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Can Uncontrolled Consumerism Lead to the Destruction of the Environment?

Posted by gerry @ 5:00 pm on December 17, 2008

Are we doomed to roam space in an intergalactic space cruiser, after we’ve destroyed the earth’s environment?  This was actually the premise to a cartoon I watched this weekend, “Wall-E.”

Here’s the synopsis of the movie:

By the early 22nd century, the Buy N Large megacorporation took control of every economic service on Earth, causing excessive worldwide consumerism to cover the planet in un-recycled trash. A plan was implemented that would have the Earth’s population evacuate the planet into space on fully automated luxury starliners where they would spend the next five years, while an army of waste disposal robots called “WALL-E” units (Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth-Class) would be left to clean the planet. This plan failed, however, and the planet was deemed uninhabitable. For the next 700 years, humanity continued to live in space while all of the WALL-E robots on Earth eventually broke down.

Is this storyline far-fetched, or could it really happen to us?