How unchecked consumerism helps drive climate change
Author: Jennifier Ellen
As extreme weather events in Canada and around the world are linked to human-made climate change, there is one story that continues to be left out: the connection between climate change and the products we purchase. Recent research shows that across a product’s life cycle — from raw material extraction through manufacturing, distribution, use and disposal — the total embedded carbon emissions are 6.3 times the product’s weight. Interestingly, it is the product’s supply chain, or what we do not see related to making and distributing products, that is especially carbon intensive. In the context of human history, the changes to our relationship with the material world have happened in the blink of an eye. Our ancestors lived in direct connection with the land that physically and spiritually sustained them. Only in very recent human history have so many of us lived our lives at such a great distance from that which sustains us. Today, unchecked consumerism is helping drive a changing climate that is very much affecting all people.