Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Global demand for resources impacts Arizona

My colleague Vince Matthews, State Geologist of Colorado, is talking around the country about the demand for natural resources by China, India, and other growing economies, and how that is affecting the U.S. Vince shared his slides and graphs with me, noting that the impacts he sees for Colorado will be similar for Arizona.

This month’s AAPG Explorer magazine quotes Vince’s recent talk to the AAPG annual meeting in Long Beach: “Chinese companies and their rivals are scouring the globe for access to the raw materials needed to sustain the Asian nation’s growth as commodity prices surge.”

The list includes energy resources such as oil and natural gas, coal, and uranium. The global demand for copper is responsible for the record prices of the last year or so which has helped make Arizona the number one mining state in the nation. Demand for a wide array of other minerals is also

Vince expects the increasing competition for resources to bring

· Inflation

· Shortages of raw materials

· Pressures to develop more resources in the states

· Potential conflicts with multinational corporations in the states

The bigger problem may be that Vince doesn’t see any obvious solutions to what he views as a pending crisis.

What comes to mind immediately are the number of wars that have been fought over access to or control of natural resources. Are we destined for similar instabilities in coming years?

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