Sunday, 28 June 2009
As traditional 'power' changes, what can we expect ?
Power is set to change radically in the next decade - as the balance of 'Power' moves rapidly from the West to the East ... and as it also changes from power in the hands of the 'few' to the 'many' (i.e. 'people power' - powered by the internet). We have often focused on the latter in this blog, but the former is also continuing apace too ... for instance take a look at a couple of topical examples below:
1. Eastern economies like China are still growing apace and some conspiracy theorists believe the West are trying hard to push national carbon emission reduction targets onto them to slow the pace of their development/growth. Developing countries such as China have predictably responded by saying they want per capita targets (nb the US emits over 4x more carbon per capita than China*), as well as allowances made for the carbon generated to create products that other countries consume (ie export relief), which they argue are the only fair ways to set emission targets & avoid 'trade barriers / wars' ... which are naturally creating debate (though I think China have a robust argument) ...
2. The shift in power is also occurring with respect to economics and financial strength too. The US has previously been a major beneficiary of the fact that the US economy has been the largest in the world, and US dollar has been the key global currency for some time. This has meant that resource rich nations with wealth and trade surpluses (such as Middle East and China) have often invested in the US economy and the dollar. But with the demise of the US economy, and the US dollar, China (and other investors) have been hit badly and it's now saying it wants a 'world' currency that countries can invest in instead of the US dollar (nb it has not suggested the Yuan**), which would result in a further demise of the dollar (and the US economy) ... which will ensure a lively future too ...
Troubled times have certainly not passed, it fact it could be argued that they are only just beginning ... (e.g. Russia already agrees with China in a number of these areas and other wealthy resource rich countries could well support such approaches in the future too) ... yet many people are still blissfully unaware of what's going on, or not prepared to take responsibility for doing something about it*** ... and it's still not clear when they will. 'People Power' is here, but most 'people just haven't realised it yet'.
Perhaps when economies collapse further, unrest starts to grow and/or more conflicts break out, more people will start to ask questions and take responsibility... e.g. when it really starts to impact on them personally (ie they, or their loved ones, are badly affected by it, by perhaps losing their jobs or get caught up in some of the conflicts) ...
* China makes a lot of products consumed by the west, which if taken into account, increases all these figures further too.
** Question: Would the US have done the same thing if they were in China's position?
*** Ignoromics = People are either effectively ignorant of the situation (e.g. the overall environment) or not prepared to take responsibility to make sure it changes for the better.