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Annie Leonard – The Story of Stuff.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, each day the average American produces more than his or her weight in waste. How will the goals of governments to take action on climate change, succeed if consumption and greed keeps on wiping out these goals? How can we react positively on environmental problems if we are driven by unsustainable habits?

Annie Leonard´s short animated documentary "The Story of Stuff" attempts to look into this subject matter. She believes that "you cannot run a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely" and argues her point using statistical data. The documentary is critical of excessive consumerism and promotes sustainability.

The video

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Although it is hard to argue against her stance on sustainability, many are critical of her views on consumerism. The American Family Association says that the video is anti-consumer, and even anti-American because the video implies that Americans, are greedy, selfish, cruel to the third world, and "use more than our share." Glenn Beck, host of the Glenn Beck TV program, characterized the video as an "anti-capitalist tale that unfortunately has virtually no facts correct."

The Critique

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Her documentary is especially significant in today's economic climate. Emerging countries such as Brazil, India and China require more and more of the Earth's limited resources to sustain their economic growth. As a result, the issue of sustainability is becoming ever more important.

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