Economists have been creating and updating predictions in regard to when China will pass the United States in overall world standing (namely political and economic power). As of this morning, the PRC has been declared to now consume more energy than the United States, about five years ahead of most predictions made by energy consumption analysts. We all knew that this day would come, but the significant decrease in time which it has taken has stirred some fears about the damage done by the U.S. economic crisis.
The concerns that I had when reading this article were not so much focused on the economic significance of this position change, but rather the sheer statement that it makes about the capacities most Americans have to consume fuel. The fact that China, a nation of nearly four times our population, up until this point has used less fuel terrifies me. Additional, the greater portion of fuel that is being used in China is going toward industry. A huge wedge of China’s industry exists simply out of a demand for products on the American business front. Long and short, though we have been surpassed by the Asian giant in fuel consumption, a good portion of their fuel consumption stems from a need to maintain production to feed the American market. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing (though it probably is), and I am by no means an environmentalist. I just spent some time thinking about it, had a small laugh, and went right back to enjoying the things which have today made China the worlds number one energy puller. Now when China begins to rely more heavily on demand from within their own population, that is when I will start to sweat. For your continued reading interest, follow up with this.