Thanks to Tony M for the link to a WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) report which develops 4 alternative future scenarios for business, consumers, governments. Well worth checking out You can dowload a powerpoint for use in your own workshops too.
Buried in the blurb was this quote: "It is like an addiction – you realize on an intellectual level that your patterns of consumption are destructive, but you do not really alter your attitudes and actions."
I think that's an interesting framework. There's lots written about how to treat people with addictions.
One school of thought for instance (that had a big success with treating crack addicts and similar in the US) is that instead of targeting the negative you find, nurture and build positive achievements and qualities to be celebrated. Meaning things like personal talents, successful relationships, raising children, creative hobbies... You can start to imagine a system of positive social recognition for sides of our lives which are - well - about LIFE not shopping, driving, flying, owning and all those substitutes for fulfilment.
More powerful still is the ADDICT label. Just being seen as a CAR ADDICT. It sounds weak, undermines the status of an impressive motor, inclines you to question things?
I found it thought provoking anyway :J