First program: Justin Lews - Media & Consumer Capitalism
Rene Descartes, the 17th century French philosopher once said, “I think, therefore I am.” In today’s context it may be more like, I buy therefore I am. Orchestrated wants driven by sophisticated advertising techniques have created a culture of consumption. Appetites for the latest hot thing are engineered. Media campaigns sell cool and sexy. Marketing is key. Data are collected. People are profiled, then targeted. Cell phones. Have to get the latest one with all new features, faster processor and design. We can’t be left behind. More sales means more profits. The capitalist economic system is predicated on making money and barely considers the environmental effects down the road. That’s somebody else’s problem. In the U.S., consumerism is connected to ideology. Freedom is equated with the ability to buy things. But the pattern of endless consumption is not sustainable.
Second program: Richard Heinberg - The End of Growth
There is almost a mystical belief in growth. Nature’s bounty was there to be exploited by man. There is endless palaver about growth as an economic panacea that will cure all ills. Economists have long postulated that growth is normal and natural and could go on forever. But can it? Conventional views of growth are incompatible with the capacity and well being of the planet. The Earth Policy Institute says, we are “on an economic path that is environmentally unsustainable, a path that is leading us toward economic decline and collapse. Environmental scientists have been saying for sometime that the global economy is being slowly undermined by the trends of environmental destruction and disruption, including shrinking forests, expanding deserts, falling water tables, eroding soils, collapsing fisheries, rising temperatures, melting ice, rising seas and increasingly destructive storms."
Your cart is currently empty
Endless Consumption: The Party's Over
The global financial crisis may mark the demise of the salad days of mindless shopping on multiple credit cards. The squeeze and contraction could have a positive effect. It can...
Consumerism & Global Climate Change
Summer is coming earlier every year, as global temperatures continue to rise. Ocean levels are rising, too, as polar ice caps melt away. Meanwhile, the U.S economic model, with its...
The Wal-Marting of America
The United States is the largest consumer-based economy in the world. Shopping is a national pastime, and how we shop, what we buy and how it is sold is high...
Rubbish: What Garbage Tells Us About Ourselves
Whether it comes in the form of papers, bottles, cans, phone books or diapers, our collective trash constitutes a serious environmental problem. Landfills get bigger and bigger. Trains crisscross the...