The Voice for Industry
|April 8, 2009|
Global Warming, Lake Lucile & GDP
At some point during the evening of April 7, Lake Lucile disappeared, the latest victim of global warming.
Okay, it's a stretch. Lake Lucile wasn't really a lake. It was a mud puddle. But, like hundreds of Duwamish mud puddles, it was a puddle of gargantuan proportions that ebbed and flowed at the intersection of Utah and Lucile Street throughout the past six months, fed by the rain and snow storms that contributed to one of the most depressing runs of Seattle winter weather ever.
Even a few weeks ago, the pond was deep enough to support significant wave action as cars and trucks rolled through it, and not more than a month ago, on a couple of mornings, it crunched with ice.
But by 2 pm on Tuesday, the former pond was small enough to fit into a Super Grande latte cup to go and by this morning it was gone, dried up by 70 degree temperatures and the beautiful sunny days that brightened up the first half of April.
It tempted Seattle Industry to wonder if the demise of the mud puddle might provide a metaphor about the hopeful signs that seem to be sprouting up in the midst of the recession. You know, end of winter, brighter days, something like that.
Then we checked the weather forecast and discovered that rain is predicted for four of the next five days. Sobered by this news and a lifetime of soggy Seattle spring times, it became clear Lake Lucile might be back by Easter, so the grander metaphors about brighter days for now remain on hold.
But even if our economic squeamishness persists, this issue ends with a hopeful factoid that emerged from the news coverage about the G20 summit last week in London.
In 2008, the GDP of the United States was $14.3 trillion. Japan was next, with $4.8 trillion, followed by China, $4.2 trillion, and Germany, $3.8 trillion. Do the math.
In 2008, in spite of all the setbacks, US GDP was still larger than the combined total for the three next largest economies in the world and nobody just handed us $14 trillion. It was earned by US companies and US workers who'll bounce back just as sure as Lake Lucile will.
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