Nasty Yanks Killing Gaia
In its annual report, Worldwatch Institute says the cult of consumption and greed could wipe out any gains from government action on climate change or a shift to a clean energy economy.
The consumer culture is no longer a mostly American habit but is spreading across the planet. Over the last 50 years, excess has been adopted as a symbol of success in developing countries from Brazil to India to China, the report said.
Such trends were not a natural consequence of economic growth, the report said, but the result of deliberate efforts by businesses to win over consumers. Products such as the hamburger – dismissed as an unwholesome food for the poor at the beginning of the 20th century – and bottled water are now commonplace.
Hamburgers were seen as wholesome food for the poor not unwholesome, they were and are a cheap way to get safe nutrition. And bottled water, in some parts of the world it has saved more lives than any caring climate change campaign ever will.
In the preface to the report, Worldwatch Institute's president, Christopher Flavin, writes: "As the world struggles to recover from the most serious global economic crisis since the Great Depression, we have an unprecedented opportunity to turn away from consumerism.
Consumerism isn't some nasty American habit nasty multi-nationals force us to adopt, it is the natural order of things, whether we want to be rich enough to buy take-aways every day or indulge in hand woven tofu with a side order of guilt they are both consumerism.