Fleeing Vesuvius: The psychological roots of resource over-consumption

The 2011 book “Fleeing Vesuvius”‘is collection of articles generally addressing the question “how can we bring the world out of the mess it finds itself in”? It deals with the evolutionary underpinnings of our aggregate behaviour as humans. Humans appear to be ‘hard-wired’ (neural habituation) to seek out increasingly available stimuli, and to compete for status. Our super-saturated consumer cultural environment now offers endless stimuli to reinforce the innate desire for status, unfortunately at the expense of ecological sustainability. This chapter was taken from an article by Nate Hagens in The Oil Drum,  a journal about energy and our future (archived in 2013). It offers an evolutionary perspective on a future (more) sustainable society.

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