Energy/Resources Long timeframe to solving energy needs

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AT: Resource wars

No resource wars - depletion of resources doesn’t cause violence

Victor 7 [David G. - professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and director of the School’s new Laboratory on International Law and Regulation. “What resource wars?”., November 14, 2007 ayc]

Most of this is bunk, and nearly all of it has focused on the wrong lessons for policy. Classic resource wars are good material for Hollywood screenwriters. They rarely occur in the real world. To be sure, resource money can magnify and prolong some conflicts, but the root causes of those hostilities usually lie elsewhere. Fixing them requires focusing on the underlying institutions that govern how resources are used and largely determine whether stress explodes into violence. When conflicts do arise, the weak link isn't a dearth in resources but a dearth in governance. Feeding the dragon Resource wars are largely back in vogue within the US threat industry because of China's spectacular rise. Brazil, India, Malaysia and many others that used to sit on the periphery of the world economy are also arcing upward. This growth is fueling a surge in world demand for raw materials. Inevitably, these countries have looked overseas for what they need, which has animated fears of a coming clash with China and other growing powers over access to natural resources. Within the next three years, China will be the world's largest consumer of energy. Yet, it's not just oil wells that are working harder to fuel China, so too are chainsaws. Chinese net imports of timber nearly doubled from 2000 to 2005. The country also uses about one-third of the world's steel (around 360 million tons), or three times its 2000 consumption. Even in coal resources, in which China is famously well-endowed, China became a net importer in 2007. Across the board, the combination of low efficiency, rapid growth and an emphasis on heavy industry - typical in the early stages of industrial growth - have combined to make the country a voracious consumer and polluter of natural resources. America, England and nearly every other industrialized country went through a similar pattern, though with a human population that was much smaller than today's resource-hungry developing world. Among the needed resources, oil has been most visible. Indeed, Chinese state-owned oil companies are dotting Africa, Central Asia and the Persian Gulf with projects aimed to export oil back home. The overseas arm of India's state oil company has followed a similar strategy - unable to compete head-to-head with the major Western companies, it focuses instead on areas where human-rights abuses and bad governance keep the major oil companies at bay and where India's foreign policy can open doors. To a lesser extent, Malaysia engages in the same behavior. The American threat industry rarely sounds the alarm over Indian and Malaysian efforts, though, in part because those firms have less capital to splash around and mainly because their stories just don't compare with fear of the rising dragon. These efforts to lock up resources by going out fit well with the standard narrative for resource wars - a zero-sum struggle for vital supplies. But will a struggle over resources actually lead to war and conflict? To be sure, the struggle over resources has yielded a wide array of commercial conflicts as companies duel for contracts and ownership. State-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation's (CNOOC) failed bid to acquire US-based Unocal - and with it Unocal's valuable oil and gas supplies in Asia - is a recent example. But that is hardly unique to resources - similar conflicts with tinges of national security arise in the control over ports, aircraft engines, databases laden with private information and a growing array of advanced technologies for which civilian and military functions are hard to distinguish. These disputes win and lose some friendships and contracts, but they do not unleash violence.

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