Imperialism Déjà Vu

 

Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the Herd

Page 1 of 2

 

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information

 

Fact; The world’s resources are finite.

 

Fact; Supply is constrained and demand keeps growing along with the world’s population.

 

Fact; A sustainable and secure supply of raw materials and energy is becoming the number one priority for all countries.

 

Major powers are scrambling for as much of the world’s resources as they can control. Exploration and drilling intensify daily. Previously inaccessible or unprofitable areas are targeted - the days of easy access to the globe’s resources no longer exist.

 

Unseen wars in previously unheard of places - soon to become front page news - are beginning for resource control. Peace today, harmonious relations tomorrow are nothing but fleeting illusions.

 

Hydrocarbons, mineral resources, fresh water and arable land are finite.

 

Understand someday peak oil and gas proponents will be proven right.

 

Understand arable, productive farmland is disappearing from overuse, desertification and urbanization.

 

Understand the world’s current population of 7 billion people use 60 percent of our annual renewable freshwater supply.

 

The world's population is projected to hit 10 billion by 2050 - global demand for food and water is expected to increase by 50% and 30% respectively by 2030.

 

“It should be pointed out that when we speak of wars in the last third of the twentieth century we are talking about civil wars. Between 1965 and 1999 if we look at those wars in which more than a thousand people were killed a year, there were seventy-three civil wars, almost all driven by greed to control resources—oil, diamonds, copper, cacao, coca, and even bananas.” William K. Tabb, Resource Wars

 

Try and imagine the coming pressure on governments in regards to sourcing resources on a national scale. The world's most powerful nations are staking claims, through aggressive diplomacy, wherever vital reserves of resources can be found. It isn’t enough.

 

Nations are going to go to war over natural resources. Conflicts are inevitable.

 

South & East China Sea

 

China has been involved in territorial disputes with Japan and Taiwan over the Senkaku islands, and Vietnam over the Spratly islands.

 

China has also ramped up its naval presence in the South China Sea. Why? China’s energy starved and the areas off the coast of the Philippine province of Palawan are oil rich. In mid-2012, the Philippines and China came dangerously close to an armed conflict over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.

 

China's increasingly contentious showdown with Japan in the East China Sea could prove to be even more dangerous. At issue are disputed Islands (Senkakus to the Japanese, Diaoyu to China) and the fishing rights and natural resources those islands would deliver to their owner.

 

The standoff has already resulted in several direct confrontations between China and Japan.

 

The U.S. has treaty obligations to Japan. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently warned China that any attack on the disputed islands would "fall under our security obligations."

 

India-China Border

 

Chinese dam-building on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra River has raised fears in India that Beijing might one day turn off critical water supplies.

 

India's state oil company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp., accepted an invitation from Vietnam to explore for oil and gas in the disputed South China Sea escalating an already intense drama.

 

Both India and China are pushing to gain a foothold in the Arctic. Melting ice is opening passages for shipping and creating the conditions for a boom in the extraction of fossil fuels and minerals.

 

Both countries are building up their navies to project influence, and China’s presence in the Indian Ocean is expected to grow.

 

"India will be concerned by a growing Chinese naval presence in the western Indian Ocean, which it has always considered its preserve. It has tolerated a significant U.S. presence there, but it has never considered the U.S. an enemy." David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador in Africa

 

Arctic

 

The Arctic Council is made up of the eight Arctic nations: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. These countries work through the Arctic Council to lay ground rules for governing the Arctic - the Council acts as a key vehicle for hashing out the not inconsiderable strategic stakes.

 

“With the Arctic ice melting, the region’s abundant supplies of oil, gas and minerals have become newly accessible, as have shortened shipping routes and open water for commercial fishing, setting off a global competition for influence and economic opportunities far beyond the nations that border the Arctic.” Yale.edu

 

China has recently won observer status on the council as has India, Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

 

Water War

 

Data scientists recently downloaded from a pair of NASA gravity-sensing Grace satellites show ground water is increasingly in short supply.

 

The biggest losses show up as red hotspots. Almost all of those red hotspots center on the major aquifers of the world. Grace shows us that groundwater depletion is happening at a very rapid rate in the arid and semi-arid parts of the world.

 

And the losses are staggering.

 

Parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers have lost 144 cubic kilometers of stored water. The majority of the water loss, about 60 percent, is due to reductions in groundwater.

 

There’s 600 million people living in the extremely dry 2,000 km stretch of land that extends from eastern Pakistan across northern India and into Bangladesh.

 

NASA’s Grace satellite measurements show a loss of 54km3 of groundwater a year.

 

At 54km3 of water loss per year, Lake Ontario (water volume of 1,639km³) would be dry in 30 years. A cubic kilometer of water equals about 264 billion gallons.

 

A 2005 Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development Issues Brief suggested that conflicts and violence over access to water would likely increase because, “competition for water exists at all levels and is forecast to increase with demands for water in almost all countries. In 2030, 47% of world population will be living in areas of high water stress.”

 


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