chapter  7
18 Pages

What about my iPad?

The premise of this book is that we need rapidly to achieve reductions of some 90% in our consumption of energy if we are to avoid a climate-change catastrophe. The bioregional economy has been proposed as an alternative model of provisioning to the global market, and previous chapters have begun to sketch out how such an economy might function. It has become clear already that the quality and quantity of ‘consumption’ within such an economy would be wholly different from that which the globalised economy offers. This chapter addresses consumption, its link to personal identity and the way demand is manipulated and controlled not in the interests of society but in the interests of companies that produce the goods and services that we consume.2

While much attention has been paid to the potential of climate change to undermine our systems of provisioning for basic resources, much less attention has been paid to the way in which, as members of a human community, our social identity is equally important to our survival. For many people, their identity is built on energy-intensive patterns of consumption. How can they adjust to a world with far less energy available? How can we manage this transition? What aspects of a bioregional economy might provide substitutes for the identities offered by the globalised economy?