LSE IQ Ep 21 | Can we afford our consumer society? [Audio]

Speaker(s): Dr Rebecca Elliott, Professor Ian Gough, Dr Rodolfo Leyva | Welcome to LSE IQ, the monthly podcast from the London School of Economics and Political Science. This is the podcast where we ask some of the leading social scientists - and other experts - to answer intelligent questions about economics, politics or society. For this LSE IQ we have something slightly different for you – an 'live' episode recorded in front of an audience at LSE at the beginning of November 2018. Economic growth has helped millions out of poverty. The jobs it creates mean rising incomes and consumers who buy more. This drives further growth and higher living standards, including better health and education. Yet WWF, the World Wildlife Fund, has recently warned that exploding human consumption is the driving force behind unprecedented planetary change, through increased demand for energy, land and water. Plastics and microplastics are filling our oceans and rivers and entering the food chain. The production of goods and services for household use is the most important cause of greenhouse gas emissions. The textile industry is responsible for depleting and polluting water resources and committing human rights abuses against its workers. It is also a major source of greenhouse gases, and three fifths of all clothing produced ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being made. For this episode of LSE IQ Jo Bale and Sue Windebank ask, 'Can we afford our consumer society?'. This episode features: Dr Rebecca Elliott, Assistant Professor, LSE’s Department of Sociology; Professor Ian Gough, Visiting Professor at LSE’s Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion and an Associate at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment; and Dr Rodolfo Leyva, LSE Fellow in LSE’s Department of Media Communications. For further information about the podcast visit lse.ac.uk/iq and please tell us what you think using the hashtag #LSEIQ.

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