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As I said in my previous column, we are the biggest force in moving the planet’s rocks and sediments around. Our global extractions are environmentally damaging and depleting some resources to the extent that they are in danger of running out.
Many of those resources find their way into the goods, gadgets and machines that we find indispensable in our everyday lives. But do we really need so much stuff, or are we simply addicted to the new? There’s no doubt that our consumption of resources from food to gadgets has risen dramatically over the past 60 years, and much of the world seems to be in the grip of a shopping epidemic. But is there a conscious effort driving it?