An internationally renowned energy expert has written a book essential for every American–a galvanizing account of how the rising price and diminishing availability of oil are going to radically change our lives. Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller is a powerful and provocative book that explores what the new global economy will look like and what it will mean for all of us.
In a compelling and accessible style, Jeff Rubin reveals that despite the recent recessionary dip, oil prices will skyrocket again once the economy recovers. The fact is, worldwide oil reserves are disappearing for good. Consequently, the amount of food and other goods we get from abroad will be curtailed; long-distance driving will become a luxury and international travel rare. Globalization as we know it will reverse. The near future will be a time that, in its physical limits, may resemble the distant past.
But Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller is a hopeful work about how we can benefit–personally, politically, and economically–from this new reality. American industries such as steel and agriculture, for instance, will be revitalized. As well, Rubin prescribes priorities for President Obama and other leaders, from imposing carbon tariffs that will increase competition and productivity, to investing in mass transit instead of car-clogged highways, to forging “green” alliances between labor and management that will be good for both business and the air we breathe.
Most passionately, Rubin recommends ways every citizen can secure this better life for himself, actions that will end our enslavement to chain-store taste and strengthen our communities and timeless human values.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller|
|Release Date: 05-19-2009|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller
BEING AN ECONOMIST CAN RUIN YOUR APPETITE
It is probably not the only job that has that effect. I’ve never worked as a taxidermist, but I can see that it might turn me off fish. My job, though, gets me worried about fish in a whole different way.
I like salmon–who doesn’t? Salmon consumption has risen about 23 percent each year for the last decade or so. There are a number of good reasons to eat more fish: we all want food high in omega-3s, we want to eat less saturated fat, we want healthy protein for our low- carb diets. But here’s the key reason for the amount of salmon on your dinner table: cheap oil has been subsidizing the cost of fish. Just like Wal- Mart and Tesco and big- box retailers around the world have been able to cut prices on almost everything by taking advantage of cheap shipping and cheap Asian labor, salmon went from being delicious local seafood to being another global commodity. Cheap oil gives us access to a pretty big world.
In the global economy, no one thinks about distance in miles– they think in dollars. If oil is cheap, it really doesn’t matter how far a factory is from a showroom or a farmer’s field from a supermarket. It’s the cost of other things, like labor or tax, that determines what happens where. An Atlantic salmon caught off the coast of Norway is destined to be moved around the world just like a ball bearing or a microprocessor.
First the fish is taken to port in Norway, where it is frozen and transferred to another vessel, which will take it to a larger port, probably Hamburg or Rotterdam, where it will be transferred to another ship and schlepped to China– most likely Qingdao, on the Sha...