From Orion Magazine, a classic essay from Derrick Jensen on the limits of living simply:
Why now do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?
Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet.
We so often hear that the world is running out of water. Because of this we need to take shorter showers. But more than 90 percent of the water used by humans is used by agriculture and industry.