Wednesday, April 2, 2008

China superpower

Hmm, interesting quote. From the Atlantic mag via James Fallows via Instapundit

Susan Shirk, of the University of California at San Diego, recently published a very insightful book that calls China a “fragile superpower.” “When I discuss it in America,” she told me, “people always ask, ‘What do you mean, fragile?’” When she discusses it here in China, “they always ask, ‘What do you mean, superpower?’”

I really worry about the next twenty years as a critical moment in history. At once the Islamic nations are on a collision course either with a new dark age or an age of enlightenment, we are at (or will be very soon) peak oil, which will have profound consequences to the worlds economy, and finally the world is waking up (at last) to the destruction of natural resources. China is a symptom of the later two issues; they are expanding so fast that they are a huge source of the oil demand increase, and they are hell-bent on destroying their environment to achieve superpower status (witness the Three Gorge Dam)

My fear is that if we don't switch from an oil economy and don't wake up to the fact that entropy only works in one direction, and that natural resources are not easily renewable, we will enter a age of darkness the likes of which has not been seen since the middle ages. Think of how catastrophic it would be if there was no fuel for transportation, no resources for consumables, no power for electricity and air conditioning. Go without power/water for a day, and see how desparate you get. Multiply that by 5 bilion. Yes, many on the earth are living without those things every day, but the western world is absolutely dependant on these things.

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