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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: What’s Your Consumption Factor?. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

What’s Your Consumption Factor?
by possibly noteworthy at 12:16 pm EST, Jan 2, 2008

Jared Diamond:

The average rates at which people consume resources like oil and metals, and produce wastes like plastics and greenhouse gases, are about 32 times higher in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia than they are in the developing world. That factor of 32 has big consequences.

Each of us 300 million Americans consumes as much as 32 Kenyans. With 10 times the population, the United States consumes 320 times more resources than Kenya does.

China’s catching up alone would roughly double world consumption rates. If India as well as China were to catch up, world consumption rates would triple. If the whole developing world were suddenly to catch up, world rates would increase elevenfold. It would be as if the world population ballooned to 72 billion people (retaining present consumption rates).

The world has serious consumption problems, but we can solve them if we choose to do so.


Perhaps the most powerful way in which we conspire against ourselves is the simple fact that we have jobs.

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