Two major economic developments on opposite sides of the planet are shaking up the world´s economy big time.   The petroleum “boom” in the USA, centered in our Great Plains states, but also in Texas and Pennsylvania is running so fast experts predict an end to our dependence on foreign oil within a few short years.  The funds now spent on importing petroleum will be spent here, and not abroad, injecting trillions more dollars into our economy.   And that amount of money will serve to  revive, not just the petroleum industry, but also the entire economy.

Meanwhile vast sums of Asian investment funds are flowing into Africa to develop that continents basic resources industries - mining, energy, and agriculture.   This is a natural fit, Asia lacks many natural resources needed for its booming industries and Africa lacks investment funds.  I see it as a fine example of the benefits of a “global” economy where resources flow to production unhindered by political borders. 

But there are those who vigorously oppose these two dynamic stimuli to the world´s economy.   In the USA there are those who oppose developing more petroleum resources because, they warn, this will insure our continued reliance on fossil fuels for our main energy source.  Don´t they know that fossil fuels provide some 90% of our energy?  Don´t they see that clean burning gas replacing “dirty” coal goes a long way to reducing toxic emissions?  

Others warn about the dangers of the main technic used to develop our new gas and oil reserves, fracking.  But we have used fracking in the petroleum industry for over 60 years with no major problems.  It is a proven, safe technique. Still others raise concerns about building more pipelines to carry the gas.  Don´t they know that the USA is crisscrossed with over 200,000 mile of gas and, to a lesser extent, oil pipelines?  And these pipelines have caused few problems. 

In Africa we have those who warn that the massive inflow of investment funds from Asia, mainly India and China, is a new version of “economic imperialism. “   They argue that Africa´s natural resource  should be developed by Africans themselves for their own use.  But that denies the fact that Africa lacks the funds to do so and, by allowing Asians to develop these resources,  they too will benefit from the production, either from sales of the materials or eventual home use of these.  Or do these nay sayers simply want Africa to develop using soley “sweat equity?” 

I would be concerned by these voices crying out against the petroleum boom in the USA and Asian investment in Africa´s natural resources industries.  But I know that given the massive economic gains to be made these trends will continue in spite of the opposition.