Energy Insecurity

Energy security is a mantra often repeated by politicians but those who mindless call for energy security fail to understand just how complex the process of providing energy to a nation has become and just how many different hands are on the valves, switches or taps that can turn off or on the supplies, according to their policy of self-betterment and greed. Continue reading

Follow the Money

Scandals about the conditions in which people who work in third world countries are frequent. The latest scandal claims Apple exhausts the workers who make its products in China and uses (indirectly) child labour to work in dangerous mines in Indonesia. When the BBC made a programme about these thing Apple circulated its UK staff with words which included  Continue reading

They’ve Got the Whole World in their Hands

Mr Xi and Mr Obama run the two wealthiest countries in the world. The former is undemocratically elected and the latter elected by a very flawed democratic system. Both have power and can use their power for good or for evil. Continue reading

Is the Dollar in Danger of losing its Reserve Currency Status?

China will be buying Russian natural gas in ever increasing quantities. Both nations will benefit from the trade, but the trade will be ground breaking in one particular way. China will almost certainly pay for the gas not in US dollars, but in Roubles or Yuan. I doubt if either Russia or China will want to buy and sell dollars to trade in natural gas. For economic reasons as these economies become stronger in their own right as well as becoming relatively stronger than the American economy then neither Russia nor China will want to hold too many dollars. Continue reading

Russia, China and Future Growth

Ten years ago conventional business wisdom was that if you had to make something you moved the production to China and invested (directly or indirectly) in production facilities in China. Today the position has almost reversed. Production in China has been so profitable that Chinese businesses are encouraged and urged to invest their profits in business in the United States, the European Community and other parts of the world. The Chinese economy has transformed from a branch of the western economy to an economic centre in its own right. Continue reading

It is worth sacrificing some money and prosperity for an improvement in things that cannot be measured in money

As China struggles to overcome levels of air pollution that compare with the worst pea souper fogs and smogs of former industrial Britain, I conclude that there is no free lunch and that economic growth has its pitfalls and problems as well as its advantages.   Continue reading

That Rubbish Tip at the Back of the Garden

China is a large country where many people live. For the past few decades it has opened factories while the developed nations have closed factories because things can be made cheaply in China. As a result the productivity in China has increased, along with economic growth and as surely as night follows day when rapid economic growth occurs so emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases rise inexorably to increasingly dangerous levels. Continue reading