/We cant rely on rampant consumerism to get us out of this mess

We cant rely on rampant consumerism to get us out of this mess

Hyperconsumption adds to environmental destruction that brings people into contact with animal viruses that can spark pandemics. We have to avoid the temptation to rely on it to get us out, writes Graham Lawton



Humans


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29 April 2020

large consignment of amazon deliveries left on doorstep of house during coronavirus covid-19 lockdown in the uk

WHEN I heard the news that Amazon is making sales of $11,000 every second of the lockdown, my initial reaction was weary resignation. You probably don’t eat bushmeat, but Western consumerism adds to the deforestation and habitat destruction that increasingly brings humans into contact with animal viruses. The world is in turmoil due to a virus unleashed in part by greed, and how do we respond? By going shopping.

There was a stab of guilt too: I don’t think of myself as a materialist, but I’ve become a regular user of online retailers, buying things I …