Holding Together

The waters on the surface of the earth flow together wherever they can,

as for example in the ocean, where all the rivers come together.

Symbolically this connotes holding together and the laws that regulate it.

Natural resource and commodity issues on a global and local level.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sourcemap: where stuff is sourced from

From MIT's Media Lab come Sourcemap, a site that creates maps showing where materials used in a wide variety of products comes from.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Get Ready: rare earth prices set to rise

"A Chinese embargo on rare earth elements is causing a dramatic spike in the price of materials, which is expected to lead to a jump in high-tech product prices before settling back down in a few years, according to report released today.
Prices will increase rapidly until "non-Chinese rare earth mines are up and running, increasing product availability and thereby decreasing prices," wrote Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network, in a research note today."

Pittsburgh on the road to gas drilling ban

"The Pittsburgh City Council has given preliminary approval to a ban on natural gas drilling within the limits of the western Pennsylvania city.
Council president Darlene Harris said the panel has concerns about the effects of drilling and industry chemicals on the health of residents. The measure was approved 8-0 Tuesday with a final vote expected next week."
Why do I think this is the beginning of a trend?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

They're Not Going to Take It

Action, reaction. "Emerging economies expressed displeasure at the Fed's move, making any substantive deal on global imbalances and currencies at next week's Group of 20 meeting in Seoul even less likely." A significant (side?) effect of QE (and QE2) is the pumping up of commodity prices and emerging markets. To some extent the Fed is exporting a good deal of inflationary potential to these areas. Is a significant rise in the price of oitl, for example, a barometer of how successful the Fed has been in its actions?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grim reality behind rare earths

Interesting article on Reuters here: "China's biggest producers still pollute at levels far beyond what would be allowed in the United States, Australia and other countries now looking to ramp up production as Beijing curbs exports."

Just Passing Through

Cotton, the commodity, kept hitting new highs in 2010, and was one of the most spectacular performers in the resource space. It wasn't clear whether, or how, the price of the fluffy stuff would pass along to the consumer. This article from The New York Times offers a perspective on how it will.

Monday, November 1, 2010

boring as dirt: rare earth minerals

A topic most people once considered as boring as dirt--rare earth minerals--has fast become a matter of international significance with a direct impact on green technologies and consumer electronics.

Rare earth minerals have become a hot-topic issue for industrialists and politicians for one simple reason: supply.

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