A Drop in Living Standards?

I ask myself the same questions again that I asked already a few days ago. Here they are:

“A drop in living standards to sustainable levels? It seems to me, hardly anyone is prepared for a drop in their living standards especially if our leaders do not have the guts to insist on it.
What then is most likely to happen in the near future?
Some more far thinking people tell us, something catastrophic may happen, namely the collapse of our natural support systems. . . . The majority of people so far resist believing all this. especially when the leaders give the impression that it is all right to just continue with our way of living the way it is. So, why change anything when we have such a ‘good life’; isn’t this the attitude of most people?”

I say it again, the majority of people so far resist believing that a drop in living standards to sustainable levels is necessary. I would say, in all war situations people generally did accept a drop in their living standards. They had to, right? My own experience in World War Two and the years after the war (in Germany that is) showed me that people could quite well exist with a huge drop in their living standards. Actually, a lot of people seemed to live a healthier life when food was scarce. This of course does not include people who suffered very ill health because of starvation! One might say, there is a actually a great difference between a scarcity of food for a lot of people and some terrible starving because of severe food shortages. . . . Anyhow, I think, excessive food consumption and wastage of food, the way it is being encouraged in our affluent society,  we should better try to avoid.

I think the excessive climate changes could be kept in better check if we tried very hard to avoid all these excesses of our modern way of life. We should act more and more as though we are in a war situation already!

The problem is, that most people in First World countries do not believe as yet that severe climate change is something we should be prepared for. However, all our knowledge about the climate change crisis should tell all of us that a crisis it is, a crisis as great a we face in a great war. And this crisis demands that our governments and big corporations act accordingly so that people in these crisis zones have a chance to survive.

And here now are a few reflections of mine what for instance life in ‘advanced’ countries such as Germany was like in the 1930s and even during the war between 1939 and 1945, as well as in during the difficult post-war years.

What puzzles me is, that I cannot recall that at any time during those years anyone had to live on the streets. Even during the time of bomb raids the survivors of bomb raids, as far as I know, did not have to live in the open but were accomodated in buildings that could still be lived in. A lot of people had to share accommodation with other people, meaning a four room apartment, apart from the original residents, was then shared with several other needy people.

During the time of World War Two some very severe bombing campaigns occured all over the world with severe loss of life. Ten examples can be seen in the following link.


3 thoughts on “A Drop in Living Standards?

  1. As an advocate of the voluntary simplicity movement for more than 30 years, I have directly observed how easy it is for people to simplify/downshift their lifestyle as a member of a supportive community. I personally see the breakdown in community as a major factor in the current epidemic of compulsive consumption. Here in New Zealand, there are a lot of efforts to rebuilt community – examples are the growing School Strike for Climate movement and efforts by young people to set up game nights and board game cafes

    1. Thank you so much, Stuart, for this very interesting comment. Personally I dislike megacities more and more. How can in such cities communities thrive where for hours on a daily basis people are stuck in unmanageable traffic jams? I agree, it is very important that people come to learn to appreciate a more simpler lifestyle in an environment that is community building.

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