Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Seeding Change - Vote with your wallet to save the Amazon rain forest

Last night, Elly, Arisa and I wanted Seeding Change documentary about the depletion and destruction of the Amazon and how several corporations are trying to leverage their businesses to reverse that process.

To be honest, it wasn't that great of a film and very much had a infomercial vibe to it. There were some very good stats that came out of it thought. An example is that the textile industry was the second largest polluter after the gas/oil and energy industry. I don't know how true that is simply based on the fact that animal agriculture accounts for 18% of greenhouse emissions which is more than the global transportation industry combined (15%). I don't know the numbers or source they used so I can't really say that their claim isn't true though.

While this documentary was enthusiastically capitalistic, with a full 5 minutes of "vote with your wallet" which kind of turned me off, it did document some companies that I'd be willing to support with my wallet since saving the Amazon and promoting sustainable agriculture is a valuable thing to do. Those companies are:

Companies and organizations highlighted in Seeding Change
Sambazon (Acai berries)
Guayaki Yerba Mate
The Good Bean
Numi Tea
Dr. Bronner's (soap)
OuterKnown (clothing)

I had two issues with the film. The first one is they explicitly call out the food deserts in the U.S. where the economically challenged do not have economically viable access to foods that are organic and free trade certified. However, they never answered how they were going to solve that problem. As I can best make out their point is that if we vote with our wallet and they can figure out how to scale then products will be cheaper and people in the food deserts can afford them. And they seemed to point to plates and things that can be composted, things that were not available even a decade ago. A Decade! Seems like a long time to me.

The other thing was that politics was not the answer, but only vote with your wallet. There is a certain truth to this for sure, voting with your wallet does work. However, if the tax system, economic incentives and other systemic structures they are fighting an uphill battle. The fact they are suggesting that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050 suggests we don't have the time for the market alone to try and solve these problems. The system support structure that encourages non-sustainable agriculture and industry must be dismantled or even flipped so that it is an active de-incentive to be non-sustainable.

Still it was worth watching.

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