Wednesday, January 28, 2009

World Growth Collapses

Econbrowser provides a link to a just-released IMF survey that reports that in November, 2008, world industrial production went from growing at a positive amount to an annual rate of -15%, and world merchandise trade went from growing at a positive rate to nearly a -45% rate, a total collapse probably more dramatic than even during the Great Depression. The IMF has lowered its projection for aggregate world economic growth in 2009 from 2.4% to 0.5%, which if it comes to pass would be the lowest rate of world GDP growth since WW II. We are indeed in a massive world economic crisis of the first order.


Sandwichman said...

Hidden conclusion here.

As they say, the future is hard to predict.

Myrtle Blackwood said...

Oh thank God for our forests!

"Some questions in the public interest.
1. Is it true Gunns is laying off workers, or about to lay off workers?
2. Is it true Greg L’Estrange of Gunns has been put in charge of the downsizing?
3. Is it true that Gunns is only logging at 45% of their cut of late last year?
4. Is it true there have been no woodchip ships into Tasmania for some considerable time, that in fact the woodchip market has collapsed?
5. Is it true that Greg L’Estrange’s public comments in which he puts a positive spin on the Tasmanian woodchip situation, accidentally or deliberately misleading the market?

Bob McMahon
Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill said...

Maybe it will be good for the forests, but it will not be all that good for the people as unemployment soars around the world. Last time things got this bad we ended up with political upheavals that led to WW II. Ugh.

Myrtle Blackwood said...

Barkley, the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment document pointed out that nations are actually losing real wealth by destroying their forests. This is certainly true in Tasmania where a hike in clearfelling has coincided with an actual drop in the number of jobs here.

It's not an either-or thing, as you are aware.

The river mouths are clogging up with silt, the fresh water is continually contaminated with insecticides and pesticides from whole region aerial spraying and ground spraying activities by the multinational investment companies. (Macquarie Group heavily involved).

Trees are also planted here on (quite literally) Australia's best vegetable growing land and they are depleting the acquifers of water at an enormous rate.

The unemployment here is going to be a massive disaster because the fallback of acquiring sustenance directly from the environment has been shut off in many ways. Like trying to feed oneself from the rivers here with fish that are contaminated with toxins.

It's a long story but this all came out in a Senate document. The Committee made a whole lot of recommendations for reform and they were completely ignored.

See: Senate Committee Report
Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee
Australian forest plantations
'A review of Plantations for Australia: the 2020 Vision'
September 2004.

No viable environment means no jobs. said...


I am full agreement with you on the need to preserve forests and get a more sustainable way to run our world economy. However, in a bad recession like this one, which is getting more and more serious by the minute, people tend to react in a very basic way. Prioritizing of the environment as an important issue in the US is collapsing along with the economy. When people have jobs and feel secure, they become more willing to make sacrifices to help the environment. When they are losing their jobs, their attitude tends to harden and says, "to heck with the environment!" There is no way you are going to convince me that there is much of an upside to this current situation.