A few interesting facts:
- If Chinese economy keeps growing at the same rate it is growing now, by 2030 its GDP will have more or less caught up with that of the United States of A.
- Its population will also have reached an overall population peak (peak in workforce population will happen before, in ten years or so). Conservative estimates would give it a population of 1.4 billion people around that time.
- Current U.S. population is estimated at a little under 300 million people (and growing fast, thanks to steady fertility and migration flux).
- As it is, at its current GDP and population levels and growth, the United States consume roughly 30% of most resources available worldwide. Particularly in certain areas such as: non-renewable energy, food (grain and meat), minerals etc.
- By most reasonable estimates (read: those not directly financed by the Project for a New American Century or some such), current use of world resource is fairly close to optimal exploitation. 80% is a figure commonly given.
- If China’s current upper-class is any indicator: once introduced to the virtues of the American Way of Life, Chinese people gladly embrace the model and aspire to nothing more than emulating the consumerist habits of the average U.S. citizen.
Now, basic mathematics and a wide margin of error (in favor of a Fluffy-Rabbits-in-a-Perfect-World hypothesis) would seem to indicate that, by 2030, China will be using a neat 100% of all world resources to sustain its own population’s consumption. And keep in mind that this consumption is only based on current consumption habits of the American population, not even taking in account the fact that it seems to double every few decades or so.
Gee, I guess we have a little problem after all.
This little exercise makes a few bold assumptions such as the fact that world resource supply will not only maintain (while many serious analysts contend that it will all but dwindle by then, particularly in the case of fossile fuel) but even grow so as to reach its full potential. That means pretty much every possible miracle in the book, short of discovering that the moon is indeed made of a soft cheese crust, filled to the brim with crude oil. Additionally, it doesn’t even start taking in account other factors, such as ecological footprint, water pollution, gas emissions etc. (but we all know that global warming is just a vast liberal conspiracy after all).
Adding India, Africa, Russia, Europe and, well, the whole rest of the world, to the mix, makes it an even more interesting problem.