30 August 2007

Consuming Manly - 'in the Lap of Luxury'

The Australian Conservation Foundation put Manly on the map as one of the greediest and most wasteful suburbs. Patterns of consumption are quantified in terms of greenhouse pollution, water usage and the ecological mega-fauna footprint (land/resources required to sustain a person's lifestyle). A mentality of 'more is better and big is best' is depleting the Earth's resources for generations to come.

The newest status symbol for the nation's most affluent families is fast becoming a big brood of kids.” 'Competitive birthing' is complementing the perpetual house-renovating/flipping, 2-3 cars, (mostly 4x4s) and packs of dogs (varying with fashion). Many home functions are outsourced such as food to Cafes and Eateries. Large amounts of food are being returned there, at home the waste economy continue
s. “ This report has highlighted the crucial relative importance of consumption of food and other consumer products, which far outweigh the direct impacts of energy and water use in the average Australian home...The eco-footprint of this volume of wasted food is greater than the footprint of all household expenditure on transport combined” (ACF report,pdf)

Sustainability, inter generational equity or consideration for other species are not on the mind of the 'I, me & myself'.

We are told, that everyone can do their bit..."facilitated and coordinated by an ambitious and effective framework of government regulation and support.”(ACF,pdf)
In a systemic deregulated and privatised civic and economic turbo environment that is pushing the hype of consumerism at every corner, it might just be a well-meaning bit of hot 'recommendation'.

As the basic fabric of this society is based on individual possessiveness and the private good, the concept of the public good and the idea of sharing goes against the grain of the acquisitive Homo economicus. Any form of regulation is seen as a restriction of the individual's neo-liberties. 'Education', dead-tree information & litany falls on sealed ears.

This affluent society is based on the exclusion of others from the national riches. Some take the prerogative to grab the 'lion's share'. In a stratified system members seek to privatise and maximise a chunk of the world's resources. The anti-products are shared generously. The jubilant victors' celebrations/parties over the gains do not tolerate being disrupted by 'restraints'. The 'top of the heap' does not believe in limiting its right to luxury and exclusiveness.

After “liquidating the planet's ecological resources” they sure will 'discover' another two to three spare planets to 'harvest'.
Images: 'Lap of Luxury' images, Manly Beach promenade

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