The recession has touched almost everything in the world from employment, to prices, to GDP growth to housing. Even China is seeing its economy slow. In the US, this downturn may be the worst in eight decades.
One thing that hard times do is cut energy consumption. OPEC may have to reduce production by two million barrels a day, about 5% of the cartel’s shipments.Car sales are off as are airline trips. That pushes fuel prices down. Use of home heating oil is also likely to drop. As factories shut down or move to shorter hours, energy use will slump across most of the industrial sector.
According to Reuters, 2008 will be the coolest year since 1997. The data comes from World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
This year will still be hot by historical standards, but, if energy use continues to fall 2009 and 2010 it could cut even further into the trend of global warming.
It won’t bring the polar ice cap back, but it could keep Manhattan from being four feet under water.
Douglas A. McIntyre