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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 19 reviews
on August 30, 2010
The problem with this book, like most other economics books that include figures and predictions, is that it becomes old fast. For instance, in 2008, China was the fourth largest economy in the world and Klare predicted it would become the second largest in a decade or so. China overtook Japan to become second largest economy, behind the US, last week.
This said, despite the outdated figures, the book's main arguments remain intact and applicable today.
Rising Powers opens by introducing the link between energy-producer states and energy consumers, and shows how such links have defined the geopolitics of the world ever since fossil fuel became centerpiece in the life of civilization, more than two centuries ago.
The continuous consumption of fossil fuel was based on the assumption that oil companies will keep on discovering new sources at a pace faster than that of the demand. Apparently that turned out to be false as companies seem to have discovered them all. Klare argues that out of 116 giant oil fields that supply the world with most of its demand today, only four were discovered in the past quarter of a century.
Not only the globe has surveyed and tapped most of its oil resources, demand for oil has skyrocketed with the transformation of the economies of the world's two most populated countries, China and India, from agrarian to heavy industrial.
Meanwhile, after having conceded its oil and natural gas resources to private firms in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia, with its former President, and now Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, came back. Employing some arm-twisting and other illicit tactics, Putin nationalized the oil and gas firms, and monopolized them in the hands of the state. This gave Russia immense geostrategic power, and Moscow has been keen on using it in countering America's attempts to tap hydrocarbon resources in the former Soviet republics, especially in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
Klare identifies three world regions for fossil fuel production: Africa, the Capsian Sea and the "American Lake" or the Middle East. He argues that the race over tapping oil resources around the world has created two main proto-blocs. In the first is the US, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kazakhstan, among others. In the second is Russia, China, Iran, Sudan Uzbekistan, Armenia and other countries.
While not an imminent threat yet, Klare believes that the politics of Great Powers arming their energy-producing allies is a dangerous game, especially when mixed with populist politics of nationalism.
He concludes by writing that the energy race has been straining the environment, leading to global warming and slowing economies. Instead, Klare argues - albeit naively - that oil poor America and China should not be competing but rather complementing each other's quest for alternative, clean and renewable sources of energy.
In this, Klare fails to notice that only because both America and China are oil poor, does not mean that they will cooperate to discover alternative fuel. Telling from history, in such situations, it will be the race toward alternative energy that would ultimately result in finding a solution. And, also from history, whichever nations arrives at the breakthrough of discovering energy that is alternative to fossil fuel first will thereafter enjoy the reaps of its discovery and rule the world for decades to come.
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on March 3, 2016
It is very supportive book for my research.
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on July 4, 2013
Thinking about the wasting of the world's resources? Here is a book that tells you lots about how many countries are using, exporting and not noticing how this resource is dwindling.
Good reading!
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on October 10, 2014
Great item, great seller!
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on May 15, 2008
I found this book to be thorough, well written, and thought provoking. Though I had read other books about energy, this gave me a better understanding about the political aspects, changing alliances, and the extent of the problem. After several chapters that can be described as doom and gloom, Klare does offer some suggestions on the world's way out - if we make a serious effort to do so. I strongly recommend this book.
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on June 8, 2008
A sobering non-ideological account of the struggle among world powers for energy resources.

The author points to actions that could be taken to avoid the catastrophe of world war or another arms race as countries seek to obtain control of the remaining world energy resources.
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on June 28, 2008
I have read all of Michael T. Klare's books and I think this is his best work. The book is well written and well thought out. I think some of his other works, his liberal colors show and he showed his personal dislike for the President and Republicans and conservatives in general and liked to play the blame game. Don't get me wrong, I am not a Republican or a Democrat, I am just saying I can be more objective than Mr. Klare because I dislike everybody equally, Mr. Klare is political. In the past Mr. Klare seems to show his world view might be colored because he might have been a 1960's hippie and he's spent a lot of his professional career in rich New Hampshire in the comfort and safety of rich, and comfortable Hampshire College in squeaky clean Amherst. I don't question the author's smarts or his honesty. He believes what he says. What does the author want? Page 252, "devise new technologies and industrial processes that consume fewer resources while stimulating economic growth, improving human life, and protecting the global climate." You don't want much do you honey?! Page 254, China and the United States, "cooperation would be the development of super-efficient, lightweight motor vehicles." More cars?! You are not asking for much are you Mr. Klare? Then why can't I have a wife that's always 117 pounds, is never moody and easy to get along with, has an IQ of 150 and loves to cut grass and clean the gutters and doesn't like to go shopping? I am sure Mr. Klare will remember the 1960's Rolling Stone song, "You can't always get what you want." I admire the Author's love of his son and his wife. Again, this is a sharp book by a very smart man. I am glad I bought it. Regards, Keith Renick, Peachtree City, Ga.
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on March 15, 2014
This well-researched, data-rich, and thought-provoking book is a good primer for anyone who wants to be more literate about the geopolitics and geoeconomics of energy in the 20th and early 21st centuries. Although there have been significant energy-related geopolitical developments since the book was published in 2008 -- for example, China's increasingly aggressive encroachments into its neighbors' territorial waters and Russia's incursions into the Ukraine -- the context provided by this book makes these developments easy to understand, irrespective of how one judges them from legal and moral perspectives. The book's 269 pages of narrative are accompanied by helpful maps, tables and over 50 pages of end-notes. Highly recommended.
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on July 14, 2008
The charts alone tell the story of what lies ahead. The most striking figure for me is that the US, the world's sole superpower for the last 2 decades, holds 3.3% of the world's natural gas reserves yet produces and uses 18.5% of the world total - not sustainable long term strategy for a country that refuses to invest meaningfully or intelligently in efficiency or alternative sources of energy. More concerning yet is the growing concentration of the world's dwindling oil reserves in unstable regions of the world where ALL of the major developing and developed countries are involved in a high stakes, high nerves 21st century version of the Great Game. Klare lays out the situation simply and clearly and lets the reader draw most of the conclusions. It doesn't take much editorializing to help us understand why the US has 12 major military bases in the Gulf region or why China refuses to condemn the appalling situations in Sudan or Zimbabwe. For anyone who wants to understand the larger picture, this is a great book.
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