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Submitted by : Socrates
Submitted on : May 31,2006 11:32:10 am
WHAT IF: Every single country in the world became industrialised first world developed nations? Any negative consequences from this hypothetical?
Is that really feasible? If every single nation were as such, could the Earth sustain us? Could we sustain the Earth?
I believe, most noteworthy is that there are not enough natural resources to support that many industrialised modern consumerist countries. Resources are limited- not only in relation to energy supplies but other things too. There would be more demand than supply?
And if it is not possible to have every nation as such, where does that leave us? Nations racing to be first world before it becomes unfeasible for others to join?
Actually, Some are worried as to whether it would be feasible to have China, Thailand and India as first world full throttle consumerist industrial societies, yet alone the whole world.
It would totally suck for me--who the hell would cut my grass and paint my house for slave wages.
I don't think it'll be that catastrophic, in global point of view. For example, no one a 100 years ago believed that enough food can be produced to feed the fast growing populations, but modernization brought with it methods to produce a lot more food than was previousely thought possible, and the modern countries still have food "surplus". Implementing the same methods in now developing countries, can eliminate hunger. And that is just an example. Need is the father of all inventions. Or at least one of the fathers...
I could see the rush for resources, and the wars that would result.
Not necessarily. Population growth tends to slow as a country industrializes. As more countries become industrialized, there may be more pollution short-term, but there is the possibility that one of them can come up with a way to used energy without polluting.
FiddleFaddleOnLSD- what you said about population growth is true I believe.
Yosi and FiddleFaddleOnLSD- but what about natural resources for energy use? To run factories and mass production? Would there be enough coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium (for nuclear power) to fuel a completely modernised world and meet the huge consumer demands?
It seems that there are not enough natural resources, especially for energy for all countries to be first world nations?
^ and back to environmental concerns, I am not merely referring to air pollution. What about polluting the environment, deforrestisation, etc? Paper and wood? Enough for all for a continuous stable supply?
And yosi, the idea that a demand will some how find a supply seems like too much wishful thinking to me.
Concerns of World Industrialization
"In Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005) Jared Diamond addresses obscure societies all over the world which disappeared due to exhaustion of their soils. Greece’s once rich topsoil has eroded down to rocky subsoils. The currently barren North Africa once had lush forests with plentiful wildlife. The "fertile crescent" of the Middle East, the cradle of Western civilization due to its original high fertility, is now largely barren.
As William H. Kötke details in his study, The Final Empire, this pattern has continued historically through the destruction of the vast forests of Europe and then has followed the march of empire with European emigration to its colonies. The United States, for example, has already lost one-third of its best topsoils and the loss is accelerating on all other continents. The most recent figure, quoted in The Final Empire, indicates world soil loss is on the order of 25- billion tons annually and growing.14
Since their origins in Central Asia and Northern China the cultures of empire that term themselves civilized have collapsed their soils. One-half the area of present China was once covered with a vast temperate-zone forest. This forest was eliminated before recorded history by the expansion of the empires of China. For the thousands of years since, China has suffered some of the worst erosion in the world. The Yellow Sea is named for the surrounding land’s eroding yellow loess soils carried into it by the rivers.15
The empires of Sumer and Babylon in the watershed of the Tigris-Euphrates River collapsed after irrigated agriculture and overgrazing destroyed their land. Today one-third of the arable land of Iraq cannot be used because it is still saline from irrigation 5,000 years ago. The mouth of the Tigris-Euphrates River has extended itself 185 miles into the Gulf as the fertility of that hapless land washed into the sea. Every empire has run, and still runs, a net deficit of the fertility of the earth in order to sustain the unnatural growth and material consumption of its population.16 The cultural history of Babylon can be traced through time to the denuded Greece and to Rome, which eroded the ecology of that peninsula.
Most of North Africa—which once had great forests, broad grassy plains, rich in flora and fauna—became a desert. Both the Greek and Roman empires used the then-healthy soils of North Africa as their "breadbasket." Cities that once were ports for shipping products to the old imperial centers are five and 10 miles from water as the fertile soils that once produced those exports settled into the Mediterranean Ocean.17 Before the rising Muslim societies cut Europe off from the light soils of their African breadbasket, there was one vast forest the width of Europe nourished by those heavy soils. That vast forest built ships, smelted ores, warmed homes, and was burned down so the land could be farmed.
The history of industrialized cultures can be traced through the deforested lands and exhausted soils of Europe, across North America, and now through the deforestation of the tropical forests of South America, Africa, and the Pacific islands. During the expansion of the American empire, the great forests that lay between the Allegheny Mountains and the Mississippi River (enough to have produced a set of fine hardwood furniture for every family then on earth) were burned to clear the land for farming. Soil scientists estimate that one-half the topsoil of the Great Plains has been exhausted since agriculture began there barely 150 years ago.18
Industrial agriculture has learned to create artificial fertilizer from petroleum feedstock so that it trades off biological energy for a finite amount of hydrocarbons. In many areas the soil is exhausted and without such inputs would grow nothing. Modern industrial agriculturists say this is no problem as all they need soil for now is to prop up the plants. Thus nearly half the population of the planet eats food produced with artificial fertilizer processed from petroleum.19 The exponentially exploding population of civilization is out on the proverbial limb with a diet provided by a steadily declining, finite supply of petroleum.20 Coal can provide those chemical fertilizers for a while longer but that too will eventually be exhausted and there are many minerals and other nutrients being lost that are not being replaced.
Erosion, desertification, toxification, and nonagricultural uses had consumed one-fifth of the world's arable land as we begin the 21st-Century. Another one-fifth will go by 2025." (Source: J.W. Smith, "The Earth’s Capacity to Sustain Developed Economies", in 'Economic Democracy: The Political Struggle for the 21st Century' (4th Edition, 2005).
Wow good question but i doubt it. It would cost to much money and i wouldnt want the world to be like this. You would never be able to escape noisy city.
Putting over population is a stupid choice on this ballot. Industrialized nations have far lower birth rates.
I don't think overpopulation would occur. I actually think the population would decline. This is because first-world countries would have more educated people and educated people reproduced less than uneducated.