Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hungry ghosts and positional goods

An unnamed buyer at the Paris air show has placed an order for an Airbus A380 superjumbo to use as a private jet. Airbus said the individual, "not from Europe or the US", would use the plane for "personal use for him and his entourage"
-- from Airbus superjumbo for private use.
Our profligate consumption is no longer aimed at meeting material needs but at reproducing ourselves psychologically. In modern consumer capitalism, consumption activity is the primary means by which we create an identity and sustain a fragile sense of self. If, in order to solve climate change, we are asked to change the way we consume, then we are being asked to change who we are—to experience a sort of death. So desperately do we cling to our manufactured selves that we fear relinquishing them more than we fear the consequences of climate change.
-- from Clive Hamilton, blogged here on 18 June.

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