Coping with Global Change: The Need for Different Values

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The dominant world civilization today is based on the pursuit of more and more material wealth. With the loss of faith in religion and in communism, there are few counter-models to the view that this is the goal of our existence. But this pursuit of material wealth is coming into conflict with the capacity of our global ecosystem to remain stable. Energy consumption is linked with the production of green house gases, and this will lead to changes in climate that will be disastrous for many people. At the same time, we have good evidence that the pursuit of material wealth does not lead to happiness, either individually or collectively. For these reasons it is time to reconsider our fundamental values. I argue that we can live in a way that is both more meaningful and fulfilling for ourselves, and more sustainable for the world, if we abandon the pursuit of affluence and consciously adopt the living of an ethical life as a goal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-48
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Human Values
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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