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The culture of stopping

From the publisher's blurb at John Wiley on Harald Welzer's book The Culture of Stopping - as sent to us by Bill Rees. You can read more, or order the book, on the Wiley website.

 

“Our culture has no concept of stopping. We continue to build motorways and airports for a future in which cars and planes may no longer exist. We’re converting our planet from a natural one to an artificial one in which the quantity of man-made objects – houses, asphalt, cars, plastic, computers and so on – now exceeds the totality of living matter. And while biomass continues to decline due to deforestation and species extinction, the mass of man-made objects is growing faster than ever. We’re on a treadmill to disaster.


To get off this treadmill, argues Harald Welzer, we need to learn how to stop: as individuals and as societies, we need to stop doing what we’re doing and say ‘enough’. We find it hard to do this because our culture has trained us to regard endless escalation as desirable, and we’re reluctant to surrender the material benefits of growth. But as long as the expansive cultural model continues to prevail, there will be no change of course in favour of sustainable and climate-friendly practices and lifestyles. We need a cultural model in which the beauty of stopping is given the recognition needed for the project of civilization to continue. Optimizing processes that are heading in the wrong direction only makes matters worse.


Stopping is imperative: it is a human cultural technique that we must re-learn. Only then can we achieve a new beginning.”


Harald Welzer, The Culture of Stopping: https://www.wiley.com/.../The+Culture+of+Stopping-p...

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