chapter  6
Resource Conflicts, or Sustainable Collaborations?
Pages 23

Conflicts over resources have persisted for centuries, perhaps even millennia, and by some accounts they are reaching a fever pitch in the present era of globalization. Whereas in the Cold War period most of the competition for resources was limited to a small number of global hegemons, today we are seeing not only those nations but a host of up-and-coming powers scouring the world for access to and control of resources including oil, gas, water, arable land (and thus the capacity to produce food), timber, gems, metals, and rare-earth minerals. Many of these items are considered essential resources for human survival, although it is debatable whether any beyond food, water, and perhaps energy are truly indispensable. Still, perceived value and connectivity to modern conveniences are in themselves enough of an impetus to spur many nations and private enterprises to vie for control of resources. Such a global contest is now pushing into every nook and cranny of the planet-from the arctic regions being steadily unearthed by ice melt due to climate change, to the equatorial regions that hold much of the world’s remaining biodiversity. Scholar Michael Klare (2012a) has termed this “the race for what’s left”—and increasingly it appears to be shaping up as race with no winners and a lost planet.