What are the obstacles in the way of effectively solving the environmental crises of our time? What can we do to overcome them? These may be two of the most important questions heading into the 21st century. Organized human societies have the ability to completely change the world. While we have excelled at building, destroying and rebuilding, we have not succeeded at conserving, preserving, and sustaining. Priviledged Goods: Commoditization and Its Impact on Environment and Society suggests that our propensity toward environmental destruction - a tragic flaw of the modern economy - can be understood as a result of hidden economic forces. These forces drive social and economic development towards increasing mobilization of energy and material beyond what is actually needed to achieve general prosperity and meet basic human needs. The author explains the complex concept of commoditization using examples from key sectors of society. Interdisciplinary in scope, Privileged Goods: Commoditization and Its Impact on Environment and Society will appeal to a wide variety of environmental professionals. It explains the key concepts, discusses the history of public policy, analyzes the appropriate technology movement of the 70s and compares it to the sustainable development movement of today.