By Colin Robinson
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Relentless and ominous, the drumbeat echoes around the land: Social defense is at the verge of financial disaster. The caution has been repeated so frequently that it has develop into a dark article of religion for the hundreds of thousands of american citizens who pay Social defense taxes and anticipate to gather merits sometime. however it is flatly unfaithful.
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30 The United Kingdom's national income is about eight times that of Norway. British energy consumption of over 300 million tonnes coal equivalent (United Nations basis) compares with Norwegian consumption of less than 20 million tonnes coal equivalent. Oil consumption of about 90 million tonnes a year in the United Kingdom compares with about 8 million tonnes in Norway. By comparison with most developed countries, Norway has a large proportion of her energy consumption (some 40 per cent) supplied by indigenous production of hydro-electricity.
Another possible future cost, which does not seem particularly important at present, is that the high degree of central control of the Norwegian sector has minimised the role of the private oil companies operating in Norway. At present this hardly matters to the Government, since it wants slow development and can afford to pick and choose its partners, but no one can be sure how long this situation will persist. There are also more general doubts about the effects of a high degree of state control of oil and gas development which are set out in the last part of this chapter.
The Economics of Natural Resource Depletion (London: Macmillan, 1975). A very good survey of world energy resources and the problems of estimating them is in D. C. Ion, Availability of World Energy Resources (London: Graham & Trotman, 1975). 11. Robinson and Kouris, op. , gives estimates of the price changes necessary to hold imports constant and shows the sensitivity of the estimates to variations in the price and income elasticities. Estimated oil imports in 1985 on various price and income assumptions are also shown.