We can all make a difference
I read Kim Stanley Robinson’s proposal to empty half the earth of its human population (30 March) and found that, although it makes sense, there is a high chance of such a plan resulting in dystopia.
Moreover, there are things that can be done now: for example, the Tesco megastore near Streatham Common in south London. There is a cluster of video advertising screens, worthy of Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil, busily bombarding the public with offers they can’t refuse.
Although I agree with Robinson that, for example, it is better to have city rather than suburbia, so long as we are hooked on the consumption and growth dogma, hopes for the planet will remain slim.
So, yes, let’s formulate policy to progressively switch from suburb to city, but let’s also take drastic action against our runaway consumerism. Alan Mitcham Cologne, Germany • Anna Turns quotes film-maker Chris Jordan’s despairing comment that “… individuals cannot make a difference. When 100 million people decide to do something differently, that’s when change happens” (The plastic plight of the albatross, 23 March). It is not a huge mass of 100 million that will make a difference, but individuals deciding where they can make a change, whether it is taking shopping bags into the supermarket, reusing plastic bags as bin liners, refilling their drink bottles with tap water or dropping them into the recycling. Then you will see the difference. Kitty Monk Auckland, New Zealand