The Shadows of Consumption gives a hard-hitting diagnosis: many of the earth'secosystems and billions of its people are at risk from the consequences of rising consumption.Products ranging from cars to hamburgers offer conveniences and pleasures; but, as Peter Dauvergnemakes clear, global political and economic processes displace the real costs of consumer goods intodistant ecosystems, communities, and timelines, tipping into crisis people and places without thepower to resist. In The Shadows of Consumption, Peter Dauvergne maps the costs of consumption thatremain hidden in the shadows cast by globalized corporations, trade, and finance. Dauvergne tracesthe environmental consequences of five commodities: automobiles, gasoline, refrigerators, beef, andharp seals. In these fascinating histories we learn, for example, that American officials ignoredwarnings about the dangers of lead in gasoline in the 1920s; why China is now a leading producer ofCFC-free refrigerators; and how activists were able to stop Canada's commercial seal hunt in the1980s (but are unable to do so now). Dauvergne's innovative analysis allows us to see why so manyefforts to manage the global environment are failing even as environmentalism is slowlystrengthening. He proposes a guiding principle of "balanced consumption" for bothconsumers and corporations. We know that we can make things better by driving a high-mileage car,eating locally grown food, and buying energy-efficient appliances; but these improvements areincremental, local, and insufficient. More crucial than our individual efforts to reuse and recyclewill be reforms in the global political economy to reduce the inequalities of consumption andcorrect the imbalance between growing economies and environmental sustainability.