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PHILOSOPHY 104 (STOLZE) Notes on Dale Jamieson, Ethics and the Environment, chapter 7 Notes on Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff.

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Presentation on theme: "PHILOSOPHY 104 (STOLZE) Notes on Dale Jamieson, Ethics and the Environment, chapter 7 Notes on Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff."— Presentation transcript:

1 PHILOSOPHY 104 (STOLZE) Notes on Dale Jamieson, Ethics and the Environment, chapter 7 Notes on Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff

2 Introduction The goal of Leonard’s book = “to unpack the Story of Stuff –the flow of materials through through the economy—as simply as possible” (p. xxvi) Leonard’s methodology: to identify interconnections The problem: ecological limits; and so not primarily “individual behavior and poor lifestyle choices, but the broken system—the deadly take-make-waste machine” (p. xxvi) The solution: bring about a transition from an economy based on limitless economic growth to one based on sustainable development Three points of clarification: she’s not against Stuff, she’s not romanticizing poverty, and she’s not bashing the U.S. But she is criticizing capitalism! (pp. xxi-xxii)

3 Chapter 1: Extraction Trees Water Rocks

4 Trees The economic value of forests (besides lumber and paper!): carbon sequestration, filter fresh water and maintain planetary hydrologic cycle, maintain soil health by keeping top soil in place, provide chemicals used in medicines, maintain biodiversity The aesthetic value of forests: Jack Kerouac quote on p. 6 Some ways to save trees: stop clear cutting and adopt sustainable methods of forest management, reuse and recycle paper and wood products

5 Water Water sewage Safe drinking water Water conflicts Water justice: fair sharing and allocation of water Making water use visible: virtual water and water footprint (www.waterfootprint.org)

6 Rocks Open-pit mining Examples: gold, diamonds, coltan, petroleum (case studies of Ecuador and Nigeria), and coal Recycling cell phone and other electronic devices Three ways to transform extraction: at “the front end” (e.g., less packaging), at “the back end” (e.g. recycling), and “in our hearts and minds” (e.g., by finding nonmaterial ways to meet our needs and desires and by sharing with others)

7 Chapter 2: Production A case study: cosmetics Leonard’s other examples of ordinary Stuff: a cotton T-shirt, a book, a computer Stupid Stuff: aluminum cans, PVC plastic and phthalates Key questions to ask about the production process: --Were toxic ingredients used to make it? --What was it like to be one of the factory workers who helped create it? --Was any part of the production so distasteful that rich countries with higher standards refused to do it? (The question of environmental racism on p. 87.) Bill McDonough on design and sustainability (p. 103) Biomimicry (pp ) Another case study: Bhopal, India in 1984 (pp. 90-2)

8 Chapter 3: Distribution Supply chains: lean manufacturing and lean retail Transportation methods: trucks, container ships, and planes Three case Studies: H&M, Amazon, and Wal-Mart Local alternatives: energy and retail outlets (food, books, etc.); transition towns Barbara Ehrenreich on the moral value of solidarity = “love between people who may never meet each other, but share a vision of justice and democracy and are willing to support each other in the struggle to achieve it” (p. 142).

9 Chapter 4: Consumption A Case study: bottled water Shopping as a “sacred rite” Consumption, happiness, and happiness Time vs. Stuff The recent history of the U.S. as a consumer nation Two “tricks of the trade”: planned obsolescence and advertising Consumers vs. citizens Consumption and climate equity Duane Elgin and Alan During on redistribution, reverence, and sustainability (p. 181)

10 Chapter 5: Disposal Five kinds of waste: (1)Industrial waste (2)Municipal solid waste (3)Construction and demolition waste (4)Medical waste (5)Electronic waste The “away” myth: by burial, fire, or shipping offshore The limits of recycling Zero waste?

11 Chapter Six: Epilogue Individual responses Four paradigm shifts: (1) Redefine progress (2)Do away with war (3)Internalize externalities (4)Value time over Stuff Change and hope


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