Africa-Population-Growth-Automotive-Options

VIDEO: How The African Population Explosion Creates Opportunities

african-assian-population-growthIn “The West” we don’t often discuss or even consider Africa.  However, over the next 20 years the population of Africa is going to double and we will all be paying attention to that.  Without doubt Africa’s population explosion will lead to two things:

  1. Increased demand for goods and services
  2. Increased workforce to provide those goods and services

What is in question is:

  1. Will the governments of the Africa continue to stabilize?
  2. Will the rule of law continue to expand and allow individuals and companies to prosper on a playing field level enough to attract foreign talent and capital?
  3. Will African infrastructure continue to improve or will investments stop causing the existing infrastructure to decay?
  4. Will governments be able to educate their populations so that they are useful participants in a modern economy?
  5. Will African farmers produce enough food to sustain their population?

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ian-bremmer-on-the-money-eurasia-group-russia-marshall-plan

Why Russia Turned Out So Differently From Germany & Japan

After World War 2 the US (and West in general) supported its former enemies.  Rebuilding cities, legal systems, and economies on a massive scale.  Germany and Japan were the primary beneficiaries of that financial aid and guidance and today those two countries are large stable entities that improve the West’s standard of living by providing both solid trading partners and political allies.

Some argue that those countries now take “our” jobs when in fact the evidence is clear that those countries have expanded the global economy for all.   It is true that the US, Canada and the UK have a smaller slice of the global economic pie in 2018 compared to1950, but the pie is many times larger, so the net benefit to those countries is irrefutable.

The rebuilding (not reconstruction) plan was named after then US Secretary of State George Marshall.  Today the Marshall Plan is touted as the cure all for every failing state, from Afghanistan to Mozambique but, as this New Yorker article explains, for a Marshal Plan had a lot more to do with reassurance and a lot less to do with money than most people think.

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Should Disposable Single Use Plastic Bags Be Banned?

There has been much talk in the recent decade about banning disposable plastic bags.  The basic argument is that consumer grade disposable single use plastic bags are the root cause widespread environmental damage but have ready alternatives, so why are will still using them?

As is often the case with political issues, there is no simple answer to the question “Should single use plastic bags be banned?”.  Below are some of the facts and you can decide for yourself if this is a crisis or not:

ARGUMENTS AGAINST SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS

  • Australian scientists found that 90% of seabirds had plastic in their digestive tract
    • 85% of ‘ocean garbage’ is plastic
    • In March of 2018, Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna claimed that there is the equivalent of one full dump truck load of plastic materials being dumped in the ocean every minute of every day
  • Plastic bags are made from non-renewable material
  • Single use plastic bags account cost about $.04 each to buy new and it is estimated the clean up cost is about $.15 per bag, resulting in a total cost to the consumer of more than $80 per year (more…)
iea-world-energy-demand-change-2016-2040

Oil & Gas: Why ‘Keep It In The Ground’ Is A Formula For Environmental Disaster

The environmental lobby has mislead many well intentioned companies and intelligent individuals with the “keep it in the ground movement”.   That logic only applies to “western societies” and has sadly resulted in serious efforts to block even the cleanest Oil & Gas projects for the last decade.  The most recent tactic is to block the infrastructure required to make Oil & Gas functional; in particular pipelines are being opposed at every turn.

These next two points should clearly demonstrate that “keep it in the ground” is both naive and environmentally damaging.

1: OIL & GAS GROWTH THROUGH 2040

The fact is that the most scientificly trustworthy energy industry research body in the world, the International Energy Association (IEA), agrees with dozens of other government and industry analysts that Oil & Gas demand will continue to EXPAND through the year 2040.  2040-2050 is the magic decade when China and India will have moved most of their citizens into the middle class.

Before you start thinking, ‘but wait, that will change if we ‘go electric”, note that the IEA is expecting massive amounts of electrification in the next 20+ years and has already wrapped those expectations into their projections.  If we don’t have substantial electrification (solar, wind, electric cars,…) 2040 will not be the

Keep in mind the word EXPAND.  This means that at about 2040, the world will not have stopped using oil and gas; this means that consumption will have peaked.  After 2040, there will take between 100 to 200 years to cycle out of petroleum based products.

iea-world-energy-demand-change-2016-2040

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Trump Brings in 30% Tariff on Solar Panels, Temporarily Killing .25M US Jobs

On Monday January 22, 2018, the Trump administration brought in a 30% tax on imported solar panels.   This new solar tax will last four years and decrease over time to 15% in its last year.

“Over the last 5 years, nearly 30 American solar manufacturers collapsed; today the President is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight… This is a step forward for this high-tech solar manufacturing industry we pioneered right here in America.”
pressreleasepoint.com/trump-imposes-tariffs-solar-panels 

PUNISH CHINA?

Of the few that have heard of this new tariff, the common misconception is that it is an attempt to punish China from dumping (selling below cost, to kill competitors) panels but the US only imports 10% of its solar panels from China (see the last 30 seconds of the video below).  As you can see in the video below, the US solar industry did not ask for and does not want this tariff.

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