Every other week The Nett Report provides readers with thoughtful perspectives useful to navigating life in a changing world. Past issues can be found here (recent) and here (past two years). If you enjoy The Nett Report, please use the share, comment, and like buttons above!
Happy Holidays! This issue ends another year of writing The Nett Report. Thanks to all our readers for following us so faithfully. Here’s wishing you a joyous holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2023, filled with love, friends, and family!
Poll Results. Last week we asked readers: “Substack has provided a new chat function, allowing readers to interact with each other. Would turning on the chat function be of interest?
33% - Maybe
67% - No
0% - Yes
Thanks for the responses! Looks like we won’t turn on the chat function. This issue’s poll is in The Political Divide section.
Future of Work / The Economy
“I advise corporations that if you are going to get involved in politics, you had better be good at it. You better be at least as good at politics as you are at your business. Because it’s a nasty business.” - Mick Mulvany, former presidential chief of staff
Global Inflation – where does the U.S. stand?
While we lament the rising prices in the U.S. of everything from fuel to groceries to housing, how does the U.S. inflation rate of 7.7% compare to the rest of the world? Pretty well, according to a story in Visual Capitalist on December 5, 2022. The global inflation rate was 9.8% in 2022. Zimbabwe leads the way with 269% inflation, followed by four other countries with inflation rates more than 100%. Image credit: Visual Capitalist
GDP in 2075 – slowing economies due to reduced population growth
Goldman Sachs, on December 8, 2022, published a story projecting GDP growth to 2075. The firm says the growth of the global economy will slow as Asian economies rise. China will overtake the U.S. around 2035, with India catching up by 2075. All three of those countries will have GDPs between $50 and $60 trillion in 2075, with the “Euro Area” at $30 trillion. A key reason for slowing economies: “the world’s rate of population growth has halved during the past 50 years and is now at less than 1% — population growth will stall by 2075, according to UN population projections.”
Blackrock predicts a new era of market volatility
Investment management firm Blackrock released its 2023 Global Outlook last week and, according to a December 9, 2022, story in Fortune, “warned of a coming recession, stubborn inflation, and a new era that won’t be so kind to investors.” The firm says the past four decades of “low inflation and steady economic growth—allowed stocks and bonds to flourish in a way that won’t be possible moving forward.” The firm attributes three major factors supporting its assessment:
Aging populations will shrink workforces and force governments to spend more to care for the elderly, causing worker shortages and reduced production.
Tensions between global superpowers signal that we’ve entered into a “new world order,” where globalized supply chains that once helped reduce the price of goods may be broken.
A more rapid transition to clean energy will ultimately be inflationary unless a new stream of investment flows into carbon-neutral solutions.
Are you fluent in Gen-Z office speak?
The Tech at Work section of the Washington Post provides a short article on how to understand Gen-Z office speak. Are you fluent?
“Stuff is now inundating us. It’s strangling the world. Could a recycled economy be part of the solution?” What if there was “a recycling system in which all the stuff people no longer want is continuously recirculated to people who want it?” - Robert Reich’s newsletter on Substack, December 5, 2022
Renewable energy production set to increase by 2,400 gigawatts by 2027
According to a December 6, 2022, report by the International Energy Administration (IEA), clean energy capacity is expected to grow by 2,400 gigawatts (GW) from 2022 to 2027, an amount equal to the entire power capacity of China and more than was produced in the previous 20 years. Renewables are set to account for more than 90% of global electricity expansion over the next five years, overtaking coal to become the largest source of global electricity by early 2025. A number of factors have supercharged this growth:
The global energy crisis has kicked governments into an extraordinary new phase of even faster growth as countries seek to capitalize on their energy security benefits.
The war in Ukraine pushed European governments and businesses to rapidly replace Russian gas with alternatives.
China, the United States, and India are all implementing policies and introducing regulatory and market reforms more quickly than previously planned to combat the energy crisis.
Renewables’ continued acceleration is critical to help keep the door open to limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.
Drought in the west called of “biblical proportion,” and “rules will have to change”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) has declared a drought emergency for all of Southern California. The agency said the 22-year drought “is of biblical proportion,” according to a December 14, 2022, story on KTLA Los Angeles. The declaration calls for local water agencies served by MWD to “limit outdoor irrigation to one day a week for no more than 10 minutes while using water-efficient appliances.” Meanwhile, the Washington Post on December 17, 2022, reported that state and federal authorities are saying that “unprecedented shortages could be coming to farms and cities in the West and that old rules governing how water is shared will have to change.”
Agreement to impose a carbon tax on EU imports
According to the Wall Street Journal in a December 13, 2022, story, The European Union (EU) has reached an agreement “to impose a tax on imports based on the greenhouse gases emitted to make them, inserting climate-change regulation for the first time into the rules of global trade.”
The Political Divide
“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” - Will Rogers
“Instead of ‘A group of right-wing crazies,’ how about we say ‘A well-ordered militia?’” Image Credit: Robert Reich’s newsletter on Substack, November 4, 2022
Why Do You Get Sick in the Winter? New Science Points Up Your Nose
A December 6, 2022, article in Gizmodo describes research indicating “that our “nose’s innate immune response weakens in colder temperatures, providing some germs a better opportunity to infect the rest of the body.” This could “provide a biological explanation for the seasonality of many respiratory diseases.” The study comes from scientists at Northeastern University as well as Mass Eye and Ear, a teaching hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School. The authors say their “findings should be replicated by other studies before they’re widely accepted, and there are likely multiple factors behind the seasonality of respiratory viruses.”
The Nett Light-Side
Build a six-seat electric bike for $150
A story in Electrek on December 7, 2022, reported on an Indian man who built a six-seat electric bike for $150.
Pit bull once used in dogfighting now paints artwork for charity
Van Gogh was formerly a bait dog in a dogfighting ring and lost his ear in the process. Now, according to a December 2, 0222, story on the Today Show, the 7-year-old pit bull paints impressionist art that sells to support a dog rescue charity.
A plow train rips through four feet of snow
The storm that recently dumped four feet of snow in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain was not a problem for a specialized train that clears the tracks. See this December 13, 2022, article in Unofficial Networks to watch the mesmerizing video.
Why does time go faster the older we get?
A December 16, 2022, article in Huffington Post explains why our perception of time changes as we get older and ”ways to make it feel slower.”
Beavers in the U.S. – past and present
A James Fallows newsletter on December 16, 2022, draws from the book Beaverland about how “ how ‘one weird rodent’ shaped the continent's past and could greatly improve its environmental future.”
About Carl Nettleton
Carl Nettleton is an award-winning writer, speaker, thought partner, facilitator, and subject-matter expert regarding water, climate, sustainability, the ocean, and binational U.S.-Mexico border affairs. Nettleton Strategies, the consultancy he founded in 2007, is a trusted source of analysis and advice on issues at the forefront of public policy, business, and the environment. He helps people to think strategically about their options for change. He is also the founder of OpenOceans Global, a nonprofit addressing ocean plastic in a new way.
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I wish you happy holidays and a wonderful new year ahead. 😃🙏🏽