Monday, November 12, 2007


"We are what we buy — a glib adage to be sure, but it prompts an interesting question: Is our consumer society sustainable? Marketplace and American Public Media take on that question in this special series. We follow consumerism from its origins to its dominance in the world's economy and, arguably, its culture. And we examine how, and if, it might be adapted to reduce its destructive consequences while keeping store shelves stocked."

My friend D. sent me this link to a series of articles on consumerism published by Marketplace, an American public media project. It is fascinating, and even though it addresses US issues, economic and cultural globalization have made sure that many topics are very relevant to Lebanon. Here are some of the titles of the articles:

How much longer can we 'overshoot'?

Our population is consuming about 30% more trees, fish and fossil fuels than the planet can regenerate. How big a hole can we dig before we can't get out of it? Kai Ryssdal talks with Jared Diamond, a geography professor at UCLA. (11/09/2007)

What hungry consumerism leaves behind

If a port is the mouth of America's consumer economy, the landfill is the other end. Tess Vigeland reports on the people and places wrestling with the question of what to do with all the waste. (11/09/2007)

Greed as a disease

America's consumer economy may be a symptom of a bigger illness -- and it could be killing us all. As a species, we simply don't know what to do with all this excess, says prominent UCLA researcher Dr. Peter Whybrow. (11/12/2007)

...and many others. You can download as MP3 or read the transcripts.

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