We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, March 13, 2015

Recycling in the Anthropocene

Click here to access article by Bill Sheehan from the Post Carbon Institute.
Sadly, just as land conservation and species preservation efforts have largely failed to stem rates of deforestation and extinctions, so too has the recycling movement failed miserably to stem the tide of resource wasting and pollution.  The brutal truth is that individualized “recycling” in the context of municipal solid waste management barely makes a dent in the throughput of materials in the global economy. Despite earnest efforts by many, resource consumption and pollution is increasing, and at an increasing rate.
.... Samantha MacBride summed it up well in Recycling Reconsidered:  larger waste streams had been rendered invisible, and individualized responsibility for waste and recycling had co-opted more meaningful approaches. UPSTREAM focused on producer responsibility as a paradigm shift that could, in theory, address the problems at the source.