The wildfires that burned part of my hometown of Santa Rosa earlier this year killed dozens of people, destroyed thousands of homes, and were a calamity for the community. The fires also revealed a smaller tragedy that most of us live daily: we spend too little time on what really matters to us, because we’re too busy managing possessions we don’t even care about.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture may soon approve commercial production of genetically modified eucalyptus trees in the U.S. The conversation around why we should embrace widespread planting of this tree is revealing of the economic paradigm in which we operate.
I’ve seen a spate of articles in the past month about the declining fortunes of retailers in the U.S. Stores are closing at an unprecedented rate, resulting in thousands of lay-offs and millions of square feet of vacant real estate. Much of the coverage has focused on the plight of retail workers who have lost their jobs and on the problem of empty mall space. But from another perspective, the closing of stores and retail outlets may hint at a positive trend: perhaps Americans are less interested in spending time shopping, and are instead engaging in more fulfilling activities.
A product made from oil-derived plastic and other nonrenewable resources shouldn’t be designed to be thrown away after just a year of use. But that’s how far too many items are made today, and customers aren’t even that surprised by this.
A new study about forest loss around the world makes me wonder: When will we be satisfied with the goods and lifestyle we have instead of seeking to acquire more? When will we quit cutting down trees, digging up coal and drilling for oil, and decide that there’s value to maintaining a livable planet?
Trumpism exists on the edge of the map where the dragons are. Beyond that, there’s nothing.