Environmentalist v Greedy Consumer.

This article looks at the two very different approaches to the environment. 

Greed, Consumerism and the Environment

In the twenty-first century there is a growing awareness that the Earth’s fragile ecosystem is slowly being polluted and destroyed by human kind. The difficulty in addressing this issue can be seen when trying to illustrate the damage caused to the environmental by the action of greedy consumers. Greed when seen in consumerism, has a real negative impact on the environment.

Consumerism and greed bring to the fore the difficulties in addressing the problems facing the environment, because they can have both a positive effect and a negative impact on the natural environment. One of the motivations behind the website comes from a Christian Environmentalist’s concern that greed is damaging the natural environment.

In Western countries most consumers have become part of an urban dwelling community which has lost touch with nature and forgotten that if human kind is to survive they have to rediscover the importance of living in harmony with the natural environment. The growing concern over the division between the rich and greedy consumer, and the world’s poor is of concern to all caring people, and is in the view of the writer a major contributing factor to the large number of African economic migrates. Africa also provides some troubling examples of people getting rich on the bribes and monies meant for the poor. 

The negative behaviour of the greedy could be countered by emphasis on the Christian virtues of Justice, Prudence (wisdom), Temperance, Fortitude (courage), Faith, Love and Peace. In particular prudence, temperance and fortitude could provide a basis in assisting the development of alternative approaches to how people live their lives. As people develop their understanding of justice it increases their awareness of the needs of others and the world in which they live. A person’s moral perspective is relevant to their position in life, for the rich person it may be morally right to spend their money on expensive consumer goods because it creates employment for other people. The problem is not spending as such but excessive and greedy spending on things that cause harm.

People can feel helpless when they are aware of problems, but those aware of the problems threatening the environment can make a contribution to tackling the problems. Firstly, Christians could take action individually and collectively to support groups that are working to address these issues. (The groups listed in the links page are always looking for help.) They could write letters of protest to politicians, companies and the media. Support organisations that are working for changes that include: reduction in the transportation of consumer goods which cause pollution through the use of road, air and sea freight, and help for the most vulnerable poor people affected by environmental damage. People can also reflect on the own behaviour.

Take a look at the other articles listed below.

David Rogers Ministries

  There has been a number of reports in the press relating to greed and how it materializes in acts of bribery and corrupts. Greed for money encourages people to avoid tax, engage in fraud and get caught in press stings. In this section of the site there is a series of articles on greed, which you may find interesting. 

Scroll down to read articles on Greed, Consumerism and the environment. To read articles click on title. 

Why is greed a threat to our society?

Greed has helped in widening the gap between rich and poor, damaging the environment, creating injustice, creating unemployment and society deprivation. The 2008 11th edition of the Oxford English dictionary says: “Greed is an intense and selfish desire for food, wealth or power.” The modern understanding has Germanic origins but the Christian understanding has been derived from the Latin avaritia from avarus meaning greedy. It is also associated with gluttony which is habitual greed or excess in eating, and covetousness having a great desire to possess something belonging to someone else. These are two of the Seven Deadly Sins. On the other hand some people see greed as being good for economic growth. Greedy consumers and needless panic buying are all good for the economy. Greed is a complicated subject that cannot be discussed in a few short paragraphs. The greed page on this site will examines various aspects of the subject.

Environmental Ethics and Consumerism.

This article looks at and compares environmental ethics and consumerism.