We can all make a dif­fer­ence

The Guardian Weekly - - Reply -

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

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