Celine : Hey Hildy, how have you been?
Hildy : I am fine. Indeed it’s been quite a while now. What kept you so busy all these months?
C: Pondering over existence, what about you?
H: You pretentious narcissist. I have been happily binge watching movies and series on Netflix
C: So you are actively accelerating the Climate crisis, apart from myriad things you do to destroy the planet?
H: How am I watching Netflix contribute to the climate crisis?
C: I didn’t know that either until last week. People watching Top 10 shows in a region could leave carbon footprint equivalent to driving a hefty car beyond Saturn.
H: First of all do you think this constant inflow about what’s causing climate crisis and how individuals can save the planet serve any purpose?
C: I do think it raises awareness. Don’t you think?
H: I have mixed feelings about it. At times I think George Carlin was right, when he said “Planet is fine, people are fucked”, but other times I do worry about the planet. Regardless of the position, I think all these charades of using paper straws, going vegan, using paper covers, not shipping charging brick with phones, using recycled aluminum etc are pure marketing gimmicks and a way for big corporate to show that they are doing something about climate crisis, which was the direct result of the practices of these big corporations over last 4-5 decades.
C: I don’t think so. We are responsible for planet’s ill health and we must do something about it, don’t you think? I do agree that big corporate did play a part in contributing to climate disaster, but us individuals also must share the blame
H: I agree that us individuals are culpable, but to what extent is the question. Individuals are turned into consumers and are made to consume non-stop. All leading to the downfall of human species
C: What do you mean?
H: All of us are bombarded with stuffs, stuffs and more stuffs. We are forced to consume stuffs on a regular basis. While we are consuming, we are also made to feel guilty of wreaking havoc on the planet. Let’s take the case of Apple. They release 4-5 phones every year and contribute to e-waste. Who is going to lose anything, if they release phones every 3 years? But they cannot, since their bottom lines will be hit. Instead of fixing this, what they do? They say they are removing charging bricks from our devices so they can be carbon neutral by 2030. Don’t you think it’s absurd?
C: I don’t think it’s absurd. There are people with 4-5 year old phones and who might be upgrading to the latest. Apple needs to meet the consumer demands, don’t they?
H: I don’t agree. These companies are artificially creating the demand in first place and then try to meet the demands by indulging in such acts. We don’t have to stick with Apple alone. Take any large corporations, be it car manufacturers, cheap air travel companies, bottled water companies and list goes on endlessly. They create a demand first and then meet the demand by making us consume more. The not so latest entrants who are taking this absurdity to the stratosphere are the online companies.
C: What is wrong with Online companies? I am able to order stuffs from my home’s comfort and receive it in no time. How much time am I saving? What’s wrong in that?
H: have you ever wondered if you would have bought the stuffs that you buy online if you were to visit a store and buy?
C: I haven’t, but I might have gone and bought it if I need it.
H: I highly doubt so. These companies manipulate us into buying more with ridiculous discounts and offers. Who are we fooling?
C: I still believe it is best for consumers. Don’t you think these companies came to rescue of millions of people during the lock down? Elderly people and people who are vulnerable were able to get what they want from these companies, without having to step of out of the house
H: I am not denying it. But have you thought about the millions of workers, who worked during the lock down. They were paid meager wages to work during the pandemic. You must have heard about the harsh working conditions in the Distribution centers of the E-commerce industry and the sufferings of the delivery personnel.
C: oh oh, aren’t you going on a tangent here?
H : No, all these contribute to the climate crisis. Who needs a pair of shoes in 45 minutes? Or who needs a mobile on the same day?
C: There are people, who will be in urgent need of such things. Why target them?
H: It’s not that I am targeting them. These companies create a sense of urgency in us and actively try to stop us from thinking about our purchasing decision. Saying an offer ends in 10 minutes will definitely make you purchase not so urgent things. These companies have algorithms that know more about us than even we know ourselves. They know how to make us purchase stuffs. Imagine what it would take to deliver the goods at such fast pace? How many people had to work their asses off to satisfy your craving for a new goody.
C: Don’t be a saint. Haven’t you ordered anything from e-commerce stores? I know you order books online and sometimes even choose next day delivery by paying a higher cost. Whom are you trying to fool?
H: I have ordered books. If I wasn’t provided with a choice, then I wouldn’t have bought it or waited a couple of days for the book to arrive. See, these companies are creating the urgency and profiting out of my impatience.
C: Again, we are going on a tangent. How come all this contribute to the climate crisis.
H: Don’t you think the amount of packaging that goes in for shipping goods to consumer, the fuel cost, all the automated systems used to deliver the goods, the computing power, the data centers and on and on, contribute to climate crisis? All these delivery trucks/vehicles traversing through the city day in and day out, don’t you think they are contributing more to the climate crisis?
C: Are you saying that if there were no online stores, there would be no climate crisis? Wouldn’t you have gone to the shop and purchased the very item that you bought online? Imagine 1000s of people traveling in their own vehicles and going to a shop to purchase stuffs? At least in case of E-commerce companies, few people are delivering goods to us. In that way the number of vehicles on the road is reduced, don’t you agree?
H: I don’t have a clear answer to prove that won’t be the case. Here again, why should people be traveling in their own vehicles to the shop? If we had a good public transport system, wouldn’t that be beneficial? Slowly our public transport systems are taken over by the Ubers and Lyfts of the world, also people are made to buy own vehicles, because they are made to believe that their individual comfort is more important than public good. And by the way don’t even let me start to talk about these rental companies.
C: It seems you’re letting the individuals completely off the hook. Isn’t it unfair to the big corporate?
H: No, I am not. People should also take some responsibility for not thinking through the consequences of their actions but still go on talking about saving planet
C: Why shouldn’t people talk about saving planet and buy stuffs online at the same time?
H: Don’t you see the irony in it. You are actively contributing to the climate crisis and yet trying to solve the very problem you create in the first place. And the countries gather to come up with a solution to this crisis. Biggest irony of is it all the leaders fly in their planes, which contribute more to increased carbon emission. Finally what they do? They blame it on Individuals to take actions.
C: I am going crazy. Are you saying we need to care about environment or not?
H: I will answer with these powerful lyrics from Linkin Park “In the End it doesn’t even matter“
C: So, all these rants are for nothing. Thanks for wasting my time you imbecile