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On Conspicuous Consumption

“People are persuaded to spend money we don't have, on things we don't need, to create impressions that won't last, on people we don't care about.” - Tim Jackson


So, as you may know, but probably don’t because this is the second real post I’ve done, I’m an environmentalist. I finished my MSc in Environmental Change and Management back in November. I can discuss the physics of radiative forcing, or develop a multi-criteria analysis on the benefits of green versus grey infrastructure for climate change adaptation, or debate the ethical merits of using the social cost of carbon as a way to quantify the damage of carbon equivalent emissions. However, there was a running joke between my friend on the programme and me about how we’re terrible environmentalists because we loved things so much. I. LOVE. THINGS. A month into the programme, a new department store – Westgate – opened up in Oxford. It was a seven-minute bike ride from my student housing, and it became a place I frequented when I was bored, when I was stressed, when I had just scrolled through Instagram and saw a sweater I liked, when I just wanted more things.   

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