What is the most unsustainable activity you have ever seen?
So I was taking my daughter upstairs last night when I happened to look outside the window and saw a “Mobile Grooming Salon” for dogs and cats. The big tricked out van looked something like this:
Anyway, while I suppose this could conceivably save the energy of individual pet owners each driving to a salon in a world of overconsumption and cheap gasoline, I don’t think I saw this van in my copy of The Transition Handbook: from oil dependency to local resilience [which I just started reading and will blog on eventually]. Though it does occur to me just now that this van could easily be replaced by a plug-in hybrid in the near future, and essentially always stay charged up as it moved from home to home. Hmm. Would that make it sustainable, assuming the grid goes low-carbon?
Anyway, it reminded me of my earlier post “What is the most unsustainable piece of junk you own?”
I plan to keep expanding on the Ponzi scheme discussion. So I’m gathering examples of unsustainability at every scale — things that won’t survive the coming collapse (assuming we are not smart enough to act in time to prevent it). We’ve already hit your personal unsustainable items — from wipe warmers to clothes driers.
Now I’m interested in slightly larger scale unsustainable things that you have seen or read about. I’m talking electrifyied walking (aka the Segway). Or this climate crime: The Versace beach will be refrigerated.
I’d also be interested in any interesting factoids and statistics (with links). My favorite in this regard was from a 2006 Washington Post story, “Flush With Success, and Looking to Spend Bathrooms Becoming Retreats in Americans’ Pursuit of Luxury“:
Spending on luxury bathrooms — those costing at least $8,000 — will be $22 billion this year, compared with $7.3 billion in 2003, according to the Market Forecast Report, published by the trade magazine Kitchen and Bath Business.
That is 10 times what the U.S. government will spend on AIDS research this year. It is six times the annual budget of Kenya.
I’m guessing that we won’t be seeing a new record for a long time, given the collapse of the housing Ponzi scheme bubble.
Anyway, what is the most unsustainable activity you have ever seen?