The U.S. was galvanized by the terrorist attacks of September 11 , but according to economist Leeb, what we should have been worrying about was the contemporaneous emergence of China's enormous impact on commodity conservation and use. By 2012, the Chinese will hold a leading position in every aspect of renewable energy. Leeb argues that we as a nation are not paying enough attention to the threat of China's growing influence; he paints a picture of our government as fundamentally scattered and shortsighted, though his ire isn't aimed at any particular administration. Our political and economic systems don't lend themselves to tackling major problems until they reach crisis proportions, whereas the Chinese are relentlessly longterm thinkers (furthermore, their leaders don't have to answer to a fickle electorate). While we have no plan as to how to secure or develop our resources, China does, and its drive for growth means that its leaders will leave carbon reduction (and other initiatives) to the free market.
Though he does touch upon the potential problems China will face, his main purpose is to provoke Americans to wake up to a situation that threatens to destroy our economy and our environment. Terse, well-reasoned, and comprehensive, this is a much-needed shot in the arm for American complacency.
Economist Leeb (Game Over: How You Can Prosper in a Shattered Economy) argues that while U.S. officials and politicians engage in short-term myopic planning, endless legal maneuvering, scandals, and wartime investing that are crippling American economic viability, China's government is run by visionary scholars with backgrounds in such fields as chemistry and engineering who are carefully analyzing the long-term, big picture. China is gaining ground as a superpower and attaining competitive advantage over other countries, especially the United States, by using its profits to invest in and control mineral commodities such as coal, oil, zinc, silver, and gold. These resources are becoming scarce, and the author argues that access to them will determine the standard of living for future generations. According to Leeb, the Chinese government recognizes the importance of these resources to key industries such as renewable energy and electronics and views the ability to accumulate them as proof of the country's strength. He also discusses the global demand and supply of key resources such as water. VERDICT Because it is useful for understanding current world politics and finances, this book is recommended for all adult readers.—
Caroline Geck, Library Journal
About the Author
Regarded as one of the nation's experts on global economic trends, Stephen Leeb has written several bestselling books for us, including THE OIL FACTOR
, THE COMING ECONOMIC COLLAPSE
, and GAME OVER