Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Wars of Scarcity

With gas and food prices rising, not to mention other environmental concerns with our planet in peril, it may be important to note that U.S. military planners and other world powers such as China and Russia are outlining scenarios of wars driven not by ideology or politics, but by the fight for scarce resources.

Is the return of the tribal age looming?

Perhaps not, but global trends do indicate that sooner or later the natural resources human beings have used to build modern society will evaporate. They were never infinite. Today is the time to be an alarmist and force world leaders to develop an energy policy that is environmentally sound and socially efficient.

From The Nation:

"At a time when world supplies of oil, natural gas, uranium and key industrial minerals like copper and cobalt are beginning to shrink and the demand for them is exploding, the major industrial powers are becoming more desperate in their drive to gain control over what remains of the planet's untapped reserves [for more evidence of major shortages in fossil fuels, see Klare, "Beyond the Age of Petroleum," November 12, 2007, and Mark Hertsgaard, "Running on Empty," May 12].

These efforts typically entail intense bidding wars for supplies on international markets--hence the record high prices for all these commodities. But they also take military form, as arms transfers and the deployment of overseas missions and bases. It is to bolster America's advantage--and to counter similar moves by China and other resource competitors--that the Pentagon has placed resource competition at the center of its strategic planning."

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