Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Untapped Resources Set The Stage For Domination

Earth is a finite sphere.  There are only so many ounces of recoverable ore left to mine.  The point of diminishing returns from resource extraction will appear some day.  That day will herald the world's transition from a perpetual growth economy to a steady-state economy. 

Until that day comes, it's game on in a scramble for untapped mother lodes of metals and energy.  The winners in this scramble will be able to dictate the future structure of the world's political arrangements.  There's plenty of potential in the U.S. for wind energy, and the company that lays the grid to collect and distribute wind-derived electricity will hold a perpetual monopoly

Some resource-rich countries still have relatively accessible mineral deposits.  These countries will be able to name their own prices for extraction as long as those deposits last.  Such countries also risk becoming battlefields for Great Powers if the price they name for their mother lodes is too high.  I am willing to bet that the military leaders of China and India are wargaming options that will maintain their countries' access to resources if a rival cuts them off.

Map out the remaining resource deposits in emerging markets and draw lines from there to Chinese and Indian ports.  The flash points for future naval confrontations lie at points where those trade lines cross natural geographic choke points.  I will invest accordingly.