Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My take on global economic developments

A lot is going on in the world regarding energy supply. By now, we should all be aware of how unrest in the Middle East impacts crude oil prices. Other developments around the world are impacting energy supply and by extension the global economy.

China has been actively pursuing new energy supplies and is trying to guarantee these supplies to feed the growing economy in that country. Russia is using it's resources to exert influence it hasn't had since the Cold War. Venezuela is trying to build a new Latin America free of US influence by spending it's petrodollars. Iran is financing an alleged nuclear weapons program likely with oil profits.

All of these countries are portrayed as creating instability in their respective regions and possibly around the world. I believe that the development of the "aggressive" policies pursued by these countries is a product of our own economic system. I am in no way justifying or criticizing their policies since every country can control it's own destiny. The simple reality is that other countries try to replicate the growth and comfort experienced in developed countries and epitomized in North America. How can they do this? Consuming like we do or making enough money by supplying our consumption. Some studies have pointed out that if China were to mirror US economic development and consumption that their daily oil needs would equal the current world production. What about other resources? What about the rest of the world?

The time to diversify economies, energy production and to alter consumption patters is now. The current economic model, which does not consider ecology or sustainability, cannot be supported for much longer.

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