Alan Thein Durning Quotes

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Alan Thein Durning Quotes

Dispossessed peasants slash-and-burn their way into the rain forests of Latin America, hungry nomads turn their herds out into fragile African rangeland, reducing it to desert, and small farmers in India and the Philippines cultivate steep slopes, exposing them to the erosive powers of rain. Perhaps half the worlds billion-plus absolute poor are caught in a downward spiral of ecological and economic impoverishment. In desperation, they knowingly abuse the land, salvaging the present by savaging the future.
— Alan Thein Durning —

Economists use the word consume to mean "utilize economic goods," but the Shorter Oxford Dictionary's definition is more appropriate to ecologists: "To make away with or destroy; to waste or to squander; to use up." The economies that cater to the global consumer society are responsible for the lion's share of the damage that humans have inflicted on common global resources.

— Alan Thein Durning

But the basic value of a sustainable society, the ecological equivalent of the Golden Rule, is simple: each generation should meet its needs without jeopardizing the prospects for future generations to meet their own needs.

— Alan Thein Durning

If the life-supporting ecosystems of the planet are to survive for future generations, the consumer society will have to dramatically curtail its use of resources - partly by shifting to high-quality, low-input durable goods and partly by seeking fulfillment through leisure, human relationships, and other nonmaterial avenues. We in the consumer society will have to live a technologically sophisticated version of the life-style currently practiced lower on the economic ladder.

— Alan Thein Durning

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