Re: Wow
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:54:18 -0500

Steve writes:
> Boy, has the Coke conversation gone big time international. I am very
>happy to have the likes of Mr. Muna Lakhani from South Africa, as well as the
>gentleman from Slovania, and other nations joining this conversation. It
>certainly has opened my eyes to some new perspectives that we lose here in
>consumer central.
> Thanks to all of you for joining in our conversation and efforts.

I am pleased that we are helping to inform you about the rest of the world -
it was interesting to find, at last years Green Goods conference (OECD,
Norway) that we in the so-called "third world" have often better solutions
than others - we have not lost sight of the fact that in most of the world,
hi-tech recycling (and other) solutions are simply not affordable, and have
been forced to find other ways of doing things....

One of the things I think we all wish our brothers and sisters in
environmental activism would do in the USA - tell your people facts such as
the following (although I am sure that most of you are aware of them):

The West, with 25% of the world's population, consumes and pollutes to the
tune of 80% of the world's resources

One kid in the USA utilises between 40 to 60 times the resources than one of
our kids do (moral question: which kid has more of a right to live?)

The average USA citizen generates something like 30 to 40 times the waste,
compared to the likes of us 3rd worlders

The crass consumerism, as advocated by the American dream, CNN, and soaps,
etc. are the single largest threat to the health and well being of the
planet, and all who live on it.

This is not meant to be anti-US; simply a statement of fact, and as it
impacts on the entire world, is worthy of our consideration - other issues,
such as the on-going arms race (notwithstanding the dissolution of the USSR)
has huge impacts on the planet. For example, to innoculate every child on
the planet against the 5 most communicable diseases would only cost the same
as TWO hi-tech fighter planes!

Even more frightening: this year, something like 40 million people will die
of hunger, mainly women and children - solution? if the US, alone, dropped
it's meat consumption by only 10%, it would release sufficient food stocks
to feed those 40 million - I am, of course, aware of the politics of food,
corruption, etc. but that is a simple truth.

So, in a seeming retraction of a previous statement, the US CAN be the
saviour of the planet - however, until the form of capitalism that you have,
coupled with excessive consumption patterns, change, there is not much
hope.... it is only a question of time before the rest of the planet gets
wise, and refuses to support such unsustainable living, which will make
those necessary changes happen. How will the US react to that? Try and
takeover the whole planet? Over my (and millions of others) dead body!

Use less - waste less - care for others; all our actions impact on the
environment; close the loop in production processes, and simply ban those
that cannot! Too simple? probably.... what other choice do we have?

Kind regards to you all - this Sunday, we celebrate our third year of
freedom, and the third birthday of our fledgling democracy - I am certain
that all people of goodwill will wish us well, as we grow towards a unified
country, a unified people, where all may live in peace......

I shall be priveleged to be spending tomorrow (Friday) with our beloved
President Nelson Mandela, and will, should the opportunity present itself,
discuss matters green!

Take care...
Mr. Muna Lakhani

Cellfax: 082-131-416-9160
28 Currie Road - Durban - 4001 - South Africa
Phone: +27-31-20-28-291