Are our aplliance manufacturers growing more stupid over time?
About one Friday in each month, an appliance repair man comes on the provincial section of our national broadcaster for an hour's phone-in program, diagnosing problems with appliances.
He says that they used to make appliances to last 30 - 40 years, routinely.
Most of such only last about 10 years, now.
He's complained to the manufacturers, to little effect - so far.
It's very wasteful to use precious resources to dig iron ore, smelt steel (an energy hog), then haul it to another factory to cut it and shape the pieces, then haul them to an assembly plant, and finally to a dealer's showroom. And the energy that it takes to get all of this done. Plus additional pollutants.
To need to do that same procedure over again in 10 years, when they're capable of building an almost identical product that'll last for 40 years, with little more complicated manufacture, and little more costly?
We need to get on the manufactureres' case and let them know that we are dissatisfied: we want a quality product that'll last a lot longer than currently.
There are other important uses for those materials - e.g., equipment to drill wells in Africa and other places, and pumps to draw the water near people's homes. So that Mom doesn't need to walk for miles to collect dirty (possibly polluted) water for the family's needs - can use that time and effort more productively.
They say that were we to develop a world-wide society that uses the world's scarce resources at the level that North Americans do ...
... that we'd need four planets in order to meet their needs.
That isn't going to happen!
But third World people are insisting that they have a fairer share of the world's resources - and that's going to happen.
Whether we like it or not.
Let's reorder our life systems to be more conserving of the world's resources.