The New Consumers
6 x 9
While overconsumption by the developed world's roughly one billion inhabitants is an abiding problem, another one billion increasingly affluent "new consumers" in developing countries will place additional strains on the earth's resources, argue authors Norman Myers and Jennifer Kent in this important new book.
The New Consumers examines the environmental impacts of this increased consumption, with particular focus on two commodities -- cars and meat -- that stand to have the most far-reaching effects. It analyzes consumption patterns in a number of different countries, with special emphasis on China and India (whose surging economies, as well as their large populations, are likely to account for exceptional growth in humanity's ecological footprint), and surveys big-picture issues such as the globalization of economies, consumer goods, and lifestyles. Ultimately, according to the orman Myers and Jennifer Kent, the challenge will be for all of humanity to transition to sustainable levels of consumption, for it is unrealistic to expect "new" consumers not to aspire to be like the "old" ones.
Cogent in its analysis, The New Consumers issues a timely warning of a major and developing environmental trend, and suggests valuable strategies for ameliorating its effects.
"Myers and Kent have written a clarion call to all people, rich and poor. While political interest in the environment ebbs and flows, the impact of consumption increases relentlessly. What is now a tragedy of the commons can only be overcome by the diligence and care this book embodies."
Paul Hawken, author of "Natural Capitalism"
"Myers and Kent have identified a major environmental issue for the 21st century—the rise of 'new consumers' whose environmental impact will be enormous if they behave like the 'old' consumers. They also clearly point out the fundamental limitations of consumerism (whether new or old) in achieving real, sustainable human welfare, and a path to sustainable consumption. The first step in overcoming the addiction of consumerism is recognizing that it is psychological 'junk food.'"
Robert Costanza, Director, Gund Institute of Ecological Economics, University of Vermont
"In The New Consumers Myers and Kent brilliantly show why it's urgent for the global community to choose between sustainable patterns of resource use and today's accelerating drain on the planet's resources. They explore how both the new consumers of the rapidly developing world and the longtime over-consumers of the rich countries can both find a future that works."
James Gustave Speth, Dean, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and author of "Red Sky at Morning"
"Could increasing consumption be costing the world more than it is worth? Read this important book and find out!"
Herman E. Daly, University of Maryland, author of "Beyond Growth"
"Norman Myers is one of the world's most insightful and original thinkers on the crucial environmental issues of our time. In The New Consumers he and Jennifer Kent incisively analyze the rise of consumption on a world scale and show us what can be done for people everywhere to enjoy a high quality of life without destroying the planet's ability to support our grandchildren."
Paul R. Ehrlich, Stanford University, coauthor of "One with Nineveh"
List of Tables and Figures
PART I. Who Are the New Consumers?
PART II. Cars: Driving Us Backwards
PART III. Meat: Juicy Steaks and Hidden Costs
PART IV. Further Resource Linkages: Household Electricity, Eco-Footprints, and Human Numbers
PART V. China: A Giant Awake and Roaring
PART VI. India: The Second "Biggie"
PART VII. The Big Picture of 20 Countries
PART VIII. Sustainable Consumption: Where Do We Find It?
PART IX. Sustainable Consumption: How to Get from Here to There
Appendix A: GNI and Its Shortcomings
Appendix B: Four Outlier Countries