Many people spend their whole lives striving to be rich. Not having to worry about money and splashing it on designer clothes, chains of diamonds and private planes and yachts is regarded by some as the ultimate dream. But a life like this comes at more of a cost than we realise. To coincide with the 2017 World Economic Forum, Oxfam published a report that claims the eight richest people in the world control the same wealth as half of the world’s population. A vital debate certainly – and yet not the only one that needs to be aired. We know that "wealthy" countries in Europe, North America and parts of Asia have higher per-capita environmental burdens than poorer countries and that the people of the developed world are living beyond the biophysical boundaries — the limits of the environment — in order to do so. But those at the top-income levels of these countries are practising lifestyles with even higher environmental consequences, enabled by their wealth. In an average mature eco...

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