Can We Be Sustainable And Not Give Anything Up?

Sacrifice is a bad word.

Bob Dumont

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Photo by Appolinary Kalashnikova on Unsplash

The Green Revolution is upon us and the war to cool a warming world is finally beginning with the passing of recent legislation. Only time will tell if it is too little or late but will it be business as usual if we simply trade in our fossil-powered cars and furnaces without changing a single aspect of our lives? Is the path to sustainability simply a matter of swapping out one power source for another?

It hardly seems plausible that eight billion people and all the life forms to support us can continue without changing any other aspect of our lives. Will the world be saved if we silently hover up to the fast food line in our new EV, order three or four deluxe-sized meals with straws and clamshell containers and continue to fling the trash out the window? What will those black rubber tires on our new vehicles be made of in the new green world?

Sacrifice doesn’t seem to be an American word any longer. Sure we throw it around on Veterans Day but we also host a huge cookout and gorge ourselves. Anything worth celebrating in America comes with enormous cartons of food. Most of those meats and other goods have plastic packaging or are laid upon a styrofoam plate. Yum.

Oil and gas are the primary ingredients for plastics, tires, and hundreds of other products. If a product is black in color, it is probably oil based. If it has a “lene” in the name (like ethylene) or an “ane” (like propane) it is probably a natural gas based product. I have no idea how much petroleum is used in a tub of Cool-Whip but are we prepared to let go of that deliciousness and the plastic tub it comes in?

That pretty colored lipstick you put on every morning and the face smoothing foundation is petroleum-based. You can also include that bar of nice-smelling soap. All of those billions of synthetic leathers, rubber balls, and polyester are oil-based products. None of those items can be created without the burning of fossil fuels.

What kind of revolution will this be where we continue to empty all the shelves in Walmart at least once a week and have it all end up in the garbage? The next time you walk into your local supermarket take a moment to look at the acres of shelving and products. Now imagine every…

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Bob Dumont

Writer. Programmer. Dad. Husband. Concerned. If I knew, I would know.