The Sixth Great Extinction: Beyond Transition, The Long Emergency, And The Great Turning, By Carolyn Baker
Climate change is real, and it is human-caused. We engender climate change in different ways—overpopulation, using fossil fuels, and above all, by consuming. Before the advent of industrial civilization, humans used to consume, for the most part, what they actually needed. Today, consuming has become an addiction. In answer to McPherson’s question, “What underlies our drive to consume?” I would answer: the profound emptiness that inhabits the psyches of human beings in the modern, industrial world. Yes, many aspects of the industrial living arrangement force us to consume, but whenever those aspects are threatened by any talk of creating different living arrangements because those arrangements are creating climate change, both the politician and the ordinary citizen begin recoiling in terror. In other words, we consume voraciously because we cannot imagine another, more satisfying way of life, and we know that if we do not maintain our consumption-saturated lifestyles, we will be forced to confront our sense of emptiness and lack of meaning.