We had ours, why shouldn’t they have theirs? While that sounds fair and square, can the world handle that?
I acknowledge that the Western developed nations had their day in the sun, and I acknowledge that the US, especially has way overstepped its bounds, but many aspects of this report (just issued by the US govt) seem a little unsettling.
[quote] U.S. power, influence will decline in future, report says
A government report released Thursday paints an alarming picture of an unstable future for international relations defined by [color=#FF0000]waning American influence, a fragmentation of political power and intensifying struggles for increasingly scarce natural resources[/color].
The report, “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World,” was drafted by the National Intelligence Council to better inform U.S. policymakers – starting with the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama – about the factors most likely to shape major international trends and conflicts through the year 2025.
“Although the United States is likely to remain the single most powerful actor, the United States’ relative strength – even in the military realm – will decline and U.S. leverage will become more constrained,” says the report, which is the fourth in a series from the Intelligence Council.
The report argues that the “international system – as constructed following the second World War – will be almost unrecognizable by 2025 owing to the rise of emerging powers, a globalizing economy, an historic transfer of relative wealth and economic power from West to East, and the growing influence of nonstate actors.”
. . . America’s biggest rival by 2025, the reports says, will be China.
“[color=#FF0000]China is poised to have more impact on the world over the next 20 years than any other country[/color],” it notes.
The report projects that China will have the world’s second largest economy by 2025 and will be a leading military power.
Equally problematic for U.S. policymakers is the fact that [color=#FF0000]China is expected to become the world’s biggest polluter and largest importer of natural resources.[/color]
China will not be alone, however, in terms of its desire to provide a consumption-oriented American lifestyle to a rapidly growing population. [color=#FF0000]Countries such as India and, to a lesser extent, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey, will also likely see their power – and desire for natural resources – increase[/color].
The report predicts that, the recent economic downturn aside, “unprecedented global economic growth” will mean that the [color=#FF0000]demand for basic resources such as food, water and oil “will outstrip easily available supplies” [/color]over the next decade.
As an estimated 1.2 billion people are added to the world population over the next 20 years, the demand for food will rise by 50 percent, the report projects.
The [color=#FF0000]lack of access to stable water supplies will also worsen[/color] due to rapid global urbanization, it says. . .
While conflicts are still most likely to “revolve around trade, investments, and technological innovation and acquisition,” the report states that “we cannot rule out a 19th century-like scenario of arms races, territorial expansion, and military rivalries.”
[color=#FF0000]Terrorism is also expected to remain a major issue through 2025[/color], though its appeal could be significantly reduced if economic and political liberalization accelerates in the Middle East.
“In the absence of employment opportunities and legal means for political expression, conditions will be ripe for disaffection, growing radicalism and possible recruitment of youths into terrorist groups,” the report argues. . .
Iran’s possible acquisition of nuclear weapons, which could trigger a regional nuclear arms race, the report says. Continuing tensions between India and Pakistan also add to concerns regarding nuclear proliferation. . .[/quote]
cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/20/ … pstoryview
True, the US has overstepped its bounds particularly in terms of consumption of resources, creation of pollution, contributing to global warming and, of course, military agression. BUT, will China, India, Indonesia, etc., behave more responsibly? Will people finally learn that we are all linked together and need to treat our planet and each other with respect, for our mutual survival. . . or are we all doomed?
I must admit, though, I read urodacus’ article in the OP and I don’t get it. I don’t see how one can change the world so that everyone everywhere doesn’t want to consume more and more, while polluting more and more, and using up the last precious remnants of all our natural resources. Sure, one can do it one person at a time, in a groovy, hippy, peace love, back to nature way (and maybe that’s all one can and should work on). But how can one convince 9 billion people to behave more responsibly?