Why I say five thousand years
It’s been a long time coming (5,000 years) and it’s gonna be a long time gone (5,000 years).
The development juggernaut has such inertia that trying to turn it around will be like trying to turn an ocean liner.
China is just getting started on its next expansive development initiative:
Just getting started!
At what point might it begin to encounter any limits to growth? Those who say “soon” have been saying “soon” since 1972:
Maybe China will encounter one limit during the 21st century. And then maybe two during the 22nd century. It will take notice during the 23rd century. It will debate what to do about it during the 24th century. It will start to apply techno-fixes during the 25th century. The techno-fixes will fail during the 26th century.
The project won’t collapse until the 27th century. During the 28th century the disenchanted Chinese people will rebel against totalitarian domination. China itself will collapse very soon thereafter.
Very soon. Literature about alternative paths will be circulating in China way before the start of the Fourth Millennium. They will start to have an impact during the Fifth Millennium.
Delusions about development might be abandoned soon thereafter, very soon, perhaps during the Sixth or Seventh Millennium.