Thought provoking reads on consumption, charity, and corporations:
Clothing Ourselves in Shame: Why do we pay for convenience but not for the lives of the people who make our clothes?; David Cloutier for Catholic Moral Theology
My favorite pet peeve of the moment here is the incredible scam of Keurig/K-cup coffee makers. Recently, the maker of the machine (and licenser of those cups – anything for a monopoly, right?) posted huge revenue gains, and an analyst wrote: “Consumption of beverages from craft beer to coffee, tea and energy drinks has risen as Americans splurge on small, affordable luxuries.” What is “affordable luxury”? Well, as the New York Times reported, it means paying the equivalent of $50 a pound for coffee. Oh, and a lot more plastic and metal waste.
Are Your Skinny Jeans Starving the World? – Tom Philpott for Mother Jones
China and India grow half of the globe’s cotton. Have you heard of the farmer suicide epidemic (PDF) in India? It’s largely concentrated among cotton farmers growing for the global market who are squeezed between high prices for seeds and low prices for cotton, according to a 2011 report by New York University’s law school.
The first eight chapters of Three Cups of Tea are an intricately wrought work of fiction presented as fact. And by no means was this an isolated act of deceit. It turns out that Mortenson’s books and public statements are permeated with falsehoods. The image of Mortenson that has been created for public consumption is an artifact born of fantasy, audacity, and an apparently insatiable hunger for esteem…
(If you’ve read Three Cups of Tea, I recommend you read this Kindle single, too.)
New App Lets You Boycott Koch Brothers, Monsanto And More By Scanning Your Shopping Cart – Clare O’Connor for Forbes
Burner figured the average supermarket shopper had no idea that buying Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper or Dixie cups meant contributing cash to Koch Industriesthrough its subsidiary Georgia-Pacific. Similarly, purchasing a pair of yoga pants containing Lycra or a Stainmaster carpet meant indirectly handing the Kochs your money (Koch Industries bought Invista, one of the world’s largest fiber and textiles companies, in 2004 from DuPont).
I plan on reading several books on similar subjects soon. What have you read lately?