We don’t all have the choice to become rich but we can all make the choice to be poorer.
Poverty is most often suffered, that’s why it’s obscene to promote it, that’s why I shouldn’t really use the term poverty but rather those of frugality or sobriety.
He who is happy no longer desires, he who desires is no longer happy
The ecological question highlights several realities, one of which is that 20% of people are responsible for 80% of pollution. And we can add that almost 100% of these 20% are what we can call rich. Should we hunt the rich? Perhaps not, but we must certainly review the condemnatory judgment regarding poverty.
If material poverty is undesirable because it is associated with discomfort and suffering and can be the cause of a whole host of shortcomings such as those related to education or health, it nevertheless has the advantage of having a low carbon footprint. Being super rich leads to being super polluting, no matter what anyone tells you. Owning a Tesla will always be more polluting than walking to work. Whatever one thinks, poor countries, by their frugality, have a moral authority towards rich countries on the ecological issue. If being very poor is not an option, it is appropriate to advocate a form of simplicity of life that reduces our carbon impact. We must ensure that the whole planet has access to education and medical care without being able to travel by private jet every weekend.
Poverty is a matter of perspective
I have never seen anyone so poor as someone whose only wealth was their money.
Our society is obsessed with money, the better to make us forget that there are other much more precious riches.
Material wealth is the cause of excessive consumption. Who says consumption, says pollution. It is because we aspire to be happier that we aspire to a more opulent life, but this is not the solution to our problem if we already have enough to feed or house ourselves.
A more ecological world needs wiser people
Spiritual and moral wealth
There is a form of wealth that has no limit and yet is not harmful to the environment. It is the wealth linked to our spiritual and moral education.
Being wiser does not cost more, it only requires more effort and will to progress every day in this field.
A radical idea to save the planet
The best thing you can do for the environment is to be poor materially and rich intellectually, morally and spiritually.
It is a fact that the rich pollute more than the poor and that the poor have more children than the rich. On the other hand, the more education we have, the fewer children we have, and the more humans there are, the more pollution there is. The solution to this equation is to create a new human class: relatively poor materially but highly educated, rather than rich and ignorant as is unfortunately more often the case.
When I say poor, I don’t mean indigent, I just mean not opulent, i.e., they have enough to feed themselves, to house themselves, and to do most of the things necessary for a dignified and satisfying life. All the necessities, that is to say, everything except the possibility of over-consuming, over-traveling, in short using more resources than the planet can produce.
Opulence should become guilty
It is a rather catholic idea, but it is true that there is a form of indecency to live in a way of splendor while the world runs to its loss. The extreme consumerism that most often accompanies the life of the wealthy is to be proscribed. It is irresponsible, selfish and pernicious. The web takes rich people as models because they are a symbol of success. Then everyone unconsciously imitates their unreasonable lifestyle. As long as Instagram or Tik tok are aping consumerism, we can’t change things for the better. These platforms are “educating” the next generation and this one seems even more lost than the last one in the end.
The 21st century model
If the stars of song, film and sport have influenced the 20th century, those of the 21st century must be embodied in the figures for the environmental fight. On a sinking ship, we listen to the captain and not to the violinist playing on the deck. On a planetary scale it should be the same, we stop listening to people who distract us but rather to experts and people committed to the climate issue.