There is an issue with modern living. It’s not climate change, habitat destruction, air pollution, deforestation, or a mass extinction event. Although all of those things are most assuredly issues, the real problem with modern living is…modern living.

Ultimately, the issue isn’t just how we produce goods for consumption, but consumption itself. We live in an age where we desire, well, everything. We all want multiple cars, TVs, computers, handbags, houses…it seems that people want double and triple of all that they see. And we don’t produce anything on our own. At least, most people don’t make their own goods. Instead of buying clothing that will last us for years, and will provide for all our needs, we buy cheap clothes that we keep for a few months. We grow irate if it takes more than a minute to locate the nearest Starbucks. We get ice cream and makeup and decorations for our houses.

The season of buying is 24/7. It never ends.

If you stop and think for a moment, you know that there is an issue with how we live; however, with the hustle and bustle of life, most of us don’t stop to think about such things. These images may help you remember.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: 1990-2013

Dubai growth over the course of 10 years

 

TORONTO, CANADA: 1930-2014

Toronto Canada

 

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL: 1975-2011

Brazil growth.

 

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA: 1930-2009

Panama growth

 

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: 1876-1932-1988-2013

How New York Changed Over 100 Years. WikiMedia.

 

JAKARTA, INDONESIA: 1965-2005

Indonesia growth. WikiMedia

 

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ATHENS, GREECE: 1860 – 2015

Athens, Greece. WikiMedia

 

LONG BEACH, UNITED STATES: 1953-2009

Long Beach expansion

 

CENTRAL HONG KONG: 1967-2008

Hong Kong expansion: roger4336 via flickr & Helen Flamme via flickr

 

This feature is written by Jolene Creighton & originally appeared in Futurism.

 

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