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a blog by Chris Barrow

Affluence and its cost

The first use of the term “affluence” is attributed to J K Galbraith in his 1958 book “The Affluent Society”, in which he wrote:

“In the affluent society no useful distinction can be made between luxuries and necessities.”

Last night I sat down and watched Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and was mesmerised by his speaking ability, by the supporting graphics and by the message. As requested, I want to tell as many people as I can to watch the presentation. Having done may fair share of retail therapy in the last few weeks, I feel culpable in the destruction of our environment as a I strive to purchase more “necessities” for the comfort of myself and others. What a price we pay for our affluence. I may not rush out and sell my gas-guzzling cars today, but I am going to start thinking about my carbon footprint more seriously. On a more positive note – I made the effort and took my first run of 2007 last night – in high winds and driving rain I staggered around for 45 minutes and returned exhausted, wheezing and full of self-appreciation. It’s a start.

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