Backstage at San Francisco Opera > July 2012 > It is a changing world
It is a changing world
The world has definitely changed since President Nixon visited China in 1972. We could write a thesis paper on the amount of change our world has seen from politics to entertainment, but we thought in the interest of time and our attention spans we’d just narrow it down to the Top Five Ways the World has Changed Since Nixon Visited China.

1) China is an exportation leader.
From machinery to toys to apparel to plastics, we import a lot from China. Prior to President Nixon’s 1972 visit to the People’s Republic of China, the US and China relations had all but deteriorated over the previous two decades. Exports from China in April 2012 were worth 163.3 billion dollars.

2) The Internet is big.
We mean really big. The worldwide web is a network of networks reaching and connecting billions of users across the globe. The internet has revolutionized the way we shop, connect with friends, get our news and share information about yourselves (YouTube videos, anyone?).

3) We’re thinking more about the environment.
It used to be you called someone “green” and you meant they were a novice. Now, if you call someone green, chances are they’ll wave and thank you as they drive off in their Prius. In the last 40 years we’ve become more conscious of our carbon footprints and many environmental laws have been passed. We try to recycle, we are more conscious of harmful chemicals in our products and reusable bags are a welcome accessory during any grocery shopping trip. 

4) There are a lot of cars in the world.
We mean a lot. It’s official, in 2010 the number of vehicles in the world surpassed one billion. The sheer amount of vehicles on the worldwide roads not only create lengthy drive times in southern California and stress issues from trying to find a parking place in almost any downtown, but it heavily impacts the economy and the environment (see #3 above). You may wonder how many vehicle registrations there were worldwide in 1970? 246,378.

5) We watch a lot of television.
It is estimated that there are 1,416,338,245 televisions in the world today.  Incidentally, China and the US lead the pack on television owners. Television has certainly come a long way since 1972. When Nixon was visiting China there weren’t hundreds of channels, On Demand, DVRs, streaming to computers and smartphones or HD. We have so many choices that there are even television shows like The Soup summing up the week in television shows. Just for kicks: the top-rated US primetime network show in 1972 was All in the Family. Currently? It’s America’s Got Talent.

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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:28:36 PM by San Francisco Opera
Filed under: 2011-12Season, NixonInChina


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