New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes about China’s influence on the global oil market, global warming and the U.S. presidential election:
Turn to any of several major concerns now facing America, and in each case it’s startling how large a role China plays.
Start with the soaring price of oil. Unlike the oil crises that followed the Yom Kippur War and the overthrow of the shah of Iran, this crisis wasn’t caused by events in the Middle East that disrupted world oil supply. Instead, it had its roots in Asia.
It’s true that the global supply of oil has been growing sluggishly, mainly because the world is, bit by bit, running out of the stuff: big oil discoveries have become rare, and when oil is found, it’s harder to get at. But the reason oil supply hasn’t been able to keep up with demand is surging oil consumption in newly industrializing economies — above all, in China. [Full text]