By macleans.ca - Friday, November 16, 2012 - 0 Comments
This week: An electric vehicle wins car of the year and Pepsi launches a “fat-blocking” soda in Japan
Awash in oil
The International Energy Agency said the United States will become the world’s largest energy producer by 2020, overtaking Saudi Arabia. It will also surpass Russia as the top producer of natural gas, thanks to new technologies like hydraulic fracking. Though the tectonic shift underscores the importance for Canada to sell more oil sands crude overseas, the prospect of North American energy independence promises to eliminate a key source of geopolitical instability: America’s long and often troubled relationship with the Middle East.
According to the latest data, women now make up almost half (46.6 per cent) of the U.S. labour force, while a recent American study found that if female employment rates were to match male levels, overall GDP would rise by five per cent. In other encouraging news, Lockheed Martin named Marillyn Hewson its new chief executive, which means half of America’s six most powerful defence contractors are now led by women. We can only hope the Pentagon—and the C.I.A.—are taking note.
For the first time in the 64-year history of Motor Trend magazine’s prestigious car of the year award, an electric vehicle won: Tesla’s Model S sedan. The car is a testament to American engineering, said the magazine, noting “it drives like a sports car . . . but it’s also as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce, can carry almost as much stuff as a Chevy Equinox and is more efficient than a Toyota Prius.” That a small, California-based start-up can top all the global automakers is a wake-up call for the industry. Silicon Valley is the new Detroit. Continue…