Linkage #17: The Story Of Stuff

<<< >>>

“You can not run a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely.” – Annie Leonard

Annie Leonard explains the Story of Stuff to you, from extraction to production to distribution, consumption and disposal.

Here’s how the website describes The Story Of Stuff:

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

I found this very interesting and very well made! Enjoy!

3 Replies to “Linkage #17: The Story Of Stuff”

  1. It’s a good film and a very good explanation of why we are doomed. I had already seen it before (and linked to it in my blog, in portuguese) which generated a small discussion with a friend of what we can really do to create a more sustainable and just world. The problem is that I don’t believe that reusing and recycling is the answer, because there are too many of us (human beings), using increasing amounts of energy. Even if the western or developed countries used energy a lot mor efficiently, when all the other peoples start to develop the necessary amount of energy will rise.

    That’s why I think that we should start to control human population, by the only civilized means that we have: birth control (how many children anyone can have) and birth control (at what age you can have children — the later, the better). But this will be very difficult, specially with the religious surge that we have been witnessing in the world.

  2. Well, I think that there are a lot of ways to conserve energy and there are a lot of ways to “produce” energy, and I don’t think the issue is how to save energy. Personally, I think nuclear power plants are a good way to provide energy (much better than coal for sure), and in some cases it can also be good to use solar energy or have hydroelectric power plants. That should not be the problem.

    I think the problem is more that we destroy the planet in other ways and – as they say in the film – we ruin other countries’ economies and less fortunate people have to suffer because we want cheaper goods. AND we don’t care enough to produce things that don’t use a lot of chemicals that are bad for us. For example, it is possible to produce compostable “plastic” bottles made from corn, like the company Biota makes them (, why don’t we do that all the time then? Then of course, even if every company did that, the corn would probably be grown in one of the poorest countries in the world (instead of crops for them to eat) and shipped across the oceans, etc. And all that aside, in most countries it is totally ridiculous to buy bottled water anyway because the tap water is of better quality anyway. (At least that’s true for Germany.)

    Anyway, birth control sounds like a very radical way for anything and I disagree with a strategy that limits reproductive rights ( But even if I didn’t, I think your strategy wouldn’t work anyway.
    For one thing, contraceptives aren’t 100% safe and even if you propagate their use, there will still be a lot of “accidents”.
    More importantly, the societies in which most children are born are poor, and so even if you tell people not to have more than one child or two children, they’ll have more children anyway (especially if they need the “work force”), and you can’t really “punish” them if they don’t have anything to begin with. Like, if you said, “you can send two children to school, but if you have any more children, you have to pay for their schooling” – then well, the kid just won’t go to school.
    Also, by telling people to only have one child, after 40 years you will have an overaged society, which is never good.

    Anyway, I suppose you won’t agree with me, but I still certainly appreciate your comment. :)

    Here are some suggestions, while I’m at it, of movies and things that are related to the topic in one way or another.

    The Future Of Food

    Walmart: The High Cost Of Low Price

    The Global Warming Swindle

    Global Warming – Doomsday Called Off

    And as for reproduction in poor countries, I think this is vaguely connected:

    Emily Oster: What do we know about the spread of AIDS?

  3. Well, human population will have to be — and will be — controlled. That’s because it cannot grow forever on a finite world. There a lots of ways to control human population, either natural or artificially, voluntarily or not. We just have to choose how we want it to be done. If we don’t, “nature” will do it for us, in the way it does for any other living population: hunger.

    As to the overaged population problem, that’s a natural consequence of all the artificial and voluntary population control mechanisms. The question we must ask ourselves is: do we dare to try the alternative?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *