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Posted Tue Nov 29 2011: from Yale Environment 300:
The New Story of Stuff: Can We Consume Less?
Will rich societies start consuming less? Could wealth go green? Might parsimony become the new luxury? Heresy, surely, you would say. But it might just be possible. Take Britain. A new study finds that the country that invented the industrial revolution two centuries ago reached "peak stuff" between 2001 and 2003. In the past decade, Britain has been consuming less water, building materials, paper, food (especially meat), cars, textiles, fertilizers and much else. Travel is down; so is energy production. The country produces less waste, too.... Even in the United States, the capital of consumption, there are signs that something similar could be afoot. American truck mileage has been on a plateau for a decade now. The number of cars on American highways is also flat. And per-capita mileage is falling. As a result, gasoline consumption is expected to be at a 10-year low this year, according to the Department of Energy.
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'Doc Michael says:
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