This column is an opinion by Todd Dufresne, a professor of philosophy at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. He is the author of numerous books on Freud and psychoanalysis, and of a recent book on climate change called The Democracy of Suffering: Life on the Edge of Catastrophe, Philosophy in the Anthropocene. For more information about CBC’s Opinion section, please see the FAQ.

It’s a truism of environmental consciousness that climate change has been caused by the individual decisions of hundreds of millions of consumers around the world, most especially in the West. And so we are exhorted by pundits to rethink our carbon footprints and address our unsustainable, destructive ways.

Many well-meaning individuals, myself included, have responded to the challenge by adopting new practices.

We reduce, reuse, and…

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