Everyone praises attempts by individual citizens to reduce their carbon footprints by reducing their consumption of goods and thus, the production of goods. I know that from personal experience. No one objects even though those attempts reduce our city’s, state’s, nation’s and world’s GDP.

Then, why is it that almost all institutions, especially our political and economic ones, are driven to expand production and consumption of goods and worship economic growth which, in most cases, increases our carbon footprint?

Answering that question and the question of how to reduce growth would take more words than are allowed in a letter to the editor, but that is a question we should all wrestle with. Too few citizens and almost no leaders are doing so.

I’ll throw out my belief quickly that many, perhaps most, individuals who do reduce their consumption and develop other non-material means to thrive in life, are happier for that effort. That leads to a balancing, final conclusion based on the Golden Rule that the truly poor do need more goods, but our political and economic leaders are, again, woefully out of touch in terms of how our society distributes goods fairly.

Harris Webster

Montpelier

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