The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources by Michael T. Klare

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The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources by Michael T. Klare

Post  kfw on Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:38 pm

The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources by Michael T. Klare

Peak Oil refers to the state of the world’s conventional oil fields, which many experts believe have reached peak production and are in, or about to enter, states of declining output. The days of “easy extraction” are gone and the push is on to recover the remaining, harder to access fossil fuels, many of which are located in remote parts of the world. Harvesting fuel in such places involves increasingly risky, unconventional technologies. In the informative book The Race for What’s Left, Michael T. Klare takes a hard look at where we stand, and what we can expect, as oil, coal, natural gas and other finite resources are depleted.

The first few chapters of The Race for What’s Left deal with the competition between countries and corporations to discover and develop new oil and gas fields in places such as the Arctic, the deepwater areas off the coast of South America, in the South China Sea, and in “Iceberg Alley” off the eastern coast of Canada. The risks, rewards and ramifications of drilling in such areas are examined.

Another chapter deals with Rare Earth Elements (REE), which are necessary for many technologies and industries. Only a handful of countries produce the REE used worldwide. As governments and corporations struggle to keep their industries supplied with REE, international tensions will likely increase and economies will be negatively impacted as competition for these elements increases.

The book includes an excellent chapter concerning the often overlooked natural resource of arable land. As the world population increases, governments of, and private investors in, some of the more prosperous nations are looking to feed their burgeoning populations (or simply make a profit) by buying and leasing huge tracts of farmland in the poorest parts of the world. Though the claim is made by those conducting the land deals (called "land grabs" by some) that such transactions offer a win/win for both the buying and selling nations, there is great doubt and skepticism about this in many circles.

Considering the complexity of the subject matter, this book is written in a surprisingly easy to understand style. It appears to be very well-researched, if the notes at the end of the book are any indication. Additionally, the book is chock-full of charts and graphs for those that like them. Readers interested in energy, the environment, and/or world politics might enjoy The Race for What’s Left. This reader found it compelling.


Last edited by kfw on Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : removed topic title [i])

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