published this week outlines a blueprint for changing our entire way of life. "Preventing the collapse of human civilisation requires nothing less than a wholesale transformation of dominant cultural patterns. This transformation would reject consumerism... and establish in its place a new cultural framework centred on sustainability," states the report.
"Habits that are firmly set – from where people live to what they eat – will all need to be altered and in many cases simplified or minimised... From Earth's perspective, the American or even the European way of life is simply not viable."
Nobel prize winner and microfinance expert Muhammad Yunus, writing in the foreword, describes the report as calling for "one of the greatest cultural shifts imaginable: from cultures of consumerism to cultures of sustainability".