The High Price of Materialism

Australian researchers have found that climate-change sceptics were more likely to report pro-environmental intentions when told about the effects of such actions on sociabilty or development than those told about the health risks of climate inaction (Nature Climate Change, DOI:10.1038/nclimate1532). In other words, arguments focussing on negative consequences are less successful than positively framed rationales.

New Scientist 23.06.12 p.9

Psychologist Tim Kasser presents just such a positive rational in this discussion of how America’s culture of consumerism undermines well-being. When people buy into the ever-present marketing messages that “the good life” is “the goods life,” they not only use up Earth’s limited resources, but they are less happy and less inclined toward helping others. The animation both lays out the problems of excess materialism and points toward solutions that promise a healthier, more just, and more sustainable life.

Animation by Squid and Beard:

Hat tip Horner’s Corner

Related Think Left post:

Increasing the sum of global well-being should be the over-arching and ultimate motivation for every politician and policy.

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