Articles on Consumption

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Conspicuous consumption is one of the main ways that China-born migrants come to mirror Australian society. Nils Versemann/Shutterstock

Chinese migrants follow and add to Australian city dwellers’ giant ecological footprints

Australian cities are world-leading – in the worst sense – for resource use and greenhouse emissions. China-born residents have embraced these consumption patterns, which is bad news for the planet.
Purse seiner fishing in the Indian Ocean. Footprint estimates do not assess how sustainably resources such as fisheries are managed. Jiri Rezac

Yes, humans are depleting Earth’s resources, but ‘footprint’ estimates don’t tell the full story

August 1, 2018 is 'Earth Overshoot Day,' a date coined by the nonprofit Global Footprint Network to publicize overuse of Earth's resources. But their estimates actually understate the problem.
‘Earthrise,’ which appeared on the cover of the second and third Whole Earth Catalog, was taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders during lunar orbit, Dec. 24, 1968. NASA

Thing-makers, tool freaks and prototypers: How the Whole Earth Catalog’s optimistic message reinvented the environmental movement in 1968

The Whole Earth Catalog was a blueprint for sustainability that envisioned humans living in balance with nature. Its creative spirit was welcomed in a year riven by war, assassinations and riots.
A man browsing the shoe department in a shopping centre. Can he really afford new shoes, and does he really need them? Alex Buirds/Wikimedia

Why we perceive ourselves as richer than we think we are

Under some circumstances, people may feel wealthier than they actually are and this makes them psychologically more prone to increase their spending, as well as their borrowing.
Taxing sugar places the burden on the poor – people who are already burdened by higher rates of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. (Shutterstock)

How sugar taxes punish the people

Sugar taxes fail to tackle the root of the problem -- the production and marketing of foods that cause chronic disease.
South Africa’s high unemployment rate is the result of a disconnect between growth in employment and growth in the labour force. Reuters/Nacho Doce

Why South Africa isn’t cashing in on its demographic dividend

To realise the benefit of the final phase of the demographic transition, South Africa needs to grow employment and improve the labour market prospects for its younger working-age population.

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