Climate & Consumption
Published on June 07, 2023
I always find myself somewhat repelled by the word consumption. My reaction comes from reading novels set in earlier times, when it was used to mean “a wasting disease” (usually tuberculosis). Earlier today I watched two short videos that produced the same reaction. Appropriately enough, they were about consumption as we more currently define it, “the using up of a resource.”
In climate parlance, consumption-based emissions are those resulting from the economic activity required to meet demand for goods and services (www.stats.govt.nz). The connection between the archaic and the contemporary definitions? Waste. Our culture — i.e., each and every one of us — extracts resources and then dumps a large fraction of them after a one-way trip; sometimes a very short trip.