At its peak under the Safavid Dynasty (1502-1722), the Iranian city of Isfahan was seen as so glorious that it was nicknamed “half the world” for its boulevards, palaces, covered bridges and mosques, many of which remain to this day. The city, now home to nearly two million people and the country’s third-largest, was a cultural crossroads that attracted people from all over the world.
The major artery that ran through the city was the Zayanderud River, a thoroughfare that nourished some of the earliest civilizations in recorded history and sustained the people of Isfahan down through modern times. But for two years the river has been bone dry.… Seguir leyendo »
At the end of June, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, announced plans to invest $44 billion in the “pre-salt” oil fields in the country’s coastal waters, whose holdings of at least 50 billion barrels are one of the biggest oil finds of the past three decades.
Extracting this oil from its ultra-deep-water home will be a fantastic technological achievement — a tribute to how we can now harvest energy resources from the most extreme environments. From deep water drilling for oil to fracking for gas and arctic mining, there are no more limits.
This is astonishing. But it should also be alarming.… Seguir leyendo »
En 2050, Asia tendrá más de cinco mil millones de habitantes, mientras que la proporción de la Unión Europea en la población mundial pasará del 9% al 5%. El promedio del crecimiento económico anual en Asia durante los últimos 30 años ha sido de un 5% y se proyecta que su PIB aumente de $30 billones a unos $230 billones en 2050. El equilibrio de poder del siglo XXI -en términos sociales, económicos y posiblemente políticos- está cambiando del oeste al este.
Las inquietudes de Occidente sobre un inminente "siglo asiático" se derivan principalmente del precedente de la geopolítica del siglo XX, en que Occidente dominó naciones menos desarrolladas.… Seguir leyendo »
Try to imagine a world with three Americas. Three giant economic powerhouses, with citizens who buy, sell and consume, all in pursuit of their versions of the American Dream. Difficult to envision? But that’s where economists say we’re heading.
The broad consensus is that China will overtake the U.S to become the world’s biggest economy within two decades. And by 2050, India will be as big as well.
This prospect excites many people — those in business most of all, but also Asian governments. After decades of hard work and struggle, hundreds of millions stand on the brink of middle-class abundance.… Seguir leyendo »