Jared Diamond: What’s Your Consumption Factor?

“We Americans may think of China’s growing consumption as a problem. But the Chinese are only reaching for the consumption rate we already have. To tell them not to try would be futile.The only approach that China and other developing countries will accept is to aim to make consumption rates and living standards more equal around the world. But the world doesn’t have enough resources to allow for raising China’s consumption rates, let alone those of the rest of the world, to our levels. Does this mean we’re headed for disaster?No, we could have a stable outcome in which all countries converge on consumption rates considerably below the current highest levels…”

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