The Treadmill

Responding to the Treadmill Invoking Leopold, Foster writes, “If people as individuals could simply change their moral stance with respect to nature and alter their behavior in areas such as propagation, consumption, and the conduct of business, all would be well.” Do you feel that such cynicism about our ability to change our morality is true or not?  Can we think differently? Can we change our behavior?  Defend your position.In your own words, define and explain the characteristics of the “treadmill of production,” according to Foster. Include, if you like, relevant terms from “The Story of Stuff.” How does understanding the “system” in this way change or impact your views on environmental ethics?How do we resist the “treadmill of production”?Foster argues, “Given the nature of the society in which we live, one must therefore be wary of solutions to environmental problems that place too much emphasis on the role of individuals, or too little emphasis on the treadmill of production and the higher immorality that it engenders.” In your view, what is he arguing here? What do you think is your role and your ethical responsibility to the environment as an individual living in this economic system?Finally, Foster appeals to us: “We must find a way of putting people first in order to protect the environment. . .  But this means taking seriously issues of social and economic inequality as well as environmental destruction.”  Imagine the revolution he calls for.  What would the world—all of our lives—look like if we actually found the way to do this? Engage in a little futuristic fantasy here.

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