WIP: Wasting Abundance

Category: 2040s Here 2015 Blog
Published Date
Written by Tony Dickey Hits: 1875

Not certain where this will end up. Consider it thinking out loud. That's why these pieces are called Work In Progress (WIP).

Counting Our Blessings

Humans on this planet now consume one-and-half earth equivalents. While we could live more efficiently, efficiency is not the actual problem. In fact, humans are probably too efficient at some things, to the expense of others. In short, we are Wasting Abundance.Wasting Abundance




I anticipate the following retorts:

  • People are starving
  • Abundance?!? I can barely make it to the next paycheck
  • Didn't we just have a recession?

All valid answers that miss a greater point. Shortages and inequality are manufactured. 

What Do We Need?

Our current system favors monoculture. It favors efficiency for the few over prosperity for the many. It is the most efficient way to farm for those seeking highest profits. Its greatest opposition is diversity. From a business  POV managing diversity is too complex, too much to manage. Nature thrives on it.  Unfortunately for the bean-counters (hee hee), it works on its own schedule. It is difficult to control; you cannot count on it alone to deliver profit on time.

  Food Waste: The Next Food Revolution

Currently, in the U.S.,
almost half of our food —
40 percent of what
we grow — ends
up in the garbage. Globally,
food waste is rising
to 50 percent as
developing nations struggle
with spoilage and Western
nations simply toss edible food away. 
   
Traffic congestion costs drivers
more than $100 billion annually
in wasted fuel and lost time.
New report: Road congestion 
wastes 1.9 billion gallons
     
   Examples of
Wasting Abundance

are abundant

It is estimated that another
eight to ten million homes
will be foreclosed before the
financial crisis is over.
This approach to resolving
one part of the financial
crisis means many, many
families are living
without adequate and
secure housing. Inaddition,
approximately 3.5 million
people in the U.S. are homeless,
many of them veterans.
It is worth noting that,
at the same time, there
are 18.5 million vacant

homes in the country.
3.5 million homeless,
18.5 million vacant homes


 

This attitude extends right down to the retail level. Franchising succeeds on the concept that products are offered by the exact same standard regardless of location. The problem is that we could be riding monotony into oblivion.

Buy! Buy! Buy!

To proffer goods that all perform and act the same grew a new industry, advertising. It evinces how much abundance we waste. How much--talking more than money here--spent on convincing people to buy cheap goods could be used to provide basic needs just about everywhere? 40% of food ends up in landfills. In part, marketing drives this practice; if produce shelves show empty spots consumers may look elsewhere. Whatever the reason, abundance wasted.

But Wait There's More!

Wasting Abundance, a series of occasional posts, looks at the issue from many angles. It may help us realize how abundantly we now live, how to spread abundance more evenly and better appreciate a surplus when we see it. At the current pace, wasting our abundance is as dangerous as much as smacks of blind privilege. Abundance should work in our favor, not against us.