March 2012

The Global Environment in 2050

For all the talk about global environmental issues, little real progress ever seems to be made. For instance, the last major opportunity for the world’s governments to agree on a plan to mitigate climate change, the UN’s 2009 Copenhagen Summit, ended with no agreement. We wonder: In the absence of major policy changes, which of the following is expected to occur by 2050:

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Taking Stock of U.S. Oil Reserves

Despite the push of many countries into wind, solar and nuclear energy sources, oil is — and is likely to remain — a principal source of energy. And given the world’s growing energy requirements, the size of countries’ oil reserves is becoming increasingly important. We wonder: Where does the United States rank in terms of its proved oil reserves?

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Where Do Poor Americans Rank Globally?

According to recent Census Bureau numbers, some 15% of Americans live below the poverty line, the highest percentage in 18 years. But how does U.S. poverty compare in a global context? We wonder: Those 15% of Americans whose income is just low enough to be classified as poor, according to U.S. standards, are still better-off than…

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Keeping Time, Russia-Style

Vladimir Putin was recently elected to serve once again as president of Russia. While the country’s political and military power has shrunk since the days of the Soviet Union, Russia still leads the world in at least one respect. At 17 million square kilometers, it remains the world’s largest country by size. We wonder: How many time zones does Russia straddle?

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The World’s College King

For decades, the U.S. education system was the envy of the world. It was a key factor in explaining the post-WWII economic success of the United States. In particular, the United States was noted for its high number of college graduates. We wonder: Which country now has the highest share of college graduates among its young adults?

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