Delon, the U.S economist from U.C. Berkeley, did research on the law of economic growth in human history, which strides across 2,500,000 years from the Paleolithic period to the year 2000.
According to him, mankind spent 99.4% of the early stage of agricultural civilization from the Old Stone Age to 15000 years ago on pushing the per capita GDP of the world to 90 international dollars (a fortune unit verified based on the international purchase power in 1990). Later, in 0.59% of the time, the number was doubled to 180 international dollars by 1750. And through the rest 0.01%, the per capita GDP increased by 37 times to 6600 international dollars in the year 2000. The world economy now is keeping its pace into 2009, and the per capita GDP has soared to about 50 times higher than that of the primary days of the Industrial Revolution.
We can see from Delon’s study that in 99.99% of the past 2,500,000 years, the per capita GDP of the world did not changed much, until the mid-1700s. The sudden acceleration of the economy took off with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
So did the population. There were only 0.7 billion people in the world in 1750, but now almost 7 billion, 9 times larger than that of 250 years ago. Let us do a little calculation here; 10 times the population multiplied by near 50 times the economic consumption....the result tells us our Earth now is bearing the burden that is 500 times heavier than that of the initial period of the Industrial Revolution, which has brought about a great deal of problems in resource and environment, etc.
Taking resource as an example, economic research means resource depletion. Today we are facing a universal resource exhaustion, which is exactly and necessarily the result from the continued development of the economy. I made some data collections. Based on the present known reserve, all kinds of resource are confronting the destiny of drying out in one or two hundred years, especially petroleum, natural gas, etc.
After all, it is impossible to launch large-scale development in outer space, because from the expectable long future, we have only Mars and the moon to exploit. The former has the quality of only one tenth of Earth, and the latter is much smaller. How can they withstand our abuse when earth could not for only hundreds of years!
And we cannot rely on scientific progress to solve the problems, for many resources or parts of performance of some resources are irreplaceable. Besides, the resources on earth would be almost dried up by the time replaceable technologies were worked out. Is it too irresponsible?
We should do something good for the coming generations in the next numerous 250-years; we cannot leave a barren earth to our descendants. On the righteousness between generations, to pursue continuous growth of economy is a far swerve from the path of responsibility. It will definitely drive our descendents up the wall to advance economy based on today's scale because it gets at resource exhaustion.
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