I think that one should read the following three articles written in the last few days, as they jointly indicate that the 21st century will be very different than 20th century. Take a look:

  • China has launched its first lunar probe. A quote from Washington Post article:

“The Chang’e-1 satellite, named after a mythical Chinese goddess who flew to the moon, lifted off at 6:05 p.m. Officials and tourists watched the launching at a site in Sichuan Province, while state television provided coverage to the rest of the nation.

The probe is expected to remain in orbit for a year, providing lunar satellite images and other information as China prepares to launch a space vehicle to the moon by 2012 and then send an astronaut in 2020. Within an hour of blastoff the probe’s solar panels had been activated, and space officials declared the launch a success.

“The launch was very successful, and everything is proceeding just as planned,” Wu Ji, director of the Space Science and Applied Research Center, told Xinhua, China’s state-run news service.

In recent years, China’s space program has attracted international attention for its ambitions and fast-rising technological prowess. In 2003, China became only the third nation after the United States and the former Soviet Union to send a man into orbit — a feat it has since replicated. However, the United States and other nations reacted with alarm when China successfully blasted one of its own aging weather satellites out of orbit in a military test.”

  • Ice melting at the poles reached alarming pace, the massive global climate change will occur in the next two-three decades, with another ice age in the north hemispere that cannot be excluded. This is scary! Read Washington Post article. A quote:

“For scientists, global warming is a disaster movie, its opening scenes set at the poles of Earth. The epic already has started. And it’s not fiction.

The scenes are playing, at the start, in slow motion: The relentless grip of the Arctic Ocean that defied man for centuries is melting away. The sea ice reaches only half as far as it did 50 years ago. In the summer of 2006, it shrank to a record low; this summer the ice pulled back even more, by an area nearly the size of Alaska. Where explorer Robert Peary just 102 years ago saw “a great white disk stretching away apparently infinitely” from Ellesmere Island, there is often nothing now but open water. Glaciers race into the sea from the island of Greenland, beginning an inevitable rise in the oceans.

Animals are on the move. Polar bears, kings of the Arctic, now search for ice on which to hunt and bear young. Seals, walrus and fish adapted to the cold are retreating north. New species — salmon, crabs, even crows — are coming from the south. The Inuit, who have lived on the frozen land for millennia, are seeing their houses sink into once-frozen mud, and their hunting trails on the ice are pocked with sinkholes.”

  • Finance Asia has article on Korea STX taking over Norways’s ports Aker Yards for $800m. Emerging markets but big stakes in developed world. A quote:

“The STX foray into Europe follows on the heels of a deal by Korea’s Doosan Corp which bought three business units of Ingersoll Rand for $4.9 billion in July, the country’s largest ever cross-border outbound acquisition. Bankers had predicted at the time that Korean companies would start to pursue targets. Korean companies have grown to a size which gives them both confidence and critical mass to pursue and close M&A deals. Korean banks are flush with funds and eager to finance the overseas ambitions of local firms. Targets in some subprime affected markets are looking attractive and in other instances, such as this one, the benefits of a tie-up with an Asian company are compelling.  All the ingredients seem to be in place for cross-border outbound deals from Korea to gain further momentum. “