During this seventh meeting, Pan Yue, deputy director of the SEPA, noted that China has “paid a high environmental price” in becoming the biggest manufacturer in the world after experiencing rapid economic development over the past 20 years.I know a lot of people mocked Paul Ehrlich's prediction that we'd be facing major mineral shortages by 1990, but just because he was wrong then, doesn't mean he'd be wrong now. You've all heard the numbers - to give each human an American standard of living, we'd need three Earths. That leaves us two short, in case you're counting.
"The pollution load of China will quadruple in 2020 when the country’s GDP quadruples if the pace of pollution remains unchanged."
By then, China will only have six out of its current 45 major mineral resources, according to Pan.
Continuing in the realm of basic math, at a certain point we do hit the limits of nature, and if we aren't ready for it, we face the very real possibility of billions of dead. I don't think Hubbert's Peak is that moment, unlike certain people, but it's not like Hubbert's Peak is the only shortage we face.
This is all a way of saying that, despite some pessimism about the Communist Party's ability to foster innovation, I really, really hope that China and the world can manage a Green Rise.