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Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy

Friday May 8, 2009, at 14:00
Sala Seminario - Planta Baja IBEI
Michael Klare (Five College)
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.