Earth Strike Vernon students will strike for climate action again on Friday, May 24. (Jennifer Blake - Morning Star file photo)

Standard of living is not sustainable

LETTER: In response to Student Indoctrination letter

The letter, titled Student indoctrination (Morning Star, Wednesday, May 8), contains many highly arguable points.

There are two statements that stand out—one about the environment and the economy and the other about the letter’s title, “indoctrination.”

The writer says, “What psychological damage is being perpetrated on students by this kind of indoctrination by their teacher.” Besides being grammatically incorrect, the use of this kind of ad hominem argument is a personal attack and provides no rational as an argument. There is no reason for presenting a statement that rides on innuendo and lack of evidence as its basis. In simple language, it is mudslinging.

See: Rally for climate justice strikes Vernon yet again

The other statement that stood out for me was, “We must be able to afford the solutions if our economies are not to collapse under the weight of irrational policies.…” Quite a lot is packed into this statement.

First off, as much as we like to think of ourselves as rational, Western economic policies are highly irrational. Our “good life” is based on several actions. Western societies exploit through military and financial domination as much of the world’s resources as they can.

Our economy is based almost entirely on debt, reliant mainly on the U.S. global reserve currency, the petrodollar, which the U.S. can “sell” as much of as they can as it is currently required by other countries to purchase most items (caution: Russia and China are slowly leading others away from the petrodollar and thus U.S. economic control). Our economy is a consumer-based one, much of which is never recycled or reused and much of that consumption is debt based.

See: Earth Strike Vernon gains momentum

In 2008, there was a signal about what needs to be done to help the environment from its plague of chemical contaminants. As the economy declined, so did the carbon emissions. Unfortunately, the best way to help the environment is to collapse our current economy globally to a non-consumer oriented one, to one that provides more support to health, education, workers rights and safety, human rights in general, support for independent farmers, and works towards eliminating all harmful chemicals from the environment.

In short, our standard of living is not sustainable, is not rational, will eventually collapse, hopefully not cataclysmically. I highly doubt that a significant number of people are willing to decrease their lifestyle in a significant way in order to change our current economic/environmental trajectory.

Jim Miles


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