The Latest Trending Economic, Environmental and Demographic News Curated for You By The Balmoral Group
The Balmoral Group provides practical, professional and precise Economics, Data Analytics, and Engineering Consulting services and is part of a globally integrated team.
Don't forget to change your clocks back one hour this Sunday for what could become the final appearance of Standard Time. In March, the U.S. Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act to make Daylight Saving Time permanent beginning in 2023. The ball is in the U.S. House's court now to finalize legislation and make the change, which has bipartisan support.
This week we study how climate change has affected gross domestic product around the globe, expanded funding for U.S. port development, affordable solar powered vehicles coming to market, coral reef regeneration, and the link between fuel costs at the pump and consumer sentiment.
How Climate Change Has Cost Countries
A recent study from climate scientists at Dartmouth College utilized long-term data to estimate that the top five greenhouse gas emitting nations collectively caused $6 trillion in global economic losses between 1990 and 2014. The climate models linked global average temperature rise to the rate of warming in each nation and estimated the associated change in gross domestic product (GDP). The U.S., China, Russia, Brazil, and India lead global emissions. Read more here: Scientific American and Dartmouth News.
U.S. DOT Announces $703 Million in Port Development Grants
The grants announced last week will fund 41 projects in 22 states and one territory through the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program. Of these, 3 projects are in Florida. Port Everglades will receive $19 million to improve 3 of the ports’ berths. The Jacksonville Port Authority will receive $23 million for the JAXPORT EXPRESS Project, which will be used for zero emission technology and equipment. Finally, $353,000 will fund a port development plan in Putnam County. Maritime Executive. Full list here.
World’s First Affordable Solar Electric Vehicle
German company Sono Motors says it will bring a solar-powered electric vehicle to market in Europe by mid-2023. The car, priced at $25,000, will not only be the most affordable solar powered car on the market, but it will also be more affordable than many electric vehicles. Solar cells line the outside of the car and can fuel about 70 miles of driving per week. The car will still require a lithium battery for longer trips, which caps out at 190-miles. Currently, the car has limited range and options, but it will serve as a step toward more mainstream cars in the future as there is no mass-market option for solar powered cars. Added costs of these solar panels are minimal and can help save on fuel costs. Read more here.
Coral Reef in Kiribati is Beacon of Hope for Reef Future
In 2009, an expedition in the South Pacific Ocean led by the National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas project examined pristine reefs around the island country of Kiribati. Unfortunately, record levels of ocean warming in 2015-2016 decimated nearly half of the coral reefs in the area. However, during the last dive, something miraculous happened: the reef had somehow restored itself. It turns out that despite the rise in temperatures, enough surviving corals were left behind to reproduce and replenish the reefs. Additionally, because the Kiribati government took steps to ensure the waters were fully protected, the fish abundance was plentiful enough to eat the algae that usually forms around coral skeletons and prohibits coral resurgence. The takeaway? Responsible fisheries management procedures that protect biodiversity can allow natural resiliency and restoration to occur. NPR.
Data Visualization of the Week
Sentiment Steered by Gas Prices
Perceptions of overall economic health are often linked to the price of gas, but these figures illustrate just how closely gas prices and consumer sentiment are connected. In this case, sentiment is measured by the percent of people who said the U.S. is headed in the right direction. When gas prices go up, sentiment goes down and vice versa. National gas prices have trended down in the last week, which should improve consumer sentiment. Check out the data visualizations at NYTimes.com.