Michael T. Klare: The Race for Whats Left



E get a very dry though thoroughly informative look at various resources and the state of play for them going forward You know how ou can protect those precious vanishing resources Michael Klare Stop repeating Laurus yourself and make this a 150 page book Cool stuff about shale oil though As someone interested in our food system and the global ramifications of our food choices I found the chapter Global Land Grabs and the Struggle for Food very interesting It gave me new insight into the way the land on our planet is currently being divided up who are the players driving land use and efficiencies or lack of efficiencies who are making the investments who will be loosing out It describes the big picture of land use as it relates to animal agriculture that is not written about much Whenou realize how fast investors private government corporate work to make a profit and exploit resources without regulation and people s rights and the environment considered it s mind boggling that this isn t common knowledge I really enjoyed this book for the first 40 pages or so I thought it did a great job of bringing to light the issues associated with oncoming resource wars and the fact that our energy metals and available land resources are all suffering a dramatic decline all at onceThe problem with the book however was that it read as if the author combined a number of essays on the same topic into a book without realizing that books are typically read cover to cover Each section of the book re explains the same thing as if the author doesn t realize that the reader was given the same information 3 pages prior It is highly repetitiveI ended the book feeling disappointed that it wasn t better written because it started off so strong and it was initially such an interesting read I still feel like I learned something from it and I m glad that I picked it up but it could have been written in a third of the pages and been a much better read. And other food scarce nations With resource extraction growing difficult the environmental risks are becoming increasingly severe and the intense search for dwindling supplies is igniting new conflicts and territorial disputes The only way out Michael T Klare argues is to alter our consumption patterns altogether a crucial task that will be the greatest challenge of the coming century.

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Some of the most inhospitable places on Earth such as deep water offshore sites in the Gulf of Mexico or the Arctic Circle with increasing risk and expense Fossil fuels are not the only dwindling resource as numerous minerals with industrial or technological uses are also in increasingly rare supply and high demand and food shortages will likely plague the developing world to an unprecedented degree in the coming decades as the population continues to grow A sobering read A bit dated but nevertheless a useful tour of how major powers are trying to plan for future resource scarcity Klare highlights the challenges posed by dwindling resources around the world covering hydrocarbons minerals rare earth elements and food He shows that there is increasing competition among both state actors and corporations to gain and maintain access to these resources Klare also stresses that many of these are on the decline and that it will become difficult and dangerous to extract them He claims that the competition to maintain continued access while necessary for economic development could lead to conflict However the mechanisms that lead from resource competition to conflict are not well developed in the book Overall the b Competently written rebuttal of the idea that technology is about to make resource shortages a relic of the pastOnly 3 stars as book comes off as a compendium of various essays write 20 pages about the current state of oil production Next chapter 10 pages on rare metals Then an essay about agriculture And so on You can hardly tell this book even has an author it feels like an assembly by committee Which is fineBut the book has no core there s no context no narrative string tying it together Which resources are most vulnerable How will the oilnat gas shortages affect agriculture How will the pressures on rare earths impact the energy picture These are the sorts of subjects I was hoping Klare would expound on instead And cobalt water and arable land With all of the Earth's accessible areas already being exploited the desperate hunt for supplies has now reached the final frontiers The Race for What's Left takes us from the Arctic to war zones to deep ocean floors from a Russian submarine planting the country's flag under the North Pole to the large scale buying up of African farmland by Saudi Arabia.

Klare s The Race for What s Left is about the end of easy resources His focus is fossil fuels land for agriculture and rare earthsWhen we read the news we should think about nations and corporations attempting to control easy resources now so that they can afford to pay when resources are scarce later When the Canadian military trains in the Arctic for example Canada is spending a resource now to assert its sovereignty It does this because it plans to cash in on oil and gas reserves under the Arctic Whenever we see chatter about combatting climate change as well as strategies to cash in on these resources we re at best seeing an attempt to have it both waysMore broadly I read Klare as being in opposition to optimists In Better Angels of Our Nature for example Steven Pinker argues that we have enjoyed a few decades of relative peace in part because the sense that growth was possible incentivized nations to work together But if resources are running out as Klare argues here then we would expect a decline in international cooperation as countries begin battening down the hatches Interestingly even if Pinker is right to be optimistic as he claims to be in Enlightenment Now just a sense of foreboding taking hold in the general public might be sufficient to give rise to nationalism and xenophobiaReaders hoping to make the argument for environmental determinism might find this a useful resource The perennial problem of resource scarcity is reaching a critically dangerous point with potentially devastating environmental and geopolitical conseuences according to Klare s latest book The industrialization of developing nations particularly in East Asia has created a unprecedented level of demand for a variety of resources while the supply of such resources is simultaneously reaching a point of diminishing returns With easy to access oil and gas reserves already exhausted energy companies are now compelled to access new sources in. As Michael Klare makes clear in this powerful book the heads of our corporate empires have decided to rip apart the planet in one last burst of profiteering If Silk and Steel you want to understand the next decade I fearou better read this book Bill McKibben author of Eaarth The world is facing an unprecedented crisis of resource depletion a crisis that encompasses shortages of oil and coal copper.

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Michael T Klare is a Five Colleges professor of Peace and World Security Studies whose department is located at Hampshire College defense correspondent of The Nation magazine and author of Resource Wars and Blood and Oil The Dangers and Conseuences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency Metropolitan Klare also teaches at Amherst College Smith College Mount Holyoke College and the Un