global ecological nightmare if China adopted the American Dream
The earth will experience an ecological nightmare by 2031 if all Chinese were to adopt the current American lifestyle of high consumption, the institute warned Wednesday of US Earth Policy Institute research.
The American Dream, Chinese version, will inevitably lead to environmental and economic global catastrophe as extrapolations of this institute in food consumption, energy and raw materials.
If the Chinese economy grew by 8% per year, doubling every nine years, income per capita will reach USD 2031 38.000 or the current per capita income of the United States, but for a population estimated then at 1,45 billion, says the study.
Currently the average annual income of a Chinese per capita barely reaches 5.300 dollars.
The most alarming projections concern the energy consumption and its consequences.
"Apart from the air unbreathable because of fumes from coal use, China CO2 emissions in 26 years amount to those emitted by sources of pollution on the earth today," according to the study.
While the Chinese use proportionally much oil in 2031 Americans today, China will have 99 million barrels of crude per day. The current daily global production is around 79 million barrels.
For coal, if in 26 years each Chinese consumes as much coal as an American (or 2 tonnes per year on average), the country will use 2,8 million tons each year, more than the current annual world production of 2,5 million tons.
"Climate change is no longer manageable, endangering food security and inundating all the coastal cities," warns the Institute.
A rate of three cars for four people right now in the United States, the dream of owning a private vehicle lead the Chinese fleet to more than 1,1 billion units in 2031.
"The roads, highways, and parking lots to absorb all these cars represent the equivalent of today dedicated area for rice cultivation in China," says the institute.
And if all the Chinese start to consume "so as voracious" in 2031 Americans today, the only cereal consumption per person will increase from 291 935 kg kg per year.
This will be for the whole of China the equivalent of two thirds of the total world harvest of 2004, which reached just over 2 billion tons, according to the study.
To meet such a demand, it would produce about a billion additional tons of grain by 2031, which could lead to the disappearance of large areas of the Amazon rainforest turned into wheat fields with huge environmental consequences.
In 26 years, if the Chinese consume as much meat as Americans today -125 kg per person in 2004- production in China is expected to rise to 181 million tonnes against 64 million tonnes today. This would represent four fifths of current world meat production.
The purpose of comply during "not to take China to the stone for unbridled consumption" but rather to warn against the temptation to want to live according to the Western model of "consumer society", while planetary resources are limited, the study concludes.