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    The state of consumption today.

    Gardner G; Assadourian E; Sarin R

    In: State of the world, 2004. A Worldwatch Institute report on progress toward a sustainable society [by] Brian Halweil, Lisa Mastny, Erik Assadourian, Christopher Flavin, Hilary French. New York, New York, W. W. Norton, 2004. 3-21.

    Consumption is not a bad thing. People must consume to survive, and the world's poorest will need to consume more if they are lead lives of dignity and opportunity. But consumption threatens the well-being of people and the environment when it becomes an end in itself--when it is an individual's primary goal in fife, for example, or the ultimate measure of the success of a government's economic policies. The economies of mass consumption that produced a world of abundance for many in the twentieth century face different challenge in the twenty-first: to focus not on the indefinite accumulation of goods but instead on a better quality of life for all, with minimal environmental harm. (excerpt)
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