• Bothering Barnett Again

    by  • May 29, 2008 • The Global Picture • 0 Comments

    Unfortunately, the world lacks the natural resources for everybody to be rich and fat unless some truly radical developments take place.

    The average American has about 30 times the environmental impact of the average Bangladeshi, and the USA, with 5% of the world’s population, consumes 25% of the world’s natural resources.

    Put these two facts together. If everybody in the world had an American lifestyle, the impact would be the same as a global population of about 200 billion Bangladeshis, and we would consume five world’s worth of natural resources.

    So, at that point, either we

    * develop radical new resource utilization systems (hello Nanosolar, hello Konarka, hello ultracapacitors) or

    * we accept that the global standards of living are going to be uneven to a significant degreee, or

    * Americans let their standard of living fall to something sustainable globally

    I personally favor the first path, but that’s not a particularly well-funded option, particularly if you aren’t interested in nuclear power. Nuclear is a bad idea as a global solution because you can’t effectively separate nuclear power from nuclear weapons, or at least dirty bombs: it’s all dual use at the end of the day. There is no peaceful nuclear future.

    What’s the solution?

    Here’s my bid: http://guptaoption.com/2.long_peace.php


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    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


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