anikulkarni, May 02, 2009
On Jan 2, 2008, JARED DIAMOND wrote in NYT:
"The average rates at which people consume resources like oil and metals, and produce wastes like plastics and greenhouse gases, are about 32 times higher in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia than they are in the developing world...
...The estimated one billion people who live in developed countries have a relative per capita consumption rate of 32. Most of the world’s other 5.5 billion people constitute the developing world, with relative per capita consumption rates below 32, mostly down toward 1.
The population especially of the developing world is growing, and some people remain fixated on this. They note that populations of countries like Kenya are growing rapidly, and they say that’s a big problem. Yes, it is a problem for Kenya’s more than 30 million people, but it’s not a burden on the whole world, because Kenyans consume so little. (Their relative per capita rate is 1.) A real problem for the world is that each of us 300 million Americans consumes as much as 32 Kenyans. With 10 times the population, the United States consumes 320 times more resources than Kenya does..."
Rich and upper middle-class people in developing countries consume as much as Americans.
They will do well to learn following from this book:
"When most people in this culture ask, "How can we stop global warming?" that's not really what they're asking. They're asking, "How can we stop global warming, without significantly changing this lifestyle that is causing global warming in the first place?"
The answer is you can't.
It's a stupid, absurd, and insane question."