29 February 2012

English Speaking Nations Well Positioned Demographically ....

Wiki Anglosphere

If demography is destiny, then the Anglospheric nations appear to be well positioned for the next few decades.
Between 1980 and 2010, the U.S., Canada, and Australia saw big population surges: the U.S.’s expanded by 75 million, to more than 300 million; Canada’s nearly doubled, from 18 million to 34 million; and Australia’s increased from 13 million to 22 million. By contrast, in some European countries, such as Germany, population has remained stagnant, while Russia and Japan have watched their populations begin to shrink.

...Germany already has 33 elderly people for every 100 of working age—up from only 21 in 1985. By 2030, this figure will rise to 48, meaning that there will be barely two working Germans per retiree. The numbers are even worse in Japan, which currently has 35 seniors per 100 working-age people, a dramatic change from 1985, when the country had just 15. By 2030, the ratio is expected to rise to 53 per 100. _CityJournal
Other countries, such as Brazil and Iran, face similar scenarios. These countries, without social safety nets of the kinds developed in Europe or Japan, may get old before they can get rich.

These figures will have an impact on the growth of the global workforce. Between 2000 and 2050, for example, the U.S. workforce is projected to grow by 37 percent, while China’s shrinks by 10 percent, the EU’s decreases by 21 percent, and, most strikingly, Japan’s falls by as much as 40 percent.

In this respect, immigration presents the most important long-term advantage for the Anglosphere, which has excelled at incorporating citizens from other cultures. A remarkable 14 million people immigrated to Anglosphere countries over the last decade. _CityJournal
It’s indisputable that the Anglosphere no longer enjoys the overwhelming global dominance that it once had. What was once a globe-spanning empire is now best understood as a union of language, culture, and shared values. Yet what declinists overlook is that despite its current economic problems, the Anglosphere’s fundamental assets—economic, political, demographic, and cultural—are likely to drive its continued global leadership. The Anglosphere future is brighter than commonly believed. _CityJournal
But beyond mere demographics and current economic rankings, the Anglosphere is sitting on a tonne of energy -- which can be used to provide a bridge between the hydrocarbon age and the nuclear / electrical age.
...the US, Canada and Britain, are re-appraising domestic energy policies to take advantage of vast hydrocarbon resources; although President Obama is certainly doing his best to slow down the impact fossil fuels could have on the US domestic economy.

The impact of US shale gas – and prospectively shale oil – on domestic energy prices and in pegging back global prices, has already been nothing short of a revolution. Canada is not hanging around waiting for its southern neighbor to re-think its Keystone Pipeline strategy, but is already looking to sell much of its vast oil sands resource on the Asian market. Both the US and Canadian markets have also seen significant investment in their domestic energy markets, not least from cash-rich Chinese energy companies.

In Britain, North Sea oil and gas is a resource that just refuses to quit. Indeed, inward investment into Britain’s North Sea energy industries for 2012 already stands at a record breaking £7.5 billion. But Britain now appears to have a world class shale gas resource that could match, or even eclipse, its entire North Sea resource. Add to this the fact that oil prospects in the Falklands Basin are set to triple the country’s reserves, and Britain’s commitment to developing domestic resources leaves the rest of Europe cold (perhaps literally). _EnergyTribune
Meanwhile, Australia has significant supplies of coal and the world's largest resource of uranium.

In many ways, the English language is the Anglosphere's greatest resource, providing a common economic, cultural, and scientific link for the global machine.

Of course, politics and bloated governments are the weakest link, as always. Corrupt rent seeking bureaucrats, politicians, lobbies, and hangers-on, are always a threat to a prosperous future. Witness the US Obama administration and its policy of energy starvation, for example. If not for the persistence of a few stubborn entrepreneurs in the shale energy game, energy prices in the US would be in the stratosphere -- exactly where Obama had planned for them to be.

Fortunately, the bellicose crown prince of dysfunctional government has been forced to backtrack on several of his anti-energy stances. Not nearly far enough, but if the pompous monarch of arrogant ineptitude can be unseated in November, a great deal of promise can still be salvaged for the US and Anglospheric future.

Governments in Australia and the UK have pushed for similarly self-destructive energy policies, and have been forced to backtrack to variable degrees, as well. Canada's provincial governments are quite a mixed bag, but the federal government appears to be relatively pro-energy for now.

The most important purpose of the Anglosphere is to provide a stable environment for the evolution of next level humans. Once that transition moves into a self-sustaining mode, things will begin happening so quickly that ordinary political and governmental classifications will no longer signify to any great extent. But in the meantime, a significant stability and relative prosperity will be very important.

More: An Australian look at the death of peak oil

California's Monterey shale may contain 500 billion barrels of shale oil crude. North Dakota's Bakken is likely to contain a similar amount.

The US shale gas explosion produced so much natural gas that it resulted in a methane glut and a price slump for methane in the US, and we are beginning to see the same in Canada. Will the same thing happen in the UK? Or in Australia, due to coal seam methane? Abundant energy is crucial for industrial production and commercial activity. Let us hope that the people of the Anglosphere never allow their politicians to do what Obama, Rudd, and Cameron were apparently trying to do -- shut down fossil fuels and starve their nations of energy.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for a fantastic post. Its great to get an alternative viewpoint beyond the usual drivel about the West in "terminal decline". Have you heard the phrase about China's one child policy and its affect on demography? They say "China will get old before it gets rich."
farmland investment

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012  
Blogger neil craig said...

I suspect us sitting on the energy reserves is overstating it. It is because we best combine technological advance with rule of law that these gas reserves have been looked for and therefore found here. It may well be that they are similarly distributed everywhere. It is certainly the case that nuclear power is usable everywhere.

However if the advantage in energy is illusory it is because the tachnological and law abidingness advantage is very real and more important.

Friday, 02 March, 2012  

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