The world’s population is growing at a rate of about 74 million each year. By 2050, there will be approximately 9 billion people living on our world -- maybe more -- each with hopes and dreams of family, friends, good health, decent housing, and a living wage.
The consumer nations, led by the United States, must change their selfish, wasteful habits or this planetary population growth will be unsustainable. There will be an increase in greenhouse gases, further complicating an already dangerous global warming. There will be a reduction of both tillable land and drinking water resources. The oil supply will dwindle and prices will skyrocket. And because of today’s corporate greed and irresponsibility regarding agriculture, untested, nutrient-deficient GE crops will lead to an increase in hunger and increased vulnerability to new diseases and famine.
If there were a chance that the people of the United States would rise up and take back the power of the people, then maybe there would be room for optimism regarding the future. But we are too preoccupied by the rampant disease of warmongering, wasteful consumerism, and the lack of political will for planning. We are too divided over our red and blue states to realize that we need to unite around the very planet that sustains us. This is the common bond we share with all people and all nations.
The United States has a shameful record on recycling and reusing, as consumer goods such as televisions, VCRs, printers, furniture and appliances are often dumped into landfills. It has become cheaper and more convenient to simply throw away rather than repair. Computer printers, for example, have become so cheap that when an ink cartridge runs out, some of us throw the printer in the trash and buy a new one, as the replacement cartridge may cost more than the printer. Of course, some cartridges are refillable, but information about refilling them is omitted from the printer documentation.
The secret message behind all of this is buy, buy, buy and spend, spend, spend! Corporations are so out of control in their greed for profit that the needs of the future are not even considered. And Americans are so uninformed by a corporate media that focuses on news as entertainment rather than as a public forum for serious discussion that the possibilities for a change of priorities look bleak. It is imperative that we unite for the sake of the planet. It is imperative that we take back our public airwaves. Our very lives depend on it.