Thursday, October 20, 2005

World needs a new economic model

China's economy is growing at breakneck pace, and according to a report on the country by Greenpeace, is threatening not only a national, but a global ecological disaster. Greenpeace report only confirm what Enviroman has feared all along.

It does not need much intelligence to be able to visualise the environmental horror that will ensure if every Chinese enjoy a living standard comparable to the Americans. If China consumes oil at the same rate as the US, they will be consuming 99 million barrels a day while the whole world is currently producing only 84 million barrels a day. If it consume paper at the same rate, it will consume twice as much paper as the whole world is producing. Same car ownership rate will mean a fleet of 1.1 billion cars compared with the world current fleet of 800 million. The world will soon run up against the limits of earth's natural resources, if we are not already there yet.

China is only trying to achieve what the West is already enjoying now, and has been for decades. So what do we tell the Chinese (and also the rest of the world)? Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute in Washington has put it very well. He said: "we're going to have to develop a new economic model. Instead of a fossil-fuel based, automobile-centred, throw-away economy we will have to have a renewable-energy based, diversified transport system, and comprehensive reuse and recycle economies. If we want civilisation to survive, we will have to have that. Otherwise civilisation will collapse"

Enviroman asks: "Will the world listen?"

China's voracious growth threatens environment: Greenpeace

The China Crisis: Spectacular Growth Now Biggest Threat To Environment

China Crisis: threat to the global environment

LEARNING FROM CHINA. Why the Western Economic Model Will not Work for the World.

8 comments:

jane said...

Why should they listen? Do you remember the old saying, "Do as I say, not as I do." It didn't work back in the day & I don't think it would work now either.
Good post!

cat said...

I doubt they will listen. They will choose war over oil before change. Eventually, there won't be a choice, but in the meantime, everyone will be competing for the last of the oil.

It should be interesting how we work things out with China in that respect, because without good relations with China, our whole economy collapses.

Nice job.

zandperl said...

Regarding your post on global warming, yeah, those of us with brains do take it seriously. Certainly everyone in academia (as I am) does, but that's likely because academia is dominated by liberals/Democrats. :-P And even if it's not caused by humans, it's threatening us and we might want to fix it anyway. Hm, I think I need a whole post on global warming now...

Velu said...

Well unless the west does some serious inroads into the renewable resourses, I doubt countries like China or India are going to be much convinced.

Los said...

No, they won't listen. Me, me, me...

Gerald said...

The 'West' have to lead by example.

I society that uses renewables is ultimately richer than one that doesn't but unfortunately national income is calculated based on how much we consume not the benefits we receive from that consumption.

The media is paid for by consumer goods companies, so the media have no interest in leading this debate. But the independent media is growing rapidly (you are reading it right now!) and the word will spread over time.

Plenty of people do understand the difference between consumption and utility, even if the media don't let in on the secret.

I have a spare TV in my garage. The chances of me ever using it are slim. So today I gave it away on Freecycle. Let's imagine that the person who took it would otherwise have bought a new one. This means that I have just reduced the UK's national income. But is the UK worse off for my action?

The idea of measuring utility instead of consumption will begin to take hold. People think they want more money, but they don't. They want more of the things that money can buy.

That simple rephrasing means everything for the new economic model.

Anonymous said...

A new economical model can be found here:

http://www.creatocracy.org

Its called a Creatocracy and is designed in accordance to the mathamatical models given to us to emulate from nature. Once applied and understood there is little room to argue as to if it is the bleu print for a evolutionary stable society.

agent bleu

kmyers said...

The freshwater crisis growing around the globe is already hitting southern China, as it is sure to be felt by many already developed nations -- soon slowing (and possibly forcing) industries to change their ways. Fresh water is already predicted to replace "oil" in value by many leading scientists around the world.

In the USA, there are certain industries that need immediate reform to save our fresh water resources.