Saw this bit of information on Salon:
The good news: The World Bank reports that the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty fell from 29 percent in 1990 to 18 percent in 2004.
The bad news: The numbers are almost entirely due to China and India’s economic growth — especially China’s. The World Bank says that between 1981 and 2004, the number of people living in extreme poverty in China declined by 500 million. But in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, while the proportion living in extreme poverty dropped slightly, rapid population growth ensured an absolute increase in the number of extreme poor.
The really bad news: This year or next, says the International Energy Agency, China — which is reportedly building a new coal-fired power plant every four days — will pass the U.S. as the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases.
The author goes on to connect the dots – that as India and China are struggling to pull large portions of their population out of poverty, the attendant rise in energy usage is increasing the rate of global warming…
The US is still way ahead in the total carbon based emissions per citizen, but the net result of these two countries and their larger populations is becoming a significant worry. Al Gore was right to call for clean-coal burning technology back in 2000. I’ve not heard much about that though since the election.