We are excited to announce the launch of the SCORAI podcast station. Given the growing popularity of podcasts as a format of science communication, we have decided to give sustainable consumption podcasts a dedicated space on the SCORAI website. Our podcast service will have three components: (1) a SCORAI podcast channel to which we will add one podcast per month – for now, we are featuring existing podcasts that we will also announce in the SCORAI newsletter; (2) a collection of interesting podcasts available on the web that address sustainable consumption topics and feature members of our growing community; and (3) a form for you to make suggestions for additions.
As a next step, we also hope to be able to produce new and original SCORAI podcasts with our webmaster Robert Orzanna. Please get in touch with Robert if you have an idea for featured podcast.
In a recent episode of “The Economist Asks”, Frank Trentmann shares his views on consumer culture, elaborating on the central premises of his book, “Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First”. Trentmann discusses with the panel the causes and effects of consumerism, tracing the evolution of how the acquisition of material possessions has shaped global history. The podcast covers the rich history and intriguing future of the extent to which consumption infuses everything we do, reflecting on root causes of consumption issues and recent trends, such as the sharing economy. Interestingly, Trentmann emphasizes the paradox of how consumption can enrich our social and cultural lives, yet is inherently environmentally unsustainable. While Trentmann and the panel cannot reach conclusions on a clear path forward, they find comfort in the fact that the challenges of consumption we face today are not new; and, despite the environmental impacts it produces, consumption has long been a beneficial way of defining ourselves and our relationship with the world around us. (Summary by Jordan King, ASU)