越来越高的自然代价

日益严重的自然资源短缺是今天基本的全球趋势。石油和天然气价格大幅飙升。食品价格暴涨,导致贫困人口陷入困境,各国及城乡地区之间的收入也不断发生着变化。

自然资源价格攀升最基本的原因是经济的强劲增长,特别是在中国和印度。这两个国家在生产具有全球竞争力的商品和服务领域取得了主导地位,它们已经可观的经济规模仍然以每7-10年翻一番的速度快速增长。但这样的增长正在触及土地、木材、石油和天然气储量、水资源和其它限制条件的自然极限。于是,只要是自然中上市交易的产品和服务(比如能源和食品),价格都在快速飙升。而那些不上市交易的资源(比如洁净的空气),其结果就不是高价,而是污染和耗竭。

世界食品价格大幅攀升,过去12个月以来指数(以美元计价)上升了约40%左右。造成这种结果的原因多种多样,但最根本的是食品消费的增加,这与中国的经济增长关系也非常密切。中国的民众消费更多的食品,尤其是肉类,于是需要进口大量大豆和玉米制成的动物饲料。中国土地和水资源的稀缺性导致它很难通过国产作物来满足日益膨胀的需求。

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