The Efficiency Deficiency
Scientists, and the governments they represent, are always telling us that the world is running short of the basic resources that sustain our existence. Quoting facts and figures they tell us we are running out of drinkable water, oil, and other resources that allow us to sustain the modern world we have created. The fact of the matter is that there are more than enough of these commodities to ensure our future survival as a species, if we just become more efficient in our use of them. 70% of all fresh water goes towards agricultural use; so we could double the amount that we use for drinking, bathing and washing just by making agriculture more efficient. The automobile is less than 10% efficient in its burning of petroleum and simply by increasing the output to input ratio with technologies currently available we could greatly reduce the amount of fuel consumed per kilometer. It should have been America that took the initiative to lead the world in developing technological efficiency to the point that they would have been seen, by the world, as the saviors of humanity. What kept this from happening was George Bush and the various corporations he represents; having decided that America can live the same conspicuous consumption lifestyle that it did in the 1950s and the rest of the world be damned, instead of leading the world in the 21st century towards a better place for all. To say that doing this is not cost effective is ridiculous, in that the possible future alternative is global degradation, famine and widespread wars based on the acquiring of the said resources as they grow increasingly scarcer.
America, and much of the industrialized Western World, has left the door wide open for such burgeoning "power houses" as India and China to take the initiative to develop products and services that will fill this gap. Initially they will have to increase their efficiency just to be able to supply goods to their vast populations, but in the process these goods will be greatly sought after by the rest of the world. For example; a car that takes less raw materials to produce and run will be cheaper to buy, and will also be seen as more environmentally friendly by the rest of the world. Society may come to see China and India as technological "heroes" for helping stretch existing resources far past the current paradigm and will find that they reap greater profits in the process. Just as America's culture infused and mixed with the rest of the world's after the 2nd World War through its industrial and economic advances, India and China will be able to form an even stronger hold on the world stage in this century. Summing it all up; I would have to say that the best thing that ever happened to the East's economy was George Bush's ineptitude in the West.