20 January 2022, The Tablet

The sustainable truth

by David Ko and Richard Busellato

Ethical living

The sustainable truth

Every night except Mondays, we get out a bottle of wine and have a glass or two.
Photo by Elle Hughes on Unsplash


A Christian way to spend, save and care for each other and the planet responsibly

Every night except Mondays, we get out a bottle of wine and have a glass or two. It’s a happy ritual, relaxes us a bit and makes food taste a little better. We try different bottles, rebuying ones we like, venturing now and then into new recommendations. The money we spend on this flows into society’s collective pension pot, write David Ko and Richard Busellato.

That’s the same with other things we buy, perhaps on Amazon, binge-watching Netflix, the new Tesla, or the second-hand conventional Volkswagen. All the money we spend goes to grow our pensions and savings so that we can retire, pay for our kids’ education, our parents’ care and our holidays. This is all very well until we stop and think. To keep us with a glass of wine or two each night, we need the vineyards to produce the same quantity and quality of grapes year after year, regardless of how much rain or sunshine nature gives us. This means we have to take over nature and control it. To make the most money, we grow the grape variety that sells best, not the one most suited to the soil, and take water from the ground until it literally caves. This is the same for the other things. Even the second-hand car is not there unless we shorten our car ownership, and so businesses market and lobby so that fleets constantly rotate. It is a perpetual cycle where we need to produce more so that we consume more.

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