Thursday, February 26, 2009


The Greener Grass of Foreign Economies

From the President’s speech on Tuesday:

“We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet, it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient. We invented solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in Korea.”

Yeah – if only we had their business acumen:

Japan factory output plunges, jobless rate jumps

“Industrial production at the nation's manufacturers plunged 9.6 percent in November, the largest drop since Tokyo began measuring such data in 1953, the government said Friday….The International Monetary Fund estimates that Japan's economy contracted 0.3 percent in 2008 and on Wednesday lowered its 2009 growth forecast for Japan to minus 2.6 percent.

German Unemployment Soars as Economic Crisis Deepens

“German unemployment jumped more than expected to 8.3 percent in January, the third straight rise and biggest increase in nearly four years as the fallout from the global slowdown hits Europe's biggest economy.”

South Korea Reverses Economic Growth Prediction

“The government is reversing a recent prediction of growth, saying the South Korean economy will contract for the first time since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990's.”

But in the spirit of bi-partisanship, I’ll concede we may want to emulate a big part of China’s “largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient”:

As part of China's stimulus package to revive its economy, National Energy Administration Director Zhang Guobao announced that the nation plans to work on "at least" four nuclear power stations in 2009…Further boosting the development of nuclear power, according to Zhang, is an important way for China to restructure its energy mix...Compared with coal-fired, which now accounts for over two-thirds of the country's power generation, nuclear energy is more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.” China's energy sector rises to global economic challenge

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