A Race With No End in Sight

By Keith Kloor | October 4, 2011 9:09 pm

I’m not sure what to make of this story in Foreign Policy. It seems like a textbook case of China’s nationalist capitalism trumping U.S. security interests. On the other hand, the writers of the piece might have a bad case of sour grapes (but they are upfront about their advisory role to a Western oil & gas firm that got outbid by the Chinese).

In related news, Steve LeVine informs us that

The great Arctic oil race is under way.

Yes, it is.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Energy, energy security
MORE ABOUT: Energy, energy security
  • Tom Fuller

    Considerably off topic, but I’d like to say that I appreciate your recent more-frequent posting. It helps that most of the posts are interesting to me, at least.

  • kdk33

    Wait a minute…  I thought the chinese were committed to green energy, that they were getting ahead of us, that we needed to act quickly to close the gap.  But now we learn:

    Over the last decade, China has sought to lock down as many natural resources as possible throughout Central Asia to fuel its skyrocketing demand for minerals, oil, and gas.

    It’s just so confusing.

  • Keith Kloor

    You are indeed confused. They are doing both, and very smartly so. If you didn’t have your ideological blinders on, you would see that plainly. 

  • Tom Fuller

    They have to. And they’ve done the math. They will need every means known to man to create the energy they will need.

  • kdk33

    Ideological blinders: Is that perforative for I don’t agree with you.

    Anyway,  #3 and #4 point to the difference.  Alarmists would have developed economies replace perfectly viable, affordable fossil fuel energy with “green” energy.

    China is augmenting as much fossil fuel energy as they can get their hands on with nuclear (that is a different category, to me, than “greeen” energy) and a little bit of green energy.

    Part of the driving force for nuclear is they are striving for a coal (the one resource they have in abundance)  based petrochemicals industry.  Part of the driving force for that little bit of “green” energy is to develop technology they can sell to the west.

    If you weren’t blinded by ideology, you would see the difference.  :-).

  • Hannah

    @2 surely you are joking? :o) otherwise try google “China and Africa and Oil”.

    @4 indeed and they are a pragmatic bunch.

  • Alexander Harvey

    Chinese involvement in Afghanistan might be a good idea. Given the choice of troublesome neighbours at least China doesn’t have a ethnic iron in that fire.
    Afghanistan is a bit of a cartographers joke, borders with Iran, Pakistan, Pakistani Kashmir, some more ‘stans and China.
    I think that there is a small matter of the Himalayas and the Kush to get from its border with China into its heartland but I don’t suppose that will prove to be an insurmountable obstacle.



Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


Collide-a-Scape is an archived Discover blog. Keep up with Keith's current work at http://www.keithkloor.com/

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


See More

Collapse bottom bar