Thursday, May 12, 2005

Vital Signs 2005- Vital Facts

Worldwatch Institute
May 12, 2005

VITAL FACTS - Selected facts and story ideas from Vital Signs 2005

Explosive growth in emerging markets, particularly China, was a large factor behind the 5 percent increase in the gross world product in 2004, to $55 trillion. China’s economy alone grew by 9 percent. (p. 44)
China represented more than 20 percent of the increase in world trade volumes in 2004, and its share in world exports nearly doubled over the previous four years, to 5.8 percent. (p. 46)
Of poorer countries, China was the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in 2003, at $54 billion. (p. 48)
Bolstered by strong economic growth in China, unemployment in East Asia stood at a mere 3.3 percent in 2003, compared to 6.2 percent worldwide. (p. 102)
China increased its oil consumption by 11 percent in 2004, cementing its position as the world’s number two user (after the U.S.) at 6.6 million barrels per day. (p. 30)
China is rapidly increasing its dependency on automobiles, with sales of cars and light commercial vehicles expected to reach 5 million units in 2005 and 7.3 million by 2007. (p. 56)
China’s fleet of airplanes is due to skyrocket from 777 planes in 2003 to over 2,800 planes in 2023. (p. 60)
China now ranks second (after the U.S.) in global carbon emissions, with a 14-percent share. Emissions in China are up more than 47 percent since 1990, and it accounted for half the global increase in 2003. (p. 40)
Between 2001 and 2020, some 590 thousand people a year in China are projected to suffer premature deaths due to urban air pollution—nearly one third of the projected world total. (p. 95)
China is now the world leader in steel production—accounting for nearly half the 8.8 percent increase in global production in 2004. It is projected to account for 61 percent of total growth in steel consumption in 2005. (p. 52)
Consumption of meat in China is expected to reach 73 kilograms per person on average a year, a 55 percent increase from 1993. (p. 24)
China alone harvested 46 million tons of fish in 2002, more than one third of the global total. (p. 26)
In 2004, China produced 1.79 trillion cigarettes, 32 percent of the global total. Chinese consumers smoked 99 percent of domestic production, in contrast to the U.S., which exported 24 percent of its production. (p. 70)
Because of China’s mounting HIV/AIDS epidemic, the number of people living with HIV in East Asia jumped nearly 50 percent between 2002 and 2004, to 1.1 million. (p. 68)

U.S. aid spending in Iraq totalled $18.44 billion in 2004, while all other U.S. aid spending added up to $20.7 billion. More than a quarter of this $20.7 billion went to just four counties—Israel, Egypt, Columbia, and Jordan—none of which are among the poorest in the world. (p. 109)
Every hour, the world spends more than $100 million on soldiers, weapons, and ammunition. (p. 76)
Programs to provide clean water and sewage systems would cost roughly $37 billion annually; to eradicate illiteracy, $5 billion; and to provide immunization for every child in the developing world, $3 billion. (p. 76)

High-income countries, home to only 16 percent of the world’s people, account for $662 billion, or 75 percent, of global military expenditures. (p. 76)
Military budgets of high-income countries are roughly 10 times larger than their combined development assistance. (p. 76)
Traditional military deployments abroad dwarf peacekeeping efforts. Some 530,000 soldiers (70 percent of them from the U.S.) in military operations overshadow the 125,000 peacekeepers worldwide. (p. 78)

Nearly one in four mammal species is in serious decline, mainly due to human activities. (p. 86)
An estimated half of the world’s wetlands have been lost since 1900, and destruction continues apace. (p. 90)
Global forest cover stands at approximately half the original extent of 8,000 years ago. (p. 92)
A 2000 World Bank study projected that on average 1.8 million people would die prematurely each year between 2001 and 2020 because of air pollution. (p. 94)
Global ice melt has led to hunger and weight loss among polar bears, and has altered the habitats as well as feeding and breeding patterns of penguins and seals. (p. 89)
The U.N. Environment Programme projects 50 million environmental refugees worldwide by 2010. (p. 50)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

one should follow the growth of Brazil, Russia, India, China (BRIC countries) and Korea.

Looking at economic and intellectual development of these countries will show that Japan, US and EU will lose economic/political influence over the world in the next 20 years.

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