Booming nations threaten Earth

Worldwatch Institute published a report yesterday pointing out that the planet's resources are limited. Yeah, I know you know that - but there are a lot of people, who should know better, who believe that if impoverished nations just tried hard enough, they could bootstrap themselves up to our quality of life. It can't happen - there aren't enough resources. About bloody time this was pointed out in the morning paper. Dumb headline, though - first world nations have threatened their own way of life for a long time.

(from BBC NEWS) "The world's ecological capacity is simply insufficient to satisfy the ambitions of China, India, Japan, Europe and the United States as well as the aspirations of the rest of the world in a sustainable way". . . .if China and India were to consume as much resources per capita as Japan in 2030 "together they would require a full planet Earth to meet their needs."

I read somewhere that an average American consumes as much energy as a sperm whale, when we've got these little bodies in comparison. That we may believe there's all this open land in the middle of the N American continent and so we're not maxing out our population, but really those lands are already fully utilized to supply the densely settled edges of the continent. That essay provided the best ever image of little humans with a huge footprint: people walking around trailing a Macy's parade balloon, shoving stuff into it all day, taking up space beyond their own size in production and farming and oil consumption.

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