Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Webinar-starts TODAY! Unsustainable Consumption & The Rise and Fall of Consumer Cultures

This Webinar Series starts TODAY at 12:30 p.m. est!

Unsustainable Consumption & The Rise and Fall of Consumer Cultures

About the Speaker

Erik Assadourian is Senior Fellow at the Worldwatch Institute and the director of the 2010 State of the World: Transforming Cultures project. His other accomplishments include broadening the definition of global security to one that includes human and environmental concerns, and he has given interviews and talks all over the world about overconsumption and corporate responsibility. He has directed other Worldwatch publications such as State of the World 2005: Redefining Global Security and Vital Signs 2007-2008. Before joining the Worldwatch Institute, he was an environmental organizer with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
This webinar is part of Consumption and the Environment, a year-long webinar series exploring ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help create more sustainable patterns of consumption in communities. The series is free and open to everyone.

When: February 1, 2011, 9:30am PST (12:30pm EST)
Speaker: Erik Assadourian, Senior Fellow at the Worldwatch Institute

Webinar Summary
Erik Assadourian will be presenting on consumer culture. As director of the 2010 State of the World: Transforming Cultures project, he argues that in today’s culture, flying planes, owning many cars and living in a huge house are not conspicuously decadent choices but, oftentimes, the cultural norm. Consumer culture “leads people to find meaning, contentment, and acceptance through the consumption of goods and services,” because they have been raised to believe so, even though it does not improve quality of life and in fact destroys the environment. Instead of this system, Mr. Assadourian advocates for a shift to a new cultural paradigm based on sustainability. Here, what is “natural” and easy is also what is best for the planet. In his talk, he will take us through the current patterns of consumption, define “culture,” explain how consumerism has invaded cultures worldwide, and present his recommendations for creating a culture shift.


Presentations will be available the Monday prior to the session at

Discussion Questions:

  1. How did our consumer culture develop into what it is today?
  2. At what point does consumption become luxury?
  3. How will the end of a cheap fossil fuels era affect our society? What new skills will we require to deal with these effects?
  4. How do environmentally friendly habits arise and develop? What can we do to encourage that process?
  5. How are you acting as a cultural pioneer? How can you?
  6. What do you think of Erik Assadourian’s alternative to consumer culture? Is it feasible? How might we go about achieving the “wholesale transformation” that is necessary?

How to participate

  • Register once for the entire series.
  • You must be able to view presentations via your computer and listen to the audio portion by telephone or through your PC speakers.
  • Registered participants will be able to connect to the web link provided in the reminder e-mail that will be sent to you 2 days in advance of the call date.

Set your screen resolution to 1024 X 768.

Contact: Viccy Salazar (  206-553-1060

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