Guest blog from Michael Klare, author of The Race for What’s Left, about the desperate measures companies take to reach natural resources. Listen to his Greenpeace Radio interview and join us to save the Arctic from several of these desperate companies.
I am Michael Klare, a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author of several books on the intersection of environmental and security issues, including, most recently, The Race for What’s Left.
For the past 15 years I’ve been studying the global struggle over vital resources – oil, land, water, minerals, timber, and so on – and watched as giant multinational corporations and supportive governments have dug deeper into the Earth in their hunt for new sources of supply. This has, of course, been going on for a very long time: humans have always exploited the Earth’s natural resources for their own purposes, and when they’ve exhausted any particular habitat, they’ve moved on to others and begun the process all over again. But what I see happening today represents a new stage in human history. Most of the planet’s easily-accessed resource deposits have now been depleted or are already in production, and all that remains are the hard-to-get deposits – those deep underground, far offshore, in the Far North, or in countries at war. To exploit these remaining deposits, the resource firms will have to employ greater force – both to extract materials from the Earth and to subdue the indigenous peoples and others who stand in their way. The implications are obvious: Any effort to sustain our current industrial lifestyle with existing materials will result in substantially increased environmental damage and political violence. Continue reading