Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • This video was made possible by the  people who support me on Patreon.

  • In 2009, South Korea did something remarkable. The  country poured 2% of its GDP, some $38.1 billion,  

  • into environmental projects, hoping to  create one million green jobs over the next  

  • five years. The goal was to spur growth  in a slumping economy while simultaneously  

  • creating a low carbon society. In one sensethe plan worked. South Korea's economic system  

  • did eventually recover, but in a more important  sense, the plan failed. From 2009 to 2014,  

  • Korea's emissions rose 11.8%. So, despite massive  investments in clean energy, railway expansion,  

  • and energy efficiency, South Korea's emissions  still climbed. So what happened? Why didn't South  

  • Korea's green growth strategy work? Todaywe'll answer that question and more in order  

  • to understand one of the insidious spectres that  haunts the green energy revolution: consumption.

  • How consumption is causing Climate Change:

  • It's December and the streets of New  York City are filled with Christmas.  

  • Stores, trees, lights, bags, packages, and  trash. Christmas in America is a sacred  

  • capitalist holiday wherein the average American  explodes their average yearly emissions footprint  

  • by roughly 650kg of CO2e, while spendingcumulative $2.6 billion on wrapping paper.  

  • Up until around 150 years ago, however, the  holiday rarely saw a wrapped present in sight.  

  • But then unofficial holidays like Black Friday and  department stores like Macy's started to encourage  

  • shoppers to fill their carts with tech and  trinkets as a means of expressing care and love.  

  • Now, Christmas shopping epitomizes the consumer  experience in the United States. It's driven by a  

  • complex mix of personal desire, social pressuresstatus signaling, stress, and propaganda  

  • that work, in many instances, not to increase  personal well-being, but to pad the pocketbooks  

  • of corporations. Advertisements on Instagram and  billboards in Times Square bombard us with visions  

  • of what we could be if only we had that watch or  that phone, which locks us into a world where,  

  • in order to find happiness or comfort or  political change, we need to buy...stuff.  

  • But a range of studies consistently found that  once a person's needs are met, extra consumption  

  • does not increase their well-being. And buying  new phones, clothes, and gadgets all have an  

  • environmental price tag. Despite the fact that 100  companies were found to be the root cause of 70%  

  • of global emissions, the reality is that the  people using those companies' products and burning  

  • their fuel are us. Or rather, I should sayprimarily rich communities and countries. Because  

  • consumption levels are not equal across the worldthe average American uses over 100 times the  

  • energy as someone from India. And if everyone  in the world were to live in the same way the  

  • average German does right now, global emissions  would double. So as those in rich countries  

  • gorge on luxury items and the newest tech, they  use energy and emit at much higher rates than  

  • countries in the majority world, which often are  the ones feeling the brunt of climate disasters

  • Why we can't buy our way out of climate change:

  • The blame for overconsumption should not and can  not be placed solely on individuals. Companies  

  • and corporations have a vested interest in  making you buy more stuff because if they don't  

  • they go bankrupt. Which is why they slap  green labels onto their products and advertise  

  • everywhere. Indeed, the whole idea of a personal  carbon footprint is a propaganda campaign created  

  • by the fossil fuel giant BP. The move allowed  them to lock-in decades of fossil fuel use  

  • by turning the attention away from their  complicity in climate change, and instead  

  • blaming the individual for not living a low  carbon lifestyle or not buying the right thing.

  • The natural conclusion in a system riddled with  ads and cultural norms imploring all your senses  

  • to buy more then, is that your dollar is your  vote. An idea which stands in stark contrast  

  • to the democratic ideal of one person, one voteWe are led to believe that growing the economy,  

  • which for the individual means buying morewhether it be supporting new green tech,  

  • or wearing sustainably-made clothing, is how  we stop climate change. But the reality is that  

  • this capitalist growth model counteracts the work  being done to decrease emissions. Over the last 40  

  • years, global emissions have skyrocketed despite  dramatic expansions of renewable and energy  

  • efficiency technologies. Yes, growth does lead  to an expansion of new sustainable innovations,  

  • but it also leads to the expansion of fossil  fuel-intensive industries. Just one percent  

  • growth in GDP leads to a 0.5 to 0.8% increase in  carbon emissions. And if we continue to grow at 3  

  • percent per year, by 2043, the global economy will  be two times larger than it is now, which means  

  • energy consumption will be larger and the task  of transitioning towards a zero-carbon world will  

  • be much harder. So, something's got to give. And  that something is consumption in rich countries.

  • What options do we have?

  • The unfortunate reality is that expanding  zero-carbon technologies to meet global  

  • energy demands, or what's known as  decoupling emissions from growth,  

  • will be an extremely difficult task. A  task that South Korea attempted back 2009  

  • and ran headfirst into the consequences ofgrowth-centered economy. The reason why South  

  • Korea's emissions still rose 11.8% over five  years is that their total energy consumption  

  • outpaced renewable installation and energy  efficiency projects. So the emissions they  

  • saved with green technology were nullified by  their overall increase in consumption levels.

  • So then, what options do we have? A recent study  modeled that by 2050 the world could support the  

  • equivalent of three times the current global  population if global consumption levels drop  

  • 60% back down to 1960 levels. Most notably  though, the paper claims that this is possible  

  • while still maintaining or even improvingdecent lifestyle for all. And within their  

  • definition of a decent living. the researchers  include laptops, comfortable climate control,  

  • access to robust transportation networks and  universal healthcare. In order to achieve this  

  • world wherein everyone is able to enjoy  a decent lifestyle while also avoiding  

  • a climate emergency, the researchers suggest  a dual-pronged approach. On the demand-side,  

  • consumption levels must drop by as much as 95%  in countries with today's highest per-capita  

  • consumers. That means no more second houses  or eating red meat every single day of the  

  • week. This then must be simultaneously coupled  with massive rollouts of advanced technology  

  • in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and  other sectors. Together, the model predicts,  

  • these scenarios could allow the global population  to live well in a zero carbon world. And if all  

  • this sounds scary, Hope Jahren, author of The  Story of More, compares this future lifestyle  

  • to that of someone living in Switzerland in the  1960s, which, to me, doesn't sound that bad,  

  • especially considering that everyone in the  world would be able to live the 1960s Swiss life.

  • Big questions, with big consequences:

  • The key point here is that reducing emissions or  what's known as decoupling emissions from growth  

  • is not enough to quickly prevent the worst-case  climate change scenario. Reducing consumption  

  • has to be integrated into our solutions toolkit if  we are to quickly tackle the climate crisis before  

  • 2050. But the burden of this task should not  be laid upon the individual, it's the job of  

  • governments and the very corporations who created  the mess in the first place to facilitate this  

  • drop in consumption. Imagine for a momentif instead of lobbying for fuel subsidies  

  • and spending millions telling us to decrease our  carbon footprint, BP was required to address its  

  • complicity in climate change by leaving fossil  fuels in the ground and developing renewable  

  • energy, rapid public transportation, and energy  efficiency technologies. I'd imagine the task  

  • of reducing our own consumption and emissions  would probably be a lot easier. Ultimately,  

  • degrowth is a path we need to take seriously  if we are to tackle the climate emergency.  

  • While I can't pretend to predict the far reaching  consequences reducing growth would create,  

  • I do know one thing: the smaller our global  needs, the easier the transition will be.

  • Hey everyone, Charlie here. If you've been  watching Our Changing Climate for a while  

  • or just stumbled across this video and are  wondering how you can help me make more videos,  

  • then consider supporting the show on Patreon. As  an OCC patron, you'll gain early access to videos,  

  • special behind the scenes updates, as well  as a members-only group chat. In addition,  

  • each month my supporters vote on an environmental  group that I then donate a portion of my monthly  

  • revenue to. So if you want to support the  channel or are feeling generous, head over  

  • to patreon.com/ourchangingclimate and become an  OCC patron. If you're not interested or aren't  

  • financially able, then no worries! I hope you  enjoyed the video, and I'll see you in two weeks!

This video was made possible by the  people who support me on Patreon.

字幕と単語

動画の操作 ここで「動画」の調整と「字幕」の表示を設定することができます

B1 中級

The Problem with Consumerism

  • 2 1
    joey joey に公開 2021 年 06 月 25 日
動画の中の単語