Briefs: Australia-Pacific

Global Shale Gas: Redrawing the Energy Supply Map


ver the last decade, exploration and development of shale gas has transformed the US energy profile. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has called it “a ‘gamechanger’ for the US natural gas market”—due to the vast new resources of domestic gas that shale deposits represent.

But the US is not the only country betting on fracked shale gas to be a more important part of its energy future. Across the globe— from Argentina to China—countries are scrambling to explore and develop shale gas deposits. Although it will take years to fully catalog the exact size of these resources, the emerging evidence suggests that shale gas could have as much impact on the global energy supply as it has already had on the US energy supply.

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The Three Tribes: Culture Breeds Commerce


In today’s globalized and digitally enabled economy, cultural ties powerfully bind people and communities across geographic distances.

In fact, culture is a strong determinant of who does business with whom, lubricating the wheels of international trade, investment, and consumerism much more than is commonly recognized, asserts Joel Kotkin, a geographer and author, in The New World Order, a paper for the Legatum Institute.

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Australian E-Readiness: Meet the World 1 Leader

Australian E-Readiness

Australia’s e-readiness falls squarely within World 1 standards. In many ways the country is among the world’s leaders in terms of technology adoption, with a large majority of Australians accessing the Web regularly, and mobile phone penetration standing at 96% in 2006. The country is ranked fourth in the world for e-readiness by the Economist Intelligence Unit, but nevertheless is at a crossroads regarding Internet infrastructure and future development.

The combination of vast geographic distances between major cities and concentration of the country’s 20 million people in the coastal areas makes it at once easy and difficult to provide connectivity to all Australians. Infrastructure in coastal Australia is nearly ubiquitous, but somewhat outdated and slow. Read more…

Australian Reinvention: A Lifestyle Remodeling


Australia’s 20 million people face the usual pressures of life in World 1, from fast-paced urban living to aging and obesity.

In response, they are turning to four lifestyle trends which increasingly are driving consumer behaviors: personal makeovers, attention to wellness, home makeovers, and “sea change” towards the simple life. Together, these trends offer clues to future directions for Australian lifestyles.

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