Recently, an unprecedented Chinese attempt to acquire the major American energy firm Unocal was blocked by Congress amidst hysterical warnings of a Communist threat.
But the political grandstanding missed a larger point: the takeover bid was a harbinger of a new structure of world power, based not on market forces or on arms and armies but on the possession of vital natural resources.
Surveying the energy-driven dynamic that is reconfiguring the international landscape, Michael Klare, the preeminent expert on resource geopolitics, forecasts a future of surprising new alliances and explosive danger.
World leaders are now facing the stark recognition that all materials vital for the functioning of modern industrial societies (not just oil and natural gas but uranium, coal, copper, and others) are finite and being depleted at an ever-accelerating rate.
As a result, governments rather than corporations are increasingly spearheading the pursuit of resources.
In a radically altered world - where Russia is transformed from battered Cold War loser to arrogant broker of Eurasian energy, and the United States is forced to compete with the emerging 'Chindia' juggernaut - the only route to survival on a shrinking planet, Klare shows, lies in international cooperation- World Affairs Council of Connecticut
Felicity Harley is the executive director of the World Affairs Council of Connecticut.
Felicity Harley has an extensive professional background that combines 30 years of national and international experience as a senior manager and Chief Executive Officer in nonprofit institutions, and is currently the Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of Connecticut. Felicity Harley was educated in Great Britain and the United States. She is a published writer and poet.
Michael T. Klare
Michael T. Klare is a Five Colleges Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, whose department is located at Hampshire College.
He serves as defense correspondent of The Nation magazine and is the author of Resource Wars and Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency (Metropolitan).
Klare teaches at Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Klare serves on the boards of directors of Human Rights Watch and the Arms Control Association. He is a regular contributor to many publications including The Nation, Tom's Dispatch, and Mother Jones, and he is a frequent columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus.
He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Michael Klare tries to explain why crude oil prices have skyrocketed, pointing to a number of "underlying factors" beyond possible hedge fund speculation, such as the relationship between oil supply and demand.