donderdag 15 juni 2006
Le Monde bericht: 'Reinventing Globalization.
Nine thousand kilometers! That's the total average distance covered by a shot of milk, fruit, and plastics before they're transformed into a container of yogurt and find their way into your refrigerator. In thirty years, global shipping volume has tripled while road transport in France has jumped 43% in less than fifteen years. The globalization of reciprocal trade is such that international trade represents a third of global production.
Will we be able to maintain this rhythm over the next thirty years? Not very likely. These long trips, voracious in their use of fuel, are only possible because transportation cost is barely reflected in the final price of a container of yogurt, for example. The heralded increases in oil costs due to the exhaustion of reserves and global warming linked to CO2 emissions are going to force us, experts believe, to take a new look at the global flow of merchandise in the next thirty to forty years.
In the scenario where the price per barrel goes from 70 to 180 dollars, as the Conseil général des ponts et chaussées [French "General Council for Bridges and Roads"] envisions in a report on transport in 2050, the logistical situation is likely to be profoundly changed. Diesel fuel represents 20% of the costs for a transport company that clears a 4% profit. We see that if the fuel price variable is affected, the whole economic model teeters. "We don't pay a fair price for energy," reasons Thierry Raes, in charge of the energy and transport sector in the PricewaterhouseCoopers consulting firm. "There's a very perverse logic at work. Globalization's collateral damage - social and environmental - is only very partially taken into account."
The aberrations are easily discernible in daily life. Pears from Argentina can be purchased by a distributor for less than those produced in the European Union. Chinese strawberries have become ultra-competitive, although when they're sold in France, they demand twenty times the equivalent in gasoline of a strawberry from Périgord. "Between a quarter and half the weight of a pair of blue jeans is given off as CO2 by virtue of the product's outsourcing," points out Alain Morcheoine, Director of the agency for the environment, "Ademe."
These aberrations are all the more untenable given that global energy consumption will increase 65% from now to 2025, from - most notably - China and India's economic catch-up. If the Chinese purchased as many cars as Europeans tomorrow, their energy consumption would be one billion tons equivalent of oil a year, or as much as the United States, Japan and Europe today.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/061406H.shtml Of in het Frans: