Presentation on theme: "Week 3: Beyond the Back Yard- Our Global Community."— Presentation transcript:
Week 3: Beyond the Back Yard- Our Global Community
What does the term “global community” mean, and how do I impact it? Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected. Our grocery stores are filled with produce and products from around the world; the internet allows us to literally see the rest of the world. Our consumption of cheap goods has driven the demand for sweat shops and factories that produce and distribute stuff we don’t need. Let’s take the case of a simple t-shirt. NPR’s Planet Money recently sought to get at this notion of a global community behind the products we buy by undertaking a t-shirt project. They commissioned a set of t- shirts to be made, and then followed the process from start to finish, investigating the lives of the people who made those shirts. So what’s in a t-shirt? Well, an entire world.a t-shirt projectworld
Sadly, though, far too many of the people who make up that world behind Planet Money’s t-shirt live lives of utter destitution, in no small part so that we can buy $7 shirts at Wal-Mart. Take Jasmine, for example. Jasmine The truth is we’re addicted to consumption and greed. Capitalism = consumerism; the driving force behind our economy is spending, much of it by the middle class and even the poor. In fact, our economy is dependent on this spending. If it didn’t continue, the economy would likely collapse, which is a strong indicator that our way of life is unsustainable.
There has been a long standing message in America, that buying brings happiness. This is evident all around us. You can’t turn on the TV, computer, or radio, without being assaulted by advertisements that tell you your life will be better if you buy ________. We are constantly being told what will and will not bring us happiness. I am prone to this myself, so much so, that I find myself reaching for magazines, my phone, my TV remote when I’m bored! I’m so bored, that I need to distract myself with the next purchase I might like to make. We need to remind each other that our hope is in Jesus.
FACTS Approximately 20% of the population in developed nations consume 86% of the world’s goods In 2008, the U.S. population, which accounts for approx. 5% of world pop., consumed 24% of the world’s energy The United States of America is the largest and most important economy in the world. In 2012, the US economy was responsible for percent of the world’s total GDP (PPP) or US$ trillion. (GDP=gross domestic product The market value of the officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a year. Per capita, it can be used as an indicator of a country’s material standard of living. Estimated that 4-6 hectares (1 hectare = approx. 2.5 acres) of lands are needed to maintain the consumption level of the avg person from an industrialized country, but only 1.7 hectares of ecologically productive land was available for each person. These statistics point to an uncomfortable fact. Developed countries overconsume, and the poor in developing countries pay the price with lower standards of living and increasing environmental damage (Source: Social Justice Handbook).Social Justice Handbook
Impact on our Global neighbors Why is this important? What does the bible say, and does Jesus care? Matthew 25: 31-46, James 2:1-10
What can I do? Pay close attention to your consumption pattern! Choose a specific amount of time to limit your consumption Watch Affluenza (PBS)Affluenza Talk to others about your budget, purchases you are considering, what you could share with your neighbors. Be accountable to others! Think about what happens to the product you are buying after you are finished using it.
Climate change affects many things- vegetation, the amount of water available, survival of animals (including humans). It affects the poor in greater proportion! According the Evangelical Environmental Network, climate change affects the ability to produce agriculturally, and this will directly affect the poor first.Evangelical Environmental Network Call to Action on Climate Change (Evangelical Climate Change Initiative) Claims Human induced climate change is real The consequences of climate change will be significant, and will hit the poor the hardest Christian moral convictions demand our response to the climate change problem The need to act now is URGENT Climate change leads to droughts, famine, floods, and these affect the poor (remember hurricane Katrina?)remember hurricane Katrina Greenhouse effect of factory farming: animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change and air pollution; land, soil, water degradation, and biodiversity loss
GMO’s: Genetically modified organisms Seeds that are genetically engineered to be resistant to pesticides/herbicide; these seeds are patented, and the companies who own the patent rights control the crops, the farmers, and the future of food (See Food, Inc)Food, Inc GMO’s have not been proven safe for consumption Major companies involved: Monsanto, Dupont # countries that require labeling of gmo’s or ban them altogether: 64! What can you do? Purchase less processed foods, look for Non GMO label, buy organic when possible March against Monsanto Documentaries: GMO OMG and Food, Inc.
The Global Water Crisis In 2007, one billion people lacked access to safe drinking water, one of the fundamental sources of life. We cannot survive without it! 12% of the world’s population uses 85% of the world’s water. One third of the world’s populations (2 billion people) uses 20L water per day. In the US, the average person uses 600L water PER DAY! Urban development affects the water cycle (rain water landing on pavement, etc)
More Water Facts: More than 400 million Africans now live in water-scarce countries Unless we change our ways, two-thirds of the world’s population will face water scarcity by 2025 Compared to today, five times as much land is likely to be under “extreme drought” by 2050 By 2030, nearly half of the world’s population – the majority living in underdeveloped countries – will be living in areas of high water stress The percentage of the Earth’s land area stricken by serious drought more than doubled between the 1970s and 2005
U.S. Water Facts: 18 States are currently facing droughts, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor 40 percent of all U.S. water withdrawals are for export Unless measures are taken, California will demand three times more groundwater than can be supplied over the next 100 years Florida‚ rapid use of groundwater has created thousands of sinkholes that devour anything, houses, cars and shopping malls, unfortunate enough to be built on top of them The Western U.S. is facing its warmest decades in over 500 years In 2007, Lake Superior, the world‚ largest freshwater lake, dropped to its lowest levels in 80 years and the water has receded more than 15 meters from the shoreline Lake Mead, the vast reservoir of the Colorado River, has a 50 percent chance of running dry by 2021
What can we do?? Reduce your water intake by taking shorter showers, installing an efficient showerhead, install a rainwater tank (a great option in Ohio-it can be used to connect to your toilet, garden hose, etc) Participate in/support ministries like Living Water-www.water.cc (drilling wells, supporting the water deprived)www.water.cc Documentaries Blue Gold Tapped Flow
The 3 R’s: Reduce In 2008, the average amount of waste generated by each person in America per day was 4.5 pounds. 1.1 pounds of that was recycled, and.4 pounds, including yard waste, was sent to composting. In total, 24.3% of waste was recycled, 8.9% was composted, and 66.8% was sent to a landfill or incinerated. This is problematic because of the documented impact of landfills on the earth’s atmosphere and on drinking water. In some parts of the world, though, for a variety of reasons people actually live on landfills.
The 3 R’s: Reduce Sometimes people live on landfills because they’re so poor that they build their lives around scavenging landfills for things like human hair and plastic bags. “In the New Delhi 70-acre Ghazipur landfill alone there are an estimated 350,000 scavengers, or ‘rag pickers’. Living in filth, people spend their days sorting the endless trash into towering mountains, searching for items they can sell. Plastic bags go for 5¢ a pound, and human hair fetches $18 a pound.”estimated 350,000 scavengers, or ‘rag pickers’.
The 3 R’s: Reduce So what can we do? Reduce Our Purchases Ask yourself if you really need the item in your hand before you purchase Ask if the item could be borrowed Consider thrift stores! Reduce Our Waste Consider the packaging involved in a product before you buy it Is it recyclable? Made from recycled materials? Is there unnecessary packaging to make the product more desirable? Consider buying in bulk, purchasing items in glass or aluminum packaging vs plastic, and #’s 1 and 2 plastics vs 3,4,5,6, and 7 (1 and 2 are the most commonly accepted).
The 3 R’s: Reuse Hopefully it’s clear that our consumption patterns in the U.S. make a huge negative impact on the world, which is why “Reduce” is the first of the “3 R’s.” We have to cut back on how much energy and other resources we use and how much waste we create. What we (think) we can’t reduce, though, we can at least reuse or recycle. THRIFT STORES like the Salvation Army and Village Discount are great resources for this. Yes, you might be buying a t-shirt that was originally made by someone like Jasmine, but at least by doing so secondhand you’re not creating new demand for one. Saving glass jars for smoothies, oatmeal, storing bulk purchased grains, beans, Repurpose old clothes for cleaning rags Really, just think before you toss!
The 3 R’s: Recycle Stark county-curbside recycling Summit county Sometimes, in the worst places of human misery, literally on the trash heap of our demand for more and more stuff, surprising grace can be found.grace can be found
As we close out this section on revisiting the 3 R’s, let’s talk about plastic bags. They’re important because really all 3 apply. We need to reduce our use of them and reuse/recycle the rest. Here are some waste and recycling facts about plastic bags from Every year, Americans use approximately billion plastic bags, creating (literal) tons of landfill waste. Plastic bags do not biodegrade. Light breaks them down into smaller and smaller particles that contaminate the soil and water and are expensive and difficult to remove. Less than 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled each year. Recycling one ton of plastic bags costs $4,000. The recycled product can be sold for $32.6 When the small particles from photodegraded plastic bags get into the water, they are ingested by filter feeding marine animals. Biotoxins like PCBs that are in the particles are then passed up the food chain, including up to humans.
Ways to reduce our Carbon footprints: 40% of the average American’s carbon footprint relates to direct energy use. The other 60% is indirect (things we buy!) Buy locally, buy less Reduce, reuse, recycle Drive less, buy a bike, consolidate shopping trips Vegetarian diet Don’t waste food, compost (food in landfills produces methane) How can my food choices impact my global neighbor? Vegetarian diet-reduces resources (takes 16 lbs of grain to produce 1 lb of beef!) 37% of the world’s harvested grain is fed to animals raised for slaughter, and in the US, it’s 66%!), large CAFO’s (concentrated animal feeding operations) are main contributors to pollution/global warming- methane and nitrous oxide emissions and animal waste (see documentaries Food inc, American meat, Our Daily Bread)
Community Supported Agriculture Reduces the pollution involved in getting food to large chain grocery stores (gas for trucks) Gardening Fair trade shopping How/why to save water Creative gifting-thrift store gifts, Heifer Int’l, MCC, Kiva, giving gift of time/babysittingHeifer Int’lMCCKiva Get involved in your local food bank Pray, read books with a group, come up with a plan of action!
Resources for learning more Documentaries: Food, Inc., No Impact Man, Tapped; Flow; Blue Gold; An Inconvenient truth; Gasland; Human Footprint; trashed; a place at the table, GMO OMGFood, IncNo Impact ManTappedFlowBlue GoldAn Inconvenient truthGaslandHuman Footprinttrasheda place at the tableGMO OMG Books: Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger (Ron Sider); Seven (Jen Hatmaker); Enough (Will Samson), The Social Justice Handbook (Mae Elise Cannon), Living More with Less (Doris Janzen Longacre), Everyday Justice (Julie Clawson), The Upside-Down Kingdom (Don Kraybill)Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger SevenEnoughThe Social Justice Handbook Living More with Less Everyday JusticeThe Upside-Down Kingdom Organizations Mennonite Central Committee Heifer International Sustainable Works Books Documentaries