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 user 2006-01-13 at 10:35:00 am Views: 45
  • #13811

    Booming nations ‘threaten Earth’

    Earth lacks the water, energy and agricultural land to allow China and
    India to attain Western living standards, a US think-tank has warned.

    The Worldwatch Institute
    said the booming economies of China and India are “planetary powers
    that are shaping the global biosphere”.

    Its State of the World 2006 report said the two countries’ high economic growth hid a reality of severe pollution.

    It said the planet’s resources could not keep pace with such growth.

    Important choices

    “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,” the
    report added.

    It said that 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”, it said.

    The institute’s report said that in the next few years
    the choices China and India made could lead to political and economic
    instability, or they could usher in an age of better stewardship of
    resources and more efficient technology.

    China and India are positioned to leapfrog today’s industrial powers

    The reports said the US – which continues to consume more of the
    Earth’s resources than any other country – needed to cooperate with
    China and India to help develop more environmentally friendly practices
    and technologies.

    “China and India are positioned to leapfrog today’s
    industrial powers and become world leaders in sustainable energy and
    agriculture within a decade,” Worldwatch Institute president
    Christopher Flavin said.

    “We were encouraged to find that a growing number of
    opinion leaders in China and India now recognise that the
    resource-intensive model for economic growth can’t work in the 21st
    Century,” he said.

    China already has a solar-powered heating system which
    supplies hot water to 35 million homes, while India has pioneered a
    system bringing clean water from rainfall, the report said.