The Rise of 3-D and automated manufacture Spells the End of Globalisation

 

 

 

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Whether you’re reading this article on a smartphone, tablet or laptop, chances are the device in front of you contains components from at least six countries spanning three or more continents. Its sleek exterior belies the complicated and intricate set of internal parts that only a global supply chain can provide. Over the past century, finished products made in a single country have become increasingly hard to find as globalization — weighted a term as it is — has stretched supply chains to the ends of the Earth. Now, anything from planes, trains and automobiles to computers, cellphones and appliances can trace its hundreds of pieces to nearly as many companies around the world. And its assembly might take place in a different country still.

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Demographics; the 4th Industrial Revolution; and Nationalism. A heady mix

Occasionally history throws up an era where massive and substantive change occurs. It appears that we are in such an era. The forces of aggregation of nation states into large multi-state blocs appears to be in retreat as does the attendant forces of globalisation in manufacture and trade. There are exceptions however in such efforts to forge the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) trading and regulatory bloc. The success of that effort are however now increasingly in question especially if Donald Trump’s Republicans win the US Presidential elections.

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The demographic decline of the major Western European states and the associated flood of economic and political refugees is driving a strengthening Nationalist movement. As the cultural underpinnings of the EU come under increasing cultural and political pressure from new arrivals. Europe’s new Muslim immigrants are now emboldened to declare that they are a ‘cultural invasion’ that intends to dominate and destroy the current European cultural underpinnings, for Reli0-cultural reasons. This has sparked a robust push back from nation states within the EU and the rise of nationalist parties.

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Save the planet….keep fracking!

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Proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations intended to lower methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to fight global warming would only lower the temperature by 0.0047 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, according to calculations performed Monday by the industry group Energy In Depth (EID).

The EPA’s proposed rules would have essentially no impact on global temperatures, only causing a temperature drop of 0.0047 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. The rules would make it hard to produce natural gas, which would likely increase other greenhouse gas emissions that drive global warming.

The EID calculations and research cited several scientific studies to support the idea that methane emissions from the entire natural gas system are very low and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. Oil and natural gas production of methane is not to blame for the global spike in emissions, according to a study published in the journal Science in March and American greenhouse gas emissions of all types are broadly declining, largely due to fracking.

Even the EPA has noted that rising natural gas use is reponsible for falling greenhouse gas emissions, saying in an April report “a decrease in the carbon intensity of fuels consumed to generate electricity has occurred due to…increased natural gas consumption and other generation sources.”

The EPA’s own data shows that methane emissions have declined as fracking increased natural gas production, but the environmental agency still wants to regulate methane to reduce global warming.

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Earth Day Blues: Still Doom-mongering and Still Wrong 40 years later, yet they seemingly Never Learn

Just how accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970?

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The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularlywrong,” according to Bailey. Here are 18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made around 1970 when the “green holy day” (aka Earth Day) started:

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China’s Government Will Target Provincial Politicians

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s extensive anti-corruption campaign claimed another victim, but this case may be about more than fraud or abuses of power. Zhang Yue, the head of Hebei province’s Political and Legal Affairs Commission, came under investigation for corruption April 16. Chinese news outlets reported that he was linked with the former vice minister of the country’s intelligence service who was arrested last year. Allegedly, Zhang used his position as the head of Hebei’s law enforcement and judicial apparatus to arrest and sentence business rivals of his associates.

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Corruption charges against one provincial official could signal a move by Beijing to push economic restructuring, which includes shutting down overcapacity in heavy industry. Even though Zhang’s expertise centered on security and judicial affairs, as part of the committee he would have had input on Hebei province’s economic policy. This would include the degree to which it implemented Beijing’s policies to curb heavy industry, which often has high overhead costs and yields low profit margins.

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