- Jul 4, 2019
- Reaction score
Nobody has argued that the consumer is to blame. The subject of this thread is sustainability, and at present the cashmere industry in Mongolia is unsustainable. The average consumer has no way of knowing this because the average consumer would struggle to point to Mongolia on a map, never mind understand its environmental issues.I do know this:
1) the consumer is not to blame for whatever is going on with cashmere and the Mongolian pastures.
What’s to blame is the market in general, and I suppose the vampiric nature of capitalism as a whole when you get down to it. Herders will continue to add to their herds as long as doing so it profitable, because of course they will, and due to the communal nature of Mongolia’s land - a nature that would be impossible to change - there’s no mechanism by which the cashmere industry will slow down before irreparable damage is done, because individual herders have no incentive to give up their business to protect their own plot of land. Eventually there will be a harsh winter dzud and a massive population collapse, and that will be the end of the Mongolian cashmere industry. And the end of the steppe as a place where anything can survive.
The only viable sustainability plan for Mongolia is to dramatically reduce the number of goats. That’s it. The steppe is incapable of supporting around 30 million goats in perpetuity no matter how many clever solutions one might conjure. It just can’t produce enough food for them. It can barely support trees.