Being a 21st Century feminist can come with many contradictions. I'm a feminist, but I love Gossip Girl, the main storyline of which is an essentially abusive relationship (Chuck and Blair). I'm a feminist, but I listen to Childish Gambino. I'm a feminist, but if I choose to get married, I want my father to walk me down the aisle.
The numbers are often quoted, but still remain staggering. The United Nations predicts that today's global population of 7 billion is going to rise to roughly 9 billion by 2050. In 2010, 3.6 billion people lived in cities. Fast forward forty years, and this will rise to 6.3 billion, 70% of the world's population.
Companies design for planned obsolescence - so that products breakdown forcing us to buy more and more often. But it was us that created psychological obsolescence. We want the newest, shiniest whatever the second it is available regardless of whether the slightly older, slightly less shiny thing is still working perfectly or is in no way demonstrably inferior.
It's a case of first world problems at their finest. Individually, paying the extra amount for an item that is locally crafted and sold as oppose to opting for the cheaper, mass-produced variety makes little difference but changes are wrought when carried out collectively; local businesses thrive and that personal sense of locality and camaraderie can live on alongside our virtual communities.
The recent anti-halal hysteria has nothing to do with the welfare of animals. It's just good old-fashioned Islamophobia. This is not to say that some people don't have sincere concerns about the way in which animals are slaughtered: they do. But these are not the people now jumping on the anti-halal bandwagon.
Amidst incessant TV flicker and commercial bombardment this noisy nation seems destined to become possessed by its possessions. With dwindling opportunity to truly disconnect from everyday distractions it's easy to take the things that really matter for granted. Can we ever find happiness in a new car? Meaning in an iPad?
China has been an exportation hub for many years, supplying the rest of the globe with innumerable products on an ever-increasing scale. Unfortunately, it appears that an unwelcome additional extra has started to make its way around the world alongside these items: we're now also importing its pollution.
Debates about globalisation examine impacts on all concerned - whether importers of labour, food and goods or those countries losing key workers, giving up their food or being turned into polluted assembly lines. Debates about the EU and migration which lack that level of empathy - and concentrate purely on what Britain is supposedly losing - simply miss the point.
I wandered into a beautiful Shoreditch boutique called Labour and Wait the other day, and walked out with brown paper bags full of plain enamelled pie dishes and school canteen tumblers. Unpacking my purchases at home, I wondered why, given the asceticism of my purchases, I still felt my usual pang of shopper's guilt. If anything, it felt even worse.
I believe the answer is simple to identify, but deeply difficult to resolve. It lies in the fact that the dominant metaphor for the role of the individual in society today is that of the Consumer; and that while we talk to ourselves as Consumers, we simply will never solve climate change. Here are the four reasons why not.