The average American consumes more than his or her weight in products each day

22/1/2010 Guardian Weekly…  fuelling a global culture of excess that is emerging as the biggest threat to the planet, according to a report published last week.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.


Erik Assadourian, the project director who led a team of 35 behind the report, said “Until we recognise that
our environmental problems, from climate change to deforestation to species loss, are driven by unsustainable
habits, we will not be able to solve the ecological crises that threaten to wash over civilisation:”


The world’s population is burning through resources at a reckless rate,the US think tank said. In the last decade,

consumption of goods and services rose 28% to $30.5 trillion. The consumer culture is no longer a mostly excess

 has been adopted as a symbol of success in developing countries from Brazil to India to China, the report said.
China, which has overtaken the US as the world’s top car market, is already the biggest producer of greenhouse
gas emissions. Such trends were nota result of economic growth, the report said, but of
deliberate efforts by businesses to win over consumers. Products such as the
hamburger and bottled water are now commonplace.
The report did note encouraging signs of a shift away from high-spend

culture. It said school meals programmes marked greater efforts to encourage healthier eating habits among
children. The younger generation was also more aware of their impact on the environment.
There has to be a wholesale transformation of values and attitudes, the report said. At current rates of consumption,

the world needs to erect 24 wind turbines an hour to produce enough energy to replace fossil fuel.

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