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The New Consumers: The Influence Of Affluence On The Environment Hardcover – Jul 9 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; 3rd edition (July 9 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559639970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559639972
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,788,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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)

"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)

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This book was very good at opening my blind American eyes Jan. 6 2009
By Mark Twain - Published on
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.
not great, but definitely worth the time and money spent ... Aug. 16 2009
By Gwynplane - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It's an interesting reading; not great, but definitely worth the time and money spent on it.
0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Affluence From Unexpected Places Surpass U. S. June 29 2005
By Betty Burks - Published on
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.