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China’s leaders meet to plan economic future

18 Oct

Title of Extract: China’s Leaders Meet to Plan Economic Future
Source of Extract: BBC News
Date of Extract: 10/15/10
Category:  Economic Growth vs. Economic Development

Key Point:

  • Instead of seeking economic growth, China wants to close the gap between the rich and the poor
  • Letter asking for the end to restrictions on the freedom of speech
  • Meeting to discuss the nations next 5 year plan
  • China wants to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor to improve economic development so there is less conflict

Economic Connections: 

  • Unit 1: focusing on economic development vs. economic growth
  • By putting all the time and money into economic development, there is an opportunity cost of economic growth 

Dry future booming in China

17 Oct
  • Title of Extract: Dry future booming in China
  • Source of Extract: Environmental Expert
  • Date of Extract: 10/11/10
  • Category: Unit 1/Economic growth vs. development, scarcity, Unit 2/ demand

Key Points:

  • “China’s style of economic growth is pushing the country towards a water crisis. Water pollution is rampant nationwide and water scarcity has worsened severely in north China”
  • Since 1949, water usage in China has quintupled
  • The Communist party has insisted on grain self-sufficiency: “growing so much grain consumes huge amounts of underground water in the North China Plain… some scientists say farming in the rapidly urbanizing region should be restricted to protect endangered aquifers. Yet doing so could threaten the livelihoods of millions of farmers and cause a spike in international grain prices”
  • Housing development: in Shijjazhuang economic growth was over 11% last year with a continuously rising population – increased demand for nice housing (ex. new upscale housing development with lakes filled with pumped groundwater -> causing the primary water source to run dry: underground water table is sinking about 4 feet a year)
  • “Water pollution is so widespread that regulators say a major incident occurs every other day. Municipal and industrial dumping has left sections of many rivers unfit for human contact”
  • China’s economy continues to empathize growth; ex. China’s industries use 3-10 times as much water than industries in developed nations
  • $62 billion South-to-North Water Transfer Project : “funnel more than 12 trillion gallons northwards every year along three routes form the Yangtze River basin, where water is more abundant”
  • Scientists: aquifers below the North China Plain could be drained within 30 years if the current rate continues

Economic Connections:

  • Concept of scarcity (water)
  • Economic growth vs. development: as a result of its policies and actions, China’s economy has experienced immense growth, but has it also led to economic development?
  • Demand: increased demand for water from cities, industry and farming

Growth, Growth, Growth!

17 Oct

Key Points:

  • Growth drives an economy
  • Economic growth is tough to stimulate rapidly with energy prices on the rise
  • We’re consuming too much the materials that sustain us
  • The last two decades have been the greatest economic growth of all time, but those resources aren’t there as much anymore
  • “THE PARTY IS OVER. Without ever-expanding resources, ever-expanding production and consumption, our economic growth model becomes a relic, instantly obsolete.”
  • Oil supplies are becoming more limited
  • Fresh water is becoming more scarce,”The World Bank already predicts the next world war will be over water.”
  • Capitalism must face reality, the resources just aren’t everlasting
  • As our resources are becoming more scarce, we are faced with the decision to sacrifice our growth for the future or for us right now?(Sustainable development)
  • Our Economic development is going to deplete more and more as we lose resources and our economic growth decreases
  • Many groups across many countries are already trying to change by attempting to develop the perfect system, sufficiency and equity while preserving resources and materials on our planets.

Economic Connections:

  • Concept of scarcity with water and other resources
  • Economic growth within a nation while preserving our economic development
  • Sustainable development with the future and us in the present

Chinese school for MBA’s has a location in Ghana, Africa

17 Oct

Title Of Extract: Which MBA? | Where others fear to tread

Source Of Extract: The Economist

Date Of Extract: October 15th 2010

Category: Unit 1 / Economic Development, Factors of production

Key Points:

-China is accused of making the business school in Africa since it just wants Africa’s Natural Resources

-The costs are high for Africans, and this includes environmental degradation

-China wants to bring their “economic model” to africa to help them develop economically, since the standards of living in Africa are not very good

-There is a serious lack of good business education in Africa (it is scarce)

– The problem is, there are actually financial downsides to this program in africa

-The program is actually a money loser for CEIBS, which is the organization that runs this MBA school.

Economic Connections

-The Concept of Economic Development

-Factors of production

-Scarcity of business education in Africa

New set of targets for 2020 to tackle biodiversity loss

17 Oct
  • Type of Extract: UN Japan forum ‘key time’ to solve global nature crisis
  • Source of Extract: BBC world news
  • Date of Extract: 10/17/10
  • Category: Economic Growth vs. Economic Development

Key Points:

  • Species are going extinct at 100-1,000 times the natural rate, key habitat is disappearing, and ever more water and land is being used to support people.
  • A UN-sponsored team of economists has calculated that loss of biodiversity and ecosystems is costing the human race $2 trillion to $5 trillion a year.
  • Noting that nature’s diversity is “the foundation upon which human civilisation has been built”, governments pledged “to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth”.
  • The majority of species studied over the period are moving closer to extinction rather than further away, while important natural habitat such as forests, wetlands, rivers and coral reefs continue to shrink or be disturbed.
  • Government delegates here are considering adopting a new set of targets for 2020 that aim to tackle the causes of biodiversity loss – the expansion of agriculture, pollution, climate change, the spread of alien invasive species, the increasing use of natural resources – which conservationists believe might be a more effective option than setting targets on nature itself.
  • Many experts believe it is necessary if scientific evidence on the importance of biodiversity loss is to be transmitted effectively to governments, in the same way that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assembles evidence that governments can use when deciding whether to tackle climate change.

Economic Connectioins:

  • hindrance of economic growth
  • possible hindrance of economic development
  • effect on production possibilities


No More Fossil Fuels!

17 Oct
  • Title of Extract: Hundreds Join Oil Refinery Protest
  • Source of Extract: London Evening Standard
  • Date of Extract: 10/18/10
  • Category: Unit 1/Economic Growth vs. Economic Development

Key Points:

  • Hundreds of protesters have blockaded road to oil refinery.
  • Protesters accuse oil tankers of heightening climate change.
  • Protest was peaceful, but fuel tankers were blocked off.
  • It was supported by multiple action groups including Camp for Climate Action and Plane Stupid who were taking part in a “global week of action against the Fossil Fuel industry.”
  • If we want to stop climate change we need to find an alternative to oil.

Economic Connections:

  • Oil/fossil fuels in general are not a sustainable form of development.
  • Fossil Fuels are scarce resources and are not a reliable form of development.

Sanguinary Mud a Barrier to Growth?!

15 Oct

Key Points –

  • location – Budapest, Hungary
  • the Ajkai Timfoldgyar metals plant had a broken reservoir that released a colossal flood of red sludge onto the neighboring village
  • this plant began to restart 10/15/2010
  • 9 dead, 50 injured
  • plant has 1,100 employees, will reach original capacity of production ~ Tuesday
  • toxic red sludge: result of production of alumina, used to make aluminum
  • Contradiction of plant’s decision from Greenpeace: area is still currently uninhabitable, safety measures still unclear, airborne dust is a condition in the area
  • red sludge is stored, however currently has no economic use
  • technical director Jozsef Deak and managing director Zoltan Bakonyi may be charged with public endangerment and environmental damage

Economic Connections –

  • hindrance of economic growth
  • possible hindrance of economic development
  • effect on production possibilities
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