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The New Consumers: The Influence Of Affluence On The Environment [Hardcover]

Norman Myers , Jennifer Kent

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Book Description

July 9 2004 1559639970 978-1559639972 1
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 authors, 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.

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About the Author

Norman Myers is a world-renowned environmental analyst who has numerous important books and more than 300 scientific papers and 400 popular articles to his credit. He has won several international awards for his work, including the Volvo Environment Prize, the UNEP Environment Prize, and the Blue Planet Prize. Jennifer Kent is an environmental researcher and analyst specializing in interdisciplinary studies. She has published several papers and books with Norman Myers.


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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was very good at opening my blind American eyes Jan. 6 2009
By Mark Twain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Showing the ever-changing world economy and foretelling the financial futures of certain new world-powers, The New Consumers is a great read which was very enlightening to me. I learned tons about the past, present, and future of 20 or so countries. I also learned about money, economy, GNP GNI and PPP [different measures of a country's affluence, I=PAT (an indicator of a country's impact)], and many useful ideas and patterns that govern the world and its economy. This book has as many statistics as it does words. Other than that, this is a great book that everyone should read.
0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Affluence From Unexpected Places Surpass U. S. June 29 2005
By Betty Burks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Written by a world-renowed environmental analyst and a co-author, Jennifer Kent who has written several papers in conjuncition, a researcher. He teaches at Duke University and has recived many awards for his works and books.

The new consumers are people in developing and transition nations who have achieved a level of affluence to buy cars, eat more meat, and own electrical appliances on a par with the least of us in America. China leads the group in meat and grain consumption; there are lots of people in China. India is not far behind, and it is very hot there. Russia has become the biggest oil-producing country in the world, and now rivals Saudi Arabia. Mexico has gained many U.S. manufacturing companies and other America owned concerns, so now they can live well.

Poland, where our former mayor is now ambassador, is on this list and now the natives own many more automobiles and lead a higher life style since our beloved Victor Ashe relocated. The twenty countries who comprise the globalization include South Africa, Brazil, Iran, Pakitan, Turkey, Ukraine, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Argentina, Columbia, and Venezula.

This vast phenomenon has an unprecedented scope of world trade in these twenty countries. Japan is the leader in producing electronics. Millions of these new consumers own television sets and computers. Now, however, exists the parallel difference between the "Haves" and the "Have-Nots" like in this hillbilly hometown of mine which tries to think it is a city.

Among the worst off is Bombay, India (12 million residents, half are homeless or slum-dwellers). Absolute poverty abounds in all twenty countries as it does in the United States. So many homeless here in every town and city!

Owning a car is a status symbol -- the ultimate of "You've made it." In America, you need two or more to reach that goal of the good life. In most places, a car is a necessity (with the exception of Manhattan who chooses to lease a car on weekends) and not a luxury item any longer.

Leading car ownerships in these twenty are Brazil, Russia, Mexico, S. Korea, Argentina, Malaysia and Poland. Elsewhere, there are more bicycle riders and trains. This increase in driving cars is causing more air pollution from carbon dioxide. Six of the world's (outside of U.S.) smoggiest cities are Sao Paulo, Beijing, Shanghai, New Delhi, and Mexico City. In U. S. Knoxville is on a par with Los Angeles in air pollution. Poland uses a tax system to encourage unleaded gasoline.

Shanghai has put ten billion dollars into a rapid transit system. Pittsburg, PA, equals Ottawa, Canada, with a bus-based rapid-transit systems. The buses in Knoxville are used to serve the University of Tennessee to the exclusion of the public. It is called a public transit, but it is run by Cincinnati, Ohio, management and they prefer sub-contracting the conventions and running the forty new buses (which TDOT paid for use of the public) day and night -- wearing them out -- to bring in additional ridership and profits. And the City Council backs this endeavor to deceive the public.
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