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Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources

ISBN: 978-1-118-15288-1
286 pages
April 2012
Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources (1118152883) cover image
A fascinating insight into the global battle for our energy future

The global competition for scarce natural resources that pits the West against the super-hot economies of China and India, plus a clutch of other contenders including Russia, Brazil, and Indonesia, has become one of the biggest issues facing the world today. Whether it is the rare metal lithium found in salt pans in the Andes, gas from the Caspian Sea, oil off the coast of Brazil, coal from Africa's Zambezi River, or uranium from Kazakhstan, China and India are desperate to ensure the security of their future energy supplies. The same goes for food and water, as contamination and over-use take their toll, the need to provide continued access for the next generation and beyond has increased exponentially. In Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources, international business journalist Geoff Hiscock explores the problems, potential solutions, and inevitable tensions in this ongoing scramble for finite natural resources.

Going beyond "big power" politics to explore resource ownership and the use of innovative technology to get the most out of them, the book takes a forward-looking approach to this pressing issue. Written in clear, jargon-free language, it tells the global resources story in a fresh and engaging way that anyone can understand.

  • Includes insightful, up-to-the-minute coverage of the most pressing debates over resource allocations
  • Discusses the major Chinese and Indian businesses that are just becoming known to those in the West (Sinopec, CNOOC, CNPC, Indian Oil, ONGC, Reliance, Coal India, SAIL, and many others)
  • Presents resource- and region-specific chapters to help readers view the pertinent issues from multiple angles

As the economies of China and India grow to challenge those of the West, the battle over natural resources will continue to heat up. Earth Wars looks at this very real problem in-depth, presenting a definitive look at one of the greatest challenges of our time.

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Maps vii

Introduction xv

Chapter 1 The Four Essentials 1 Food, Water, Energy, Metals

Chapter 2 Geographical Flashpoints 19

The Trouble with Lines on a Map

Chapter 3 The Key Players 37

Diggers, Drillers, and Dealers

Chapter 4 Food and Water 57

Where the Rivers Run

Chapter 5 “Going Out” for Energy 73

China and India Stake Their Claims

Chapter 6 Old Coal Still Burning Brightly 91

Chapter 7 Going Nuclear in a Post-Fukushima World 105

Chapter 8 New Energy—Clean, Green, and Expensive 123

Chapter 9 Coppery Red, the Colour of Earth’s True Love 139

Chapter 10 Finding Steel’s Essential Ingredients 155

Chapter 11 U.S. Energy 173

Hail to the Shale

Chapter 12 Japan after the Deluge 189

Chapter 13 BRACQK (Brazil, Russia, Australia, Canada, Qatar, Kazakhstan) Is the New BRIC 203

Chapter 14 The Up and Comers 229

Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Mexico

Chapter 15 What Happens Next 243

A Host of Global Opportunities

Conclusion 257

A World So Changed

Bibliography 263

Acknowledgments 269

About the Author 273

Index 275

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Geoff Hiscock has been writing about Asian business for major media outlets for more than thirty years, including time as Sydney bureau chief and Asia Business Editor for CNN.com and as International Business Editor of The Australian. He is the author of four books, including India's Global Wealth Club and India's Store Wars, both published by Wiley.

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May 08, 2012
Where is the World Headed in the Battle for Global Resources?

Food, water, energy, and metals are the drivers of industrial, economic, and social growth. As the world's population rises and the clamor for higher living standards gets louder, so too the struggle for resource access intensifies. But whether it is water from the Nile, rice from the Mekong Delta, oil from the Middle East, coal from Africa, gas from Russia, rare earths from China, iron ore from the Australian Outback, uranium from Kazakhstan, or shale from North America, these resources, even those we consider "sustainable," are limited and valuable. For centuries, the West has controlled much of the resources flow, but now China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, and a host of other nations want their share.

In his new book Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources (Wiley, May 2012; Hardcover and ebook, $29.95; 978-1-118-15288-1) Geoff Hiscock draws on more than 30 years’ experience of writing about Asian and international business to explore the links between rising incomes in emerging markets and the global consumption of food, water, energy, metals and other resources.

"While my book looks at the big picture of the competition for resources, it then drills down into the private and state-owned corporations that are at the forefront of the resources trade, to better understand who is doing what, where and why," Hiscock said.

Earth Wars is a narrative that canvasses the coming battle for resources between the established incumbent users (USA, Europe, Japan) versus the fast-growing competitors in Asia (China and India) and other rapidly developing economies such as Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, South Africa and Russia.

Going beyond "big power" politics to explore resource ownership and the use of innovative technology to get the most out of them, the book takes a forward-looking approach to this pressing issue. Written in clear, jargon-free language, it tells the global resources story in a fresh and engaging way that anyone can understand, such as

  • Insightful coverage of the most pressing debates over resource allocations
  • Discussion of the major Chinese and Indian businesses that are just becoming known to those in the West (Sinopec, CNOOC, CNPC, Indian Oil, ONGC, Reliance, Coal India, SAIL, and many others)
  • Presents resource- and region-specific chapters to help readers view the pertinent issues from multiple angles
  • A snapshot of the conditions prevailing at the start of 2012, with the author's thoughts on where we are headed

Hiscock surveys the world at large, looking at the interconnections, exploring who has what, how they're using what they have, and what they're doing to protect, expand, or share their bounty. Earth Wars is an attempt to show just how interconnected our world has become in terms of the supply and demand for all sorts of resources, as living standards rise and energy consumption grows in advanced and emerging economies.

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