Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Are western societies inherently wasteful?

Announcements Posted on
    • Thread Starter
    • 19 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...496047&index=9

    What do you think of this?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Yes, we knew that already.
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    you cant really say inherently wasteful! we just have an increased supply in the west due to our early adoption of capitalism & currency. Thus bringing us surplus supply.

    The free market has simply not adequately distributed the food freely. If surpluses were to dry up or food was more expensive people would be less wasteful.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    • 6 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    Capitalism is very wasteful. Worse still: capitalism has a need to expand, and economists seem to believe that there is an infinite amount of resources on this planet. That's a dangerous concoction.
    • 36 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Some of it's down to the government. For years the EU has been forcing fisherman to throw away perfectly good landed fish because they don't happen to meet regulations, and their constant meddling in the supermarkets is also creating a culture of confusion and mistrust:



    But I suspect the big retailers need kick up the backside too. For those who say "capitalism" is the problem I'd suggest that it could also provide the solution, there must be a profitable business in dealing with misshapen veg for example or getting other unwanted products back to market. If not then we may just have to accept that a certain % of natural waste is part of the process. No production chain will ever be 100% efficient.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    In a world where people die starving every day, yet another part of the world encourages eating competitions, I would say yes.
    • 2 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    Humans are inherently wasteful. I think your question, which restricts waste to only western societies a baseless argument. All countries produce waste, even, yes, in the east.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aust1n)
    In a world where people die starving every day, yet another part of the world encourages eating competitions, I would say yes.
    Good point... but what can we do about it? People need to self regulate and become overall more conscious human beings but they don't/ can't. What shall we do?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    At certain levels of decadence any society becomes wasteful. It is not unique to western societies, but it is affecting us now more than any other society because we have become decadent over the last few centuries. The decadence of the late Roman era can be exemplified by the upper class making themselves regurgitate in Vomitoria in order to stuff themselves with lavish 8-course meals. Today it is similar - we buy too much food, too many pieces of plastic crap and other such things and we dispose of what we do not wish to consume at the time in spite of its continued usefulness.

    Capitalism can be said to be wasteful, but much of the modern concept of 'progress' is based around the idea of consuming more resources, whether they are renewable or not. Some resources consumed or made use of are physical resources such as oil or water, but others are mental or intellectual resources such as scientific techniques or socio-political ideas ideas like democracy. Ideas can not be 'consumed' to the point of end like finite resources can be, but they can still be exhausted by society.
    • 11 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MTR_10)
    Good point... but what can we do about it? People need to self regulate and become overall more conscious human beings but they don't/ can't. What shall we do?
    A uncorrupt government intervention is an answer to that.

    And before anyone negs me, use your brains try and come up with a better solution if you disagree!
    • 7 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I can't remember the last time I threw food away. I'm just not that much of a callous ****. Wasting food when half the world is starving should carry a heavy fine.
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I buy the stuff that's going out of date... Get it there and scrum with the pensioners!
    Anyway pretty sure it's economic rather than geographic or cultural, those 6 star hotels in dubai look pretty wasteful.
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I buy the stuff that's going out of date... Get it there and scrum with the pensioners!
    Anyway pretty sure it's economic rather than geographic or cultural, those 6 star hotels in dubai look pretty wasteful.
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I don't think this is an issue that is specific to western civ.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    'Wasting' food like this is (EU nonsense aside) the more efficient way of doing things. To not have wastage in shops means you need to sell everything, which practically speaking means there needs to be a fair margin less food available than people want to buy. For there to be less food thrown away at home, it needs to be much more expensive.

    A society that doesn't 'waste' much food is simply a poor society. But don't worry, food does indeed grow on trees.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by the mezzil)
    A uncorrupt government intervention is an answer to that.

    And before anyone negs me, use your brains try and come up with a better solution if you disagree!
    Then it becomes a dictatorship (or that's what the media would call it anyway).

    Besides, is it really the states job to control people's eating? If an individual can't see anything wrong with eating excessively to win a competition then we have a serious problem.

    I think a better solution is self regulation and the only thing which will change people is shame and reflection on their behaviour. Religion can and does encourage this but sadly it is grossly underappreciated in today's society.
    • 11 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MTR_10)
    Then it becomes a dictatorship (or that's what the media would call it anyway).

    Besides, is it really the states job to control people's eating? If an individual can't see anything wrong with eating excessively to win a competition then we have a serious problem.

    I think a better solution is self regulation and the only thing which will change people is shame and reflection on their behaviour. Religion can and does encourage this but sadly it is grossly underappreciated in today's society.
    Well then we sack all the heads of the media for over reaction.

    The media is full of idiots anyway, who label pratically everyone either a chav, yob, hero, peadophile, rapist or foreigner, so it would not be much of a change And well it is if you're a communist ( I'm not i'm just saying) also I don't think so much as religion, but more morals in general will be needed.

    Anyway it is a serious problem, and the state can do a lot to solve it! Society only breaks down when the government doesn't take action to support it.
    • Thread Starter
    • 19 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ThatPerson)
    Humans are inherently wasteful. I think your question, which restricts waste to only western societies a baseless argument. All countries produce waste, even, yes, in the east.
    It is not baseless. The western world is the heart of capitalism and the amount of waste generated by the western world is incomparable to any other in the world. Check your sources, mate.
    • Thread Starter
    • 19 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Llamageddon)
    I don't think this is an issue that is specific to western civ.
    But it is almost a trademark of the western world.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?

    this is what you'll be called on TSR

  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?

    never shared and never spammed

  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide the button to the right to create your account

    Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: April 12, 2012
New on TSR

Your favourite film of the year?

For you personally what has been the best 2014 movie

Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.