The ravages of conspicuous consumption

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There was an interesting piece in the Indian Express a couple of weeks ago by Gautam Bhatia, that highlighted the dangers of a country like India aspiring to be like the United States. Resource consumption will increase dramatically but so will the generation of waste. Sadly, in a rapidly developing economy like India, conspicuous consumption is the order of the day, even — as the Bhatia piece points out — in the construction of so-called green buildings, where glitz and glamour take precedence over what makes sense economically. If there were policy settings (in India and elsewhere) that incentivised the development of a service and flow economy — as opposed to one based on consumption — where those providing the services would be responsible for the disposal of the associated waste, this might encourage design more compatible with recycling and reuse, and we might avoid becoming one giant global rubbish dump.