Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
Somewhere, in the back of your mind, you’re a little terrified of the peak-oil apocalypse, where man turns on man and we start waging tribal warfare for what little dribs and drabs of fossil fuels we have left (wait, that hasn’t happened already?). You traded in your car for a bike, you’re praying for the solar power revolution. You know what’s really going to give you a heart attack? A new study in the American Chemical Society’s journal that found that Americans waste — just straight-up throw away — the equivalent of 350 million barrels of oil a year in the form of food. That’s about 70 times the amount of oil in the BP Gulf oil spill.
Basically, we’re tossing more than a quarter of all the food we grow, package, ship, buy, cook, serve and store, including almost a full third of all our dairy, grains and eggs. But I’m not wagging fingers; I’ve forgotten about stuff in my fridge, been too lazy to figure out what to do with stuff that’s past its prime, and tossed my own share of food, much as it breaks my heart. But we can all listen to our better angels and eat the food we’re fortunate to have, and here are a few tips on how to keep or use stuff up.
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.