However comfortable our consumerist Western lifestyle, it is a fool's paradise that cannot survive. Man-made climate change is not a fiction of scaremongers; we are rapidly approaching a temperature point of irreversible consequence that will bring ever more extreme floods and droughts. While Third World victims flee the product of our selfish excesses, we shall no doubt staunchly defend our moral capitalist right to consume and pollute to the bitter end. But if we are to out-survive the cockroaches, we have to wake up to the harsh and urgent necessity for a much simpler, Earth-friendly lifestyle - stop fanaticising about technological rescue - and show respect for the inalienable supremacy of Nature in the only planet we and our offspring can ever inhabit.
The capitalists continue to monitor and measure our spending behaviours in order to sell us more through clever marketing and advertising campaigns. We have all fallen victim to the cycle of 'desire' rather than 'necessity' which is exactly where the capitalists need us for their model to succeed. Greed is their game and this too is rubbing off on society. The global elite control the banking system that funds and controls the planets natural oil and gas resources as well many of the other valuable commodities needed to fuel consumerism today. At some point though, not in our life time, a change will be forced upon us as many of our planets natural resources will diminish or will be out of reach to mine. Today the world of capitalism and consumerism only leads to wars, famine, disease and death to name but a few and add cheap labour or modern day slavery to the mix.....This is all part of the model that drives our greed to accumulate more!
Consumerism leads to a disposable society. Consumers want everything immediately and easy. They want the newest models of technology, which requires the trashing of the old techno device. Easy solutions translates to large waste. Anything that is easier, like diapers and plastic bags, leads to more trash. More trash equals a need for more supplies. More supplies means more manufacturing and then more mining. More mining means extracting more precious resources, and not just the general supplies to make the product, but the gas and coal that is needed to run the power. Eventually resources will run low, supply will run out and therefore demand will be high. As the population grows, there will be less to go around, and then starvation, disease and death will increase on a global scale.
Consumerism definitely threatens our planet. This is so because people are relying more on mass-produced items than making things they need themselves. When people buy their produce at supermarkets that have bought produce from farmers that spray chemicals and genetically alter their foods, that alone causes a major environmental problem. People need to go back to all having their own food-producing gardens with organic fruits and vegetables that don't harm the environment.
Yes, consumerism, in some cases, does terrible things to our planet. For one, we'll cut down trees to build a mall any day. We don't seem to care about the fact that, at the end of the day, we need trees. Secondly, more products are coming out that don't take car of the planet. We just don't seem to care.
I believe consumerism does threaten our planet. Think of all the things you've thrown away in your lifetime that were still usable or broken. Companies sell us items knowing they will break in the future. Some are made cheaply so you have to buy them more often. Consumerism fills our landfills.
The short answer? No. The fear of "Insert hyped up word" destroying our planet is always based off the idea of "Peak Resources." Copper is one that comes to mind as an example of a Peak Resource because it was predicted to run out and cripple our infrastructure. This prediction never came true because of the simple fact that as scarcity increases prices increase. This price increase causes demand for an alternative to arise. Since the current, overused, resource has become expensive the alternative is now more viable.
Consumerism is just an extension of Capitalism and a positive side effect that proves Capitalism works. People are demanding things and immediately receiving them because we are becoming more and more efficient. I don't know about you but consumerism is beautiful. It is increasing quality of life and happiness! Any negative effects have yet to show themselves and most are solved quickly.
As for the people to my left attempting to predict the future destruction of the world, I would suggest a lesson in humility as the world is a complex place and many have predicted our demise before, to no avail. Trust your fellow man to solve the worlds problems as they come. We are an extremely adaptive species and I'm confident we can overcome any task given to us.