Friday, March 12, 2010

Resource Consumption

air pollution

Reading some of the comments on the recent recycling post made us think more about consuming resources and our habits as a society.

It scares me a little the way we consume resources and generate waste. ... Science is telling us we’re facing dwindling resources, especially if we continue to consume at the rate we are. Not a pretty picture it paints of the future...

Currently the United States makes up approximately 4.5% of the world population but consumes nearly a quarter of all energy resources. And China with their 1.3 billion people make up almost 20% of the worlds population. China puts a half million new cars on the road every day. They want the consumer lifestyle of cars and toys and things. So now lets do some very rough math. If China consumes at the rate we Americans seem to think is acceptable, this will require we use 110% of the worlds resources to maintain that. It's pretty staggering when you think about it. Now consider this. India wants the live that same consumer lifestyle as their country progresses too! Why not? And their population is around 1.15 billion or another 16%. Very roughly, that is a need of near 200% of the worlds resources! Now I know that with politics and budget spending the way it is these days, we might think consuming 200% is a viable option. But let me remind you we're not talking about paper money and deficits here, we're talking about real, physical, finite resources. When they're gone, they're gone - there's no option for us to just go into debt. And because we're happy to go on doing what we've always done and we refuse to see what gasoline engines are doing to our environment, we're killing the planet. Plain and simple. And at the very least we're facing the gas lines of the 70's all over again. I don't want a hybrid, I want a solar/wind powered car! Or one that runs on saltwater! Develop an engine that runs on saltwater! That would be awesome. It's time to stop thinking like we did 100 years ago. We know so many things we had no idea of 100 years ago and it's time to take those things into consideration and pull our heads out of the sand!

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