The conscience consumer


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The second session of the Passionist ecological retreat program. This session examines the issue with regards to the vast inequalities in our global consumption and sensitizes us toward a collaborative global model of sustainable development

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The conscience consumer

  1. 1. The Conscience Consumer<br />Session 2<br />
  2. 2. Session Format<br />The Consumption Quiz<br />Catholic Social Teaching on Consumerism and the Commons<br />Looking at Private Consumption Expenditures<br />The Story of Stuff<br />Interactive Activity: The Development of Sustania<br />
  3. 3. Consumption Quiz<br />
  4. 4. 2 Corinthians 8:13-15: I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written, “The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.”<br />St. Ambrose of Milan -“The world has been created for everyone's use, but you few rich are trying to keep it for yourselves. For not merely the possession of the earth, but the very sky, the air, and the sea are claimed for the use of the rich few. …The earth belongs to all, not just to the rich.”<br />Catholic Tradition and Consumerism<br />
  5. 5. This is the so-called civilization of ‘consumption’ or ‘consumerism,’ which involves so much ‘throwing away’ and ‘waste.’ An object already owned but now superseded by something else is discarded, with no thought of its possible lasting value in itself, nor of some other human being who is poorer. All of us experience firsthand the sad effects of this blind submission to pure consumerism: in the first place a crass materialism, and at the same time a radical dissatisfaction, because one quickly learns—unless one is shielded from the flood of publicity and the ceaseless and tempting offers of products—that the more one possesses the more one wants, while deeper aspirations remain unsatisfied and perhaps even stifled.<br />-Pope John Paul II, SollicitudoreiSocialis, #28 <br />Catholic Tradition and Consumerism<br />
  6. 6. Looking at Private Consumption Expenditures<br />
  7. 7. Looking at Private Consumption Expenditures<br />
  8. 8. The Story of Stuff<br />
  9. 9. Sustainable Development<br />Officially it is defined as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” <br />Our Common Future, the Brundtland Report, United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development<br />A more expansive definition is “the ethical engagement and process of achieving stability and non-deterioration of ecological processes, through the just and equitable restructuring of economic and social institutions designed to meet present needs without jeopardizing future human and non-human generations from meeting their needs.”<br /> -Russell Butkus and Steven Kolmes, Ecology and the Common Good: Sustainability and Catholic Social Teaching, Journal of Catholic Social Thought, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2007, pg. 403-436 <br />
  10. 10. Sustainable Development<br />
  11. 11. Interactive Activity<br />The Development of Sustania (a role playing exercise). <br />Goal: To begin to understand some of the complex issues of sustainable development and how they work together.<br />
  12. 12. Welcome to Sustania:<br />Sustania is a poor country, part of which is mountainous and part of which is coastal plain. The mountains are covered with forest and the people there live entirely on what they get from the forest: they have done so for generations. On the plain the people live in small villages growing their own food. Water is supplied be annual rainfall and the main river Pur, with its tributaries. The people just about managed to survive, but if the rain fails or are to heavy, then they suffer through drought or flooding.<br />Christianity is the predominant religion in Sustania. Through their Christian formation, some people are becoming increasingly concerned with the development of their society. This has led to the formation of Basic Christian Communities (BCCs).<br /> The government of Sustania is trying to get the money to improve the country. But there are different ideas about the best way to develop. All of the plains need some money, but which idea will attract outside finance?<br />
  13. 13. The Sustania Experience<br />What was the final decision of the government? How did the people feel?<br />Which groups would benefit most, which least?<br />How did the groups themselves feel about the meeting and the decision?<br />What effect would the final plan have on the environment, (both locally and globally)?<br />What were the main constraints on the decision of each group?<br />What environmental issues were raised? Were any solutions proposed?<br />