And Now for Some Good News...

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Bill Sniffin
Bill Sniffin

It always seems Wyoming is an island of good news surrounded by worldwide bad news spewed forth by the major networks and national media.

All we hear about nationally is bad news.  It is like the USA is in an economic funk, which is exacerbated by the gridlock in Congress. 

Europe, too, is apparently in even worse shape. Gloom and doom.

Maybe it is time we stepped back and looked around the world we live in today and the world we will be experiencing in 2020.

The world has never been safer from a major war than it is today.  Outside of some nut cases in North Korea and Iran, the world is stable.

In Wyoming, we have a lot of be thankful for.

We are home to unimaginable amounts of energy.  Natural gas, oil and uranium will continue to be fuels of choice for some time into the future.

That coal to diesel fuel plant in Carbon County still looks far-fetched, but with world economic growth occurring so fast, its time may come.

Our coal is the current bad boy among energy fuels, yet it provides about half of all the electricity generated in America.  That is a lot of energy.  There will be a tremendous thirst for Wyoming coal for at least two more decades and even beyond that if pollution considerations can be dealt with.

Once lawsuits are dealt with, vast amounts of Wyoming coal will be shipped by train to the west coast and on to China, India and Vietnam.   Global warming is real and maybe coal-fired power plants are a big cause, but world economics will drive this until 2050.        

Even wind, after dealing with cutbacks in tax breaks, has good news in the form of a revolutionary energy system being pioneered in Guernsey, Wyoming.

This system uses hydraulics involving nitrogen to provide a non-stop system of wind energy that removes one of the biggest problems bedeviling such systems.

How do you store wind energy?  And how to you keep the turbines turning when the wind is not blowing?

The Guernsey system solves those problems, the developers say.  Stay tuned on this one.  As the country’s most windy state, Wyoming could benefit immensely from this project.

In 2013, Wyoming is showing lots of economic promise.  It is now April and we are gearing up for what could the biggest tourist season in our history.  This industry, which is our second largest in dollars, but is by far our largest when it comes to numbers of employees, continues to be an international favorite location.      

But the best news of all is our economic diversification. The now decades-long investment in the Wyoming Business Council is paying off.

We are the home to supercomputers, vast transportation distribution centers, complex computerized service centers and even education hubs.

As I travel from one end of Wyoming to the other, the cities and towns look amazingly vibrant and prosperous.

For the best economic news in the world, we need to look east.

In Asia today, the middle class consists of an amazing number of 500 million people. But what is really fantastic is this number will grow to 1.75 billion in just seven years.  This is according to Kishore Mahbubani of Singapore, one of the world’s leading economic thinkers.

America has been the greatest capitalist power for the past 70 years and this Asian growth offers the opportunity to capture much of our lost luster.  Those 1.75 billion folks are a lot of customers.  And as has been repeatedly proved, everybody around the world loves American products.

Mahbubani was spelling all this out on CNN to one of my favorite writers Fareed Zakaria. 

Now, Zakaria is not a favorite of some folks in the USA because he had the temerity to write a book called The Post-American World. It is outstanding.  As he calls it, the book describes “not the fall of the west, but the rise of the rest.”  He correctly predicts unparalleled global economic growth, fueled by the new middle class.

He also correctly points out that middle class societies also tend to be democratic, which is also good for peace.

But back to the Mahbubani interview. Among the most important things he pointed out were the amazing decline of disease across the world and the elimination of mass poverty.  And it has been happening at such a fast pace.

Folks, it is all good news today.  Let’s enjoy it for it what it really is.

         

 

Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns and blogs at www.billsniffin.com.  He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written four books. His most recent book is “Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders” which is available at www.wyomingwonders.com.

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