The Rwandan genocide, the Sudanese civil war, and perpetual instability in the Middle East and Africa: each of these crises have arguably been instigated and maintained by natural resource disputes. China has undertaken a Herculean task to plant hundreds of millions of trees along its margins in an effort to save Beijing from crippling dust storms and halt the expansion of the Gobi desert. Will it work, and is it worth it? These and many other cases of conflict stemming from natural resource or environmental concerns are explained and debated in this up-to-date examination of contemporary and ongoing topics.
The book examines conflicts over precious resources and minerals, such as diamonds, oil, water, and fisheries, as well as the pursuit of lesser-known minerals like Coltan and other “rare earth elements”—important resources in our technological age—in remote locations such as Greenland and the Congo. Each topic contains an overview and two position essays from different authors, thereby providing the reader with highly informative and balanced perspectives. Reference entries accompany each topic as well, helping students to better understand each issue. As the world hurtles into the 21st century, these natural resource issues are becoming increasingly important, with all global citizens having a significant stake in how these conflicts arise and play out.
- Provides a "case-based" approach to natural resource conflicts with examples of different scales, including timely cases drawn from the developed and developing world
- Enables readers to reach a broader understanding of the scope of the issues through the variety of topics and cases—one of which is climate change in many of the emerging conflicts
- Presents balanced information regarding each case argued from multiple viewpoints and perspectives, allowing the reader to gain a more balanced and comprehensive sense of the topics