Science, Tech & Environment

Global energy economy

MK says China's appetite for energy is ravenous and it's just one of many stresses on the world's energy markets. MK argues that the scramble for energy is creating a new ranking of have's and have-not's: we've reached a point where the industry is no longer capable of satisfying rising demand. So those few countries that have a surplus of energy are in a very powerful position and most of the rest of the countries, including the US, China, Europe, Japan, are supplicants. (So these are the rising powers, which countries are these?) There are two kinds of rising powers: those countries like Russia which have such a surplus of energy that they're in a powerful position. But then countries like China and India have such strong economies that they've become powerful bidders in the energy market. So the US is at an extreme disadvantage right now. (So how does affect international dynamics?) This is part of a new structuring of world economic and energy power: on one hand, the energy have-powers like Russia and Iran are trying to strengthen their grip on the world's energy. So there's a whole new networks forming that are reshaping the world's energy marketplace. (You write about China's increasing appetite for energy and it's likely to turn to coal because it has it in abundance. Sounds fairly alarmist.) China relies on coal for about 70% of its energy input and unfortunately they're not even using the most advanced coal burning techniques, the kinds that produce a lot of pollution. (You mention ways in the book that China and the US could collaborate on energy saving methods. What would it take for that to happen?) There's talk of cooperation with China and talk about the new kinds of technology that will be adopted. It will be costly which is why the US and China should work together to share the burden.

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