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Our society is organized around consumption - in order to survive we are required to participate in inefficient and unsustainable supply chains and purchase products with built-in obsolescence dates. It's not reasonable to shame people for doing that.

Telling people that they're destroying the world by buying cheap kitchenware instead of investing in sustainably sourced knives and a cast-iron pan (all sold for ridiculous prices) is merely cruel and totally unhelpful.

Yes, it's true that the companies that produce 3/4ths of the world's carbon emissions do so "because of" the people who buy their products - but it's not as if all those people are just doing it for shits and giggles. People have to live.

In addition, a huge amount of that carbon-focused production is actually not in the hands of individual consumers at all - it's because of national and local governments, the MIC (esp. in China and the US), and long-tail B2B contracts.

@tindall
we should improve society somewhat

and yet you participate in society! curious. i am very intelligent

@tindall Also it has been proofen times and times again that regulation of the business sides of things is way more effective compared to waiting for consumer to pick things up.

Remember HCFCs? Why did the usage drop? Because governments forbid products using this substance. Acid rain? Same thing, regulate the market, don't wait for consumers, they buy, what's available and fits the budget.

@sheogorath
There is also the misconception of "market" in an Adam Smith sense. Consumer are not part of the market. Members of market are manufacturers and merchants. The big corporations are the "market". Aldi does the negotiotions with (e.g.) mushroom canners, but most time corporations like Nestlé and so on.
As a consumer you can't "demand", you take what is on the shelf.
@tindall

@wauz @tindall uhm, no, consumers are part of the market. Of course the individual consumer can hardly make a demand, but groups of consumer definitely can and do create specific demands, usually by organising themselves.

However something Smith apparently underestimated are malicious market forces that resides around manipulation, monopolisation and fraud in an macro economic market that is to some degree "anonymous".

@sheogorath
No, it doesn't really work. We had the Shell boycott in the 90ies, but it worked BECAUSE it was irrational. Exxon was the same way in the that drilling rig problem, but rarely mentioned. After all, only the distributional system was hit: small subcontractors.
All consumer markets are in reality offer driven. Gasoline is a good example if this.
@tindall

@sheogorath
Btw: when people are talking about market theory mention Mr A. Smith, they actually mean the market theory they've learne in school, and that's something different.
"Free" and "perfect" markets is something gov should aim at. BUT: Smith knew very well, that markets are mean and consumers don't have any powers there. So Smith demanded supervision of cereal markets. And so on.
@tindall

@sheogorath @tindall whoa

i just had an idea: adding class (or, you know, caste) as discrimination protected… class into the constitutions

so we can start suing governments for providing shitty insurance and health care for poor people, and businesses for selling toxic junk that falls apart after two years

democracy for everyone 

the problem of course with trying to make "class" a "discrimination protected class" is that no democracy would want to be caught dead admitting that they have a multi-class system from which it is almost impossible to escape — even tho politicians constantly talk about enabling, securing, protecting the middle class

usually with measures that punish lower classes

i guess that's the key here: protecting poor people from discrimination would make a lot of policy impossible

democracy for everyone 

@meena They’re kind of making noises about it over here, but that’a just because they want to use “white working class” as a cover for racism

democracy for everyone 

@ghost_bird Germany is very good at ignoring racism as irrelevant, because there's not enough black people to matter, and surly Muslim people don't experience and discrimination.

but being the birth land of Marx, the right is still very careful about using "Arbeiterklasse"

(i might be wrong)

re: democracy for everyone 

@meena @ghost_bird you can count the people who use Arbeiterklasse on 10 hands maybe. At least it has become more rare. And yeah, I think anyone on the right side has either failed to use it consistently or never used it because the history associated with it is nothing you can use to feed the fear and insecurity in people.

@sheogorath @tindall

Regulation would be more efficient. Unfortunately... The wealthiest people with the biggest impacts are the ones with the most political power and are the least interested in giving up their comforts in exchange for other people not dying.

It's the people in the top 10% world income and above who need to be changing personal behavior. The top 10% do things like fly frequently, own SUVs and large single family homes.

adamtooze.substack.com/p/chart

@tindall individually what can we do? i don’t have time for activism. have plenty to lose to backlash if i tried. i did recently learn that it’s quite effective to invest in green funds- stock portfolios that invest in companies doing renewable energy and other such capitalistic endeavours towards curbing climate change.

@tindall what would happen if gamestop/amc happened to sustainable farming, gmo, solar panels

@zens green funds are good! I know it's trite, but local action is very accessible - write your alderman, city council, mayor, etc.

@tindall

For things under individual control it's usually the stuff you do all the time that has the biggest impacts.

Travel, food, heating & cooling, electricity are the biggest sources of emissions..

For durable goods like cookware, just try to take care of it so you don't have to buy a lot of it and otherwise don't stress about it. If you've got the time, maybe buy stuff from second hand shops.

@tindall not to mention that the lives people are being encouraged to live are organized around inefficient domestic structures with absurd layouts.

not every two bedroom apartment would need a fully-equipped kitchen and range if decent food was say, freely available

@callie

also, suburban lawns/gardens/patios are super inefficient compared to the availability of a diverse array of public squares/plazas/parks and streets usable by everyone not just those in cars and busses

@tindall

@tindall This is a very astute application of the criticism of the pointless "oh, you're criticizing capitalism, but you exist in a capitalist society, curious" argument. Well said. :)

@tindall i own one knife that's 30 or 40 years old

it's a disgusting looking chunk of plastic and a janky looking blade

we have beautiful, shiny and super sharp knives, but i would never throw that thing away, it's my favourite tool in the kitchen

why can't everything last that long?

@meena @tindall Maybe one can ask some university or so to make a ceramic coated inconel knife with a PVDF handle 🤔

@tindall liberal thinking in a nutshell.
"but if everyone would vote right, pay more money to ethical companies and work hard then we will all be well!" yeah uhuh sure that worked so well

@tindall what i particularly wonder about the bizarre goop-esque form of fake activism you describe here, is why do the “concerned advisors” not think that someone would indeed buy something nice and durable if they could, and it made sense for them. it’s incredibly condescending 😔

@mood
It's basically a showing off thing of people that feel petty bourgeoisie. They just try to sell their lifestyle as the real McCoy. "We are the good ones" - and you deserve your fate by refusing to be like us.
That's just a milieu of actual proletarians, that believes, they were nobility, just by being bailiffs.

@tindall

@tindall tangent: hate it when cast iron cookware costs a ton, since a legit strategy when available is "literally buy any used one you can find, no matter how beaten-up it looks, because it'll work fine with a little TLC"

@nfd @tindall that goes for most tools too, second-hand tools from the 70s are better built and more affordable than the things you can buy in stores new nowadays.

@tindall this is also insane to me because you can buy perfectly good cutlery/pans at the thrift store. Theres basically an unlimited supply.

@joemama yep! and 99% of those are not, like, fair trade green sustainably sourced wood handled knives or whatever. but they still have essentially zero carbon footprint!

@joemama @tindall and given the precipitous drop in average quality of consumer goods over the past decade or two, the thrift store stuff might be a *lot* better than new

@tindall Side comment: Ever notice the expiration date on bottled water..?

@tindall Totally agree. What's sad is that the culture of accepted obsolescence and disposable goods had to be BEATEN into people since at least in America self reliance and ability to repair and reuse were deeply ingrained cultural morees.

@feoh @tindall

this was also the case in Northern Europe, at least until the early 1990s (there is still a repair culture to an extent but its more common amongst late Gen X'ers and "Euroboomers", particularly those with tech-related interests and hobbies...

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