An account of the detrimental effects of consumption and consumer behaviour on the world's natural environment.
Durning, a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute, develops the thesis that of the three issues the global community must address in order to save the world's environment--population growth, technological change, and consumption--the latter is the most neglected and can ill afford to be. He argues that it is easier to focus on technology, which is simpler to replace than the cultural attitudes governing consumption. The conundrum of consumption is that ``limiting the consumer life-style to those who have already attained it is not politically possible . . . or ecologically sufficient . . . and extending that life-style to all would hasten the ruin of the biosphere.'' Durning calls for a ``culture of permanence,'' a society that lives within its means. A potent philosophical as well as practical guide, this is recommended for collections concerned with the growing issue of environmental sustainability.-- Jennifer Scarlott, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, New York