Unfortunately, what is good for the American economy is not good for the environment, and this is especially the case when it comes to China and the rest of the developing world.  A newspaper article, entitled “Joy Global mines Chinese market,” illustrates the problem.  The article states:

Given robust demand for coal, copper, iron ore and other raw materials, especially in developing nations, mining equipment sales have soared in the last couple of years.  That’s good news for Joy Global and its competitor, South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International.  The two companies dominate the market for electric mining shovels and draglines, which are some of the world’s largest machines.  Much of the sales growth has come from Asia, with China alone consuming about 3 billion tons of coal a year for power generation, compared with 1 billion tons in the United States.  China plans to build more coal-fired power plants as it brings electricity to rural areas. India burns 500 million tons of coal a year and is increasing coal consumption at a faster rate than China.  “It’s momentum that no one can stop.” Sutherlin said. “China, for example, isn’t going to stop industrialization in its western provinces. They want their share of the prosperity.”

The future of environmentalism rests on at least two prongs, (1) the change of the consumption culture of the Western world, and (2) helping the developing world reach the same level of prosperity through sustainable means.

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