Argumentative Essay: Conspicuous Non-consumption

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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Argumentative essay
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The fallacy of growth of economy being translated to mean the betterment of the peoples condition is grossly inappropriate. Beayan in No Impact Man asserts this growth we are supposed to be working for is literally pulling the rug from under us by destroying the planets ability to support us (p. 142). It is absurd having to realize that all the industrialism did not benefit the people but robbed the present generation and the future generation of a beautiful universe to sojourn.

Industrialism does consume the natural resources of the earth, and in time the resources become depleted. If industrialists were concerned of future generations, they would scale down operations for the sake of the progeny of the universe. Apparently, the controversial issue is that industrialists always interpret the growth of industries to mean more jobs for the people as well as income in the offing for the families. In the end, the people are left with a polluted environment devoid of the comfort and aesthetic value and is uncomfortable to live. The air has been grossly contaminated due to emissions of industries due to massive amounts of carbon emissions into the atmosphere (Verma, 2017). The impacts have transpired across the earth; global warming and respiratory problems. What hurts the conservationist thought is the fact that the Actions of the industrialists dont seem to scale down any moment soon. With increased industrial activity the earth one day will snap, and the situation will be completely unbearable, and existence on this planet might be intolerable.

The biggest challenge that consumerism poses to the earth is depletion of resources through the constant exploitation and indiscriminate use thereof. Through to demand for paper and paper stationery, forests have been brought down at alarming paces. The earth once covered with incredible green is slowly turning into a red planet with the bare ground being covered by nothing else other than soil. The industrialists never realise that the hydrological cycle is being tampered with and poses the challenge of the disappearance of steady rainfall. Across Africa drought devastates and indiscriminately in different parts of arid and semi-arid areas, people have had to survive on aid. The people have been shortchanged by industrialists who took away the forests, and consequently rain, and hide their heinous evil by paying hefty taxes and donating to charity at the expense of the people who rely on the agricultural activity being cast to hardship.

The concept of consumerism and that of industrialism both have one similar thing, and that is the blatant use of resources regardless of the need for conservation. People who engage in indiscriminate abuse of the environmental resource wont have anyone to blame when things finally get out of hand. Consumerism is totally against the principle of sustainable use in the realm of conserving natural resources (Akenji, 2014). Those of the view of sustainable development do know that for the earth to be a place worth living in the millennia of years to come, the people presently living must choose to conserve. There could be other critical factors why there ought to be conservation and that there not to be consumerism, but the key is the environmental; aspect.

The basic economic rule is that there can be no consumption without production. Proponents of consumerism have always stood for the concept despite the ramifications. It is visible that the earth has become overburdened due to population burst like the present times. The natural resources are almost being depleted so as to satisfy the ever growing demand. The impact of industries exploiting virtually every little support on the earth poses the challenge of exhaustion. Secondly, with the depletion and increased demand, industrial owners have turned to alternative ways of satisfying the demand such as genetically modified organisms. The biological and research conclusions have not yet ruled out the possibility of the resulting negative impact on the people but claims of far-reaching consequences have always been raised. It is the cycle of consumerism that has brought about the need to satisfy the demand at all cost. Commercial farming done at large scale have had slippery approaches to agriculture in a bid to fill demand; including too much application of fertiliser and too much application of pesticides and herbicides. The result is farm produce that is unfit for human use and causes harm and destruction to health over time.

It wont be a surprise to hear differing schools of thought on consumerism and industrialism some of them choosing to support the line of thinking. It is understandable though that through consumerism, producers have been able to make profits and drive the economy and people have been employed in the supply chain. Industries are responsible for millions of jobs provided to the people who can meet their requirements and those of their familys altogether. However, it is worth noting that the weight of the matters that need to be resolved as concerns the state of the universe and its people cannot be weighed alongside matters of economy and wealth creation as the earth and her aesthetic beauty diminishes due to deforestation, pollution and excessive mining.

The people no longer should be objects in a supply-demand chart. It suffices that indeed consumerism and industrialism ail the system and the world in general. The universe is on the brink of extinction if the hardline industrialists aren't stopped or scale down on those activities which affect the people, the environment and the future generations.



Akenji, L. (2014). Consumer scapegoatism and limits to green consumerism. Journal of Cleaner Production, 63, 13-23.

Verma, R. (2017). Industrialization and Its Impact on Indian Society. Journal of Social Sciences & Multidisciplinary Management Studies, 1(1), 5-9.

Beavan, C. (2010). No impact man: The adventures of a guilty liberal who attempts to save the planet, and the discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process. New York: Picador USA


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