A Quarter Acre of Consumerism

Monday, January 3, 2011 12:21 PM By Stephen J Christophers

A quarter acre of Consumerism;(1/4) acre = 1 011.71411 m2; the suburban standard with white picket fence. It doesn't matter how one addresses it, there's no place like home, even if it's a Chinese reproduction:

The annual Australian carbon footprint is about 2.5 metric tons per person, second only to the United States. Australia's average house hold carbon footprint is 14.36 tonnes of CO2 per year. And to quote: "...on average, ones petrol powered mower spews out 87 lbs of greenhouse gases'". Something to remember when dry rooting the Victor around a Blacktown dust bowl, in an effort to garner the impression, everything's alright with the world. It's not all bad news for the Australian consumer however. If we look at air pollution alone, natural gas BBQ grills are definitely the greener option over fathers preferred method: old Creosote fence railings, petrol and a match. But, before we get too carried away with good behaviour, and throw another shrimp on the BBQ, lets look at the food we eat:

"Obesity in Australia has been described as an "epidemic." In 2007, the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that 67.4% of Australian adults are overweight; my experience has lead me to believe the Australian diet doesn't not discriminate, unlike its cultural tendencies. Nevertheless, with 23 to 24% of Australians under the age of 18 classified as overweight, some might sight a second "Baby Boom."

The Health Risks: In May 2008, Diabetes Australia, the national body for diabetes awareness and prevention, told the House of Representatives that the cost of obesity on the country's health system in 2005 was an estimated $25 billion AUD ($20 billion USD)."-- Wiki... - sorry Paul, forget the shrimp, maybe a funny hat instead and a Stinky Tofu Kebab. According to Australia's Health Minister, "four in five adult Australians are now at risk of heart disease the nation's leading fatal health problem - cardiovascular disease." - opportunities in health, right here ... right here peeps.

To just refresh on some simple statistics: In most industrialized economies, such as, Australia where the life expectancy is 78-81 years of age; and where, the average human produces 726kg of waste/garbage byproducts annually, one can assume over the mean life time of such an individual 57,354kg of waste to be produced, per life time. This however does not include industrial waste, byproducts or elements produced in the making of individual waste, only the final waste produced by the consumer... this is just the basic math.

So back to our appendage, what does the future hold for our quarter acre of Consumerism? ... did some one say, inflation?

"The Australian property bubble is an observation that real estate prices in Australia appear to be inflated (when compared to long-term averages, when compared to many other developed economies, when compared to rents and when compared to average income), and that this may constitute a real estate bubble. Broadly, Australian property prices have been rising in real terms for over 60 years, rose quickly between 1997 and 2003, since then they have stayed relatively constant in income terms to the present, 2010." -- Wiki...

I'm getting the impression that, everything just a little bloated, and not at all the slick picture of health Cathy Freeman would have us believe by sporting her full body condom at the Sydney Olympics - I wonder what Kim Beazley looks like in Spandex Lycra?

The following lecture by James H Kunstler explains in no uncertain terms, that which has become our suburban folly; "entropy made visible" - and looks at ways in which we are able to turn back the clocks, using better urban design. And therefore, bring life back to our local living spaces. This documentary is to the point. But, more-so with humor, addresses the tragedy that, in no uncertain terms, has become modern day suburban living.

::James Kunstler: On Suburbia::