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The American Dream:
Transcript of The American Dream:
Sources and Bibliography
Renewable Energy is Sustainability
If we want to live by the American Dream and be sustainable, we need to focus all our attention to renewable energies. Just stretching our finite resources is being less bad, we need to be all good.
The reason renewable energy hasn't made a speedy progress is that back in the Industrial Revolution up to the modern day we were all made to believe that coal, oil, nuclear, and natural gas was going to last us an indefinite amount of energy supply. However this isn't the case and scientist predict that the way we're consuming materials, it will take the next 70 years or so to deplete oil and natural gas reserves and around 250 years to deplete coal reserves.
How will we go on reusing and recycling these materials? Well there are two ways we can more effectively close the loop on the linear product system. First, design products that can be easily taken apart and separated into their fundamental materials. Secondly, focus more on renewable energies to power our nation so we don't constantly bleed out pollutants.
The Beginning of the End
We live in a world filled with more than 7 billion people, each person in America produces more or less than 4.5 pounds of garbage. That's just America with about 310 million people. All of these numbers add up very quickly and most garbage from America gets piled up in other countries. The American Dream needs to be rethought.
The Nation of Consumers
The American Dream
The American Dream is an idea that everyone can have more than enough materials to use and consume.
The American Dream:
A Nation of Consumers
"For our practical purposes, the system is closed, and the Earth's basic elements are valuable and finite. Whatever is naturally here is all we have. Whatever humans make does not go "away".
Cradle to Cradle:
Remaking the way we make things.
"You cannot live on a finite planet using a linear system."
Story of Stuff
"Today’s industrial infrastructure is designed to chase economic growth. It does so at the expense of other vital concerns, particularly human and ecological health, cultural and natural richness and even enjoyment and delight."
However we cannot go on and consume so many materials we need a plan for a closed loop product system. This system means that the end of one product will be the beginning of another.
Berry, Wendell. "The Unsettling of America" San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1977. N. pag. Print.The author describes two sides to the energy crisis, the exploiter and the nurturer. These two have very different view points and because of our government being more exploiter than nurturer, we grown and evolved into this idea that we can get so much from very little very quickly; which is another reason why we are sloppily wasting resources. He wants to educate and express his opinion on the current issue of the national energy crisis. "...the basic cause of the energy crisis is not scarcity; it is moral ignorance and weakness of character. We don't know how to use energy, or what to use it for." A great point, for the American dream to succeed and for the idea of sustainability to be achievable we need to use our energy effectively and stop bleeding out toxic byproducts from 'progress'.
"Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" By McDonough William. New York: North Point, 2002. N. pag. Print.Cradle to Cradle is a system that redesigns products to reuse and recycle them in a closed loop, that the end of one product means the beginning for another. This idea is used by nature and nature does not waste energy and it also does not conquer all the other organisms or life on its land but it learns how to live along beside it, which the author talks about to. The authors purpose was to inform and educate that there is a better solution to designing, disposing, and most importantly reusing products. "For our practical purposes, the system is closed, and the Earth's basic elements are valuable and finite. Whatever is naturally here is all we have. Whatever humans make does not go away." The author focuses a lot on closed-loop systems that can, and probably will, provide the best option for our waste disposal system; the idea of sustainability is what this author focuses on the most.
Darling, Jay N. ""Time to Take an Inventory of Our Pantry"" Cartoon. Drake Heritage Collections. Iowa Heritage Digital Collections, n.d. Web.The cartoon illustrates mother nature working hard to make everything, including all the natural resources and then below it shows civilizations and politics completely using up and disregarding all of mother natures hard work. The pantry that mother nature filled is now empty because of civilization and politics, so the American dream doesn't include the idea of sustainability. To show how we forget how much finite resources we are simply wasting. "Mother nature spent a million years putting up preserves for us- now look at 'em!,"Resources are being wasted and depleted very quickly.
Diamandis, Peter H., and Steven Kotler. ""Our Grandest Challenge"" "Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think" [New York] 2012: 6-9. Print.The author focuses a lot on the problem with over-population and over consumption and says we need to stretch out resources in order to prolong our sustainability. He has a big dream that together we can achieve anything, he informs us on our ever expanding technology and access to information and how that impacts the urge to consume materials. "If you can't stop population growth of people, you have to stretch the resources those people use. And stretch them a lot." The author believes the answer to sustainability is to stretch out the materials as much as possible.
Engelman, Robert. ""Beyond Sustainababble"" State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? N.p.: n.p., n.d. 3-11. Print.The author explores the idea if we could sustain ourselves throughout our constant consumption of materials. He focuses on the very large population of 7.1 billion people and if we cant lower our population the we need to lower our individual consumption. However eventually with a bigger and bigger population individual consumption will get so minuscule that it would be impractical to do anything. SO the author is very clear on that the American Dream is not a sustainable idea. The author wants to inform us how bad the consumption of materials really is. "Humanity is currently consuming the ecological capacity of 1.5 Earths. That suggests that no more than 4.7 billion people could live within the planets ecological boundaries without substantially reducing average individual consumption." America has become a nation of consumers, so much is consumed that we have become greedy with our resources.
"Story of Stuff" Dir. Annie Leonard and Jonah Sachs. Story of Stuff Project. N.p., 2007. Web. Dec. 2013.The "Story of Stuff" is the system our products go through to be as they are in the supermarket and then what happens to them after we throw them out. Turns out a lot of energy is used and problems arise from this system to the point of endangering our own health, and the companies don't seem to care as long as they're making a profit! It isn't looking good for the American dream and especially sustainability, we just cant keep going on like this. The author wants to inform and educate many people, as a lot of them are simply not informed or eluded from the truth of what these companies actually do. "You cannot live on a finite planet using a linear system," Clearly, this states that on a planet where we have limited amounts of resources, cannot exist a system of making and then wasting products indefinitely. So I can't say that the American dream fits into the idea of sustainability.