Putative war caused by exhausted resources?

In this blog I want to talk about a topic fact that already came up in one of our presentations on Monday, concerning the water shortage of the future. In one scenario the group assumed a nuclear war destroying the world even before essential resources like water are totally exhausted.

I was thinking about the question, if this is an exaggeration, or not?
If we think about the motives and consequences of the Iraq-war, which are mainly rooted in the sources of oil, what will happen when a drastic lack of essential water occurs?

Compared to fresh water, oil can be replaced “easily”, especially with regard to its utilisation. As I mentioned before and everybody knows, water is needed for humanity to survive but oil is basically “only” to maintain our wealth and luxury, to drive a car or to have electricity.

With regard to China a water shortage in the future is very likely and as we heard in the lecture today one opportunity would be to import fresh water from other countries.

But how likely is it that China would betake itself in such a dependency?
And what is more, where would such a dependency between countries, or even between superpowers lead to?

The other opportunity would be to force other countries in a military way to be adequately supplied with water.

Assuming the situation in other countries would probably be almost the same, I think it would be very hard to overcome such an extreme situation peacefully.
Nevertheless, to avoid this bad scenario I would like to mention a book “Powerdown” I found on the internet. The author Richard Heinberg writes in this book about options to prevent catastrophes caused by the lack of resources.

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Posted in water
2 comments on “Putative war caused by exhausted resources?
  1. jeremy says:

    Thanks for the reference Lena. I shall add this book to my reading list 🙂

  2. Sven1 says:

    Referring to our “China Presentation” on Wednesday, I wanted to add to this topic the
    “Baker Institute Study” from 1999. Here (page 4, line 7) they explain, why a military attack is improbable within the next 30-50 years: “It is 30 to 50 years away from the type of comprehensive, across-the-board technological modernization
    of its naval and air forces that could challenge
    American power in the sea lanes. Its ballistic, antiship, and cruise missile capability–while able to threaten energy trade and commercial shipping in Asian waters, among other targets–is not sufficient to defend fully its own incoming shipments of oil and other goods from retaliation in response to its own aggressive acts.”
    This was in 1999! According to wikipedia.org, “Much progress has been made in the last decade and the PRC continues to make efforts to modernize its military. It has purchased state-of-the-art fighter jets from Russia,…, and has also produced its own modern fighters,…
    In recent years, much attention has been focused on building a navy with blue-water capability.”
    Maybe it will last less than 30 years (minus 8 years) with this effort in armament, to be able to “take what they want”. Is this all coincidence or is it already in purpose?

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