Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Conundrum by David Owen - review and podcast interview

I did a review of David Owen’s excellent little book ”The Conundrum” for this weekend’s literary section of Danish Newspaper Politiken. I also did a 13-minute audio interview with David Owen about his book.

”The Conundrum” describes how – despite all good intentions – all our efforts to reduce environmental impact by creating more efficient technology end up paving the way for MORE consumption. High speed train make us go further; LED lighting lets us use much lighting everywhere; more efficient refrigerators expands our use of cold drinks, makes fridges available for more consumers – and expands our use of Air-conditioning as well.

David Owen concludes that we need a more fundamental shift – but that shift is a lot more difficult.

From the book:

”We’re consumers at heart, and our response to difficulties of all kinds involves consumption in one form or another: Just tell me what to buy. The challenge arises when consumption itself is the issue. How do we truly begin to think about less – less fossil fuel, less carbon, less water less waste, less habitat destruction, less population stress – when our sense of economic, cultural and personal well-being is based on more?”

”In truth we already know what we need to do, and we have for a long time. We just don’t like the answers. That’s the conundrum.”

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