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Lifestyle Change

I have always regarded Arne Naess with a mixture of admiration and respect. Someone who can think deeply about the purpose of life and how we relate to our non-human companions in a time of ecological crisis should be listened to. I think his stance on anti-consumerism is brave, especially in our world where the mantra is economic growth (at all costs it would seem). We are urged to spend more to help the economy. I challenge this mind-washing as it is pushed at us through every media channel so often, we come to believe it must be true.

What we do individually to address the climate and ecological emergency ( and it is that bad) is key to giving us hope about the future. I wanted to send this blog out because I am trying to change my lifestyle as best I can and it is the most difficult thing I have tried, but it has its rewards.

In his book “There is No Point of No Return” he identifies some of the lifestyle trends within the deep ecology movement: a movement he founded to respect and value life both human and non-human independent of its usefulness for human purposes.

Controversially, he wrote about the need to substantially decrease the human population, and practice anti-consumerism, noting that current human interference with the non-human world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.

In a time of mass extinction and wildlife population crashes, and when ‘nature is under attack’, it would be wise to consider Arne Naess’s suggestions on how we should consider living, that others including all creatures and future generations may live.

Two of the lifestyle trends he proposes should be considered deeply.

Try to maintain and increase the sensitivity and appreciation of goods in sufficient supply for all to enjoy, and

Appreciate lifestyles that can be maintained universally – lifestyles that are not blatantly impossible to sustain without injustice towards fellow humans or other species.

Exemplifying these lifestyles and offering them to others to consider should ignite the deep, and potentially difficult cultural change we need, to see a safer world for everyone.

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