10 November 2007

Christmas is cancelled

The annual Christmas marketing onslaught has begun. My usual Christmas stress and anxiety have also returned, and now I know why.

I spent a little time on the Global Rich List yesterday, and came to an alarming conclusion. I entered the amount of money I thought I'd spend on Christmas this year, and found that $500 is more than 15% of the world's population earns in a year. Then I looked in a very thought-provoking book, Radical Simplicity by Jim Merkel, at a table which shows carbon footprint as it correlates to annual income. Someone earning $500 per year has a footprint of 1.5 to 4 acres. $500 spent largely on CCFC (cheap crap from China) has got to be at the high end of the range. When you compare that to the bioproductive land available per person of 4.7 acres, that Christmas spending is starting to look like a crime against humanity.

As a somewhat thoughtful atheist, I can't find any reason for me to participate. There is the nagging thought that it's for kids, but the irony of using up that much of the planet's resources for children's benefit is too much. The Standard Canadian Christmas is cancelled at the Shack. We'll probably mark the longest night with an appropriate beverage, but please, no Solstice cards.

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