New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wants you to own less to save the planet.
Meanwhile, he’ll be home at his estate.
Priveleged New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman may live like a king but he wants all of you to work less and own less.
It’s for the greater good, of course.
Good news, we’re doomed, says New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in Wednesday’s “The Earth Is Full.” (Has the globe-trotting Friedman never been to Texas?) But we can still save ourselves eventually, as long as we realize that “the consumer-driven growth model is broken and we have to move to a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less.” But does that “own less” solution include the privileged columnist as well?
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You really do have to wonder whether a few years from now we’ll look back at the first decade of the 21st century — when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world population surged, tornados plowed through cities, floods and droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments were threatened by the confluence of it all — and ask ourselves: What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population redlines all at once?
“The only answer can be denial,” argues Paul Gilding, the veteran Australian environmentalist-entrepreneur, who described this moment in a new book called “The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World.” “When you are surrounded by something so big that requires you to change everything about the way you think and see the world, then denial is the natural response. But the longer we wait, the bigger the response required…
…We will realize, he predicts, that the consumer-driven growth model is broken and we have to move to a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less.
“How many people,” Gilding asks, “lie on their death bed and say, ‘I wish I had worked harder or built more shareholder value,’ and how many say, ‘I wish I had gone to more ballgames, read more books to my kids, taken more walks?’ To do that, you need a growth model based on giving people more time to enjoy life, but with less stuff.”