China Eats the World
The last empire, by the numbers
Per-capita income in China is less than 1/10 of America's and its per-capita greenhouse gas emission is less than 1/5 of ours. But if 1.3 billion Chinese were to consume at the level Americans do, we'd need several more Earths. China's effect on world resources, quantified:
- The world's largest consumer of coal, grain, fertilizer, cell phones, refrigerators, and televisions
- The leading importer of iron ore, steel, copper, tin, zinc, aluminum, and nickel
- The top producer of coal, steel, cement, and 10 kinds of metal
- The No. 1 importer of illegally logged wood
- The third-largest producer of cars after Japan and the United States; by 2015, it could be the world's largest car producer. By 2020, there could be 130 million cars on its roads, compared to 33 million now.