LIME: Where the West Goes, the East Can't Afford to Follow
Founder of the Earth Policy Institute, Lester Brown, has been saying for years that the global economy is being hobbled by man-made environmental trends: "shrinking forests, expanding deserts, falling water tables, eroding soils, collapsing fisheries, rising temperatures, melting ice, rising seas, and increasingly destructive storms." In his book, Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble, Brown looks at the way the growth of the developing world will vastly accelerate these trends.His conclusion: The energy-lavish, uber-consumptive economic model of the West won't fly in emerging economies, particularly China. Nor will it fly in India, which is expected to have a bigger population than China's by 2031.
Brown rattles off the following staggering statistics in his book: "If China one day has three cars for every four people, U.S. style, it will have 1.1 billion cars. The whole world today has 800 million cars. It would need 99 million barrels of oil a day. Yet the world currently produces 84 million barrels per day and may never produce much more." Not to mention that vast swaths of pristine countryside will be paved with asphalt to accomodate the traffic.