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Oct. rd 23 : Technology and Energy Reviewers: Ali Famigletti, Rema Bhatti, and Sarah Wolfenden #11 The New Mercantilism: China’s Emerging Role in the Americas 1.) Why is China interested in Latin America? • The ruling party in China wishes to stay in power, so Chinese leaders are encouraging economic liberalization by way of growth and job creation. • China wants long-term, guaranteed access to raw materials in order to manufacture value-added goods, which are then exported. • Latin America has a large commodity market—oil, gas, mining, power generation, fishing, agriculture, and infrastructure projects. • China has bilateral free trade agreements with Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. 2.) How does China’s approach to trade with Latin America differ from the U.S.’s approach? • China is interested in a purely commercial relationship without political or policy interference. • The U.S. often uses trade and economic incentives as a means to encourage reform in Latin America (Chinese investment gives Latin American countries the option to become more independent from the U.S.). • The U.S. pursues corporate social responsibility, engaging in humanitarian relief. • The U.S. employs local workers in businesses abroad, but China does not—could lead to disgruntled local workers. • 3.) Do you think Latin American trade with China will be good for Latin America in the long run? #42 Is a Green World a Safer World? Not Necessarily: A guide to the coming green geopolitical crises yet to come. 1.) What are some of the major concerns associated with the move toward a greener world? • Electric cars run on lithium-ion batteries will create competition for lithium, which is a limited, geographically concentrated resource. – ¾’s of the world’s lithium reserves are in Chile and Bolivia, which have a long history of political tension. • The amount of water needed for alternative energy could suck some regions dry, creating resource-based conflict. – Water will become the “new oil” • Emissions free nuclear power plants could potentially increase the risk of nuclear terrorism, especially in emerging countries prone to instability. – How to safely dispose of spent fuel? 2.) What is “green protectionism,” and how has it caused tensions in trade? • U.S. Energy and Climate Bill- provisions for creating trade barriers with countries that do not adopt measures to limit carbon emissions. • In 2008 the EU considered restricting entry of biofuels on a range of environmental standards—8 developing countries threatened legal action. • Creates tensions, especially between developed and developing countries with more lax environmental protection laws. International Futures: Chapter 8 • 1. What does the Department of Energy and the International Energy of Agency forecast for energy use in the next 25-30 years? What does the Interngovernmental Panel on Climate change predict? • The DOE and IEA predict that GDP growth will continue to grow by about 2.9% per year while global energy demand will grow by 1.8% per year. The world economic growth by 2030 will be higher while the world energy demand will be lower, thus suggesting there will be more energy efficiency. They also believe that that oil will remain the main source of energy. The IPCC projects a lot further into the future--all the way to 2100. They predict that GDP and energy growth will both continue to increase with energy growth averaging half as much GDP per year. • They too predict an increase in energy efficiency but on a larger scale since it projects 100 years into the future. • 2. What are some of the Geopolitical implications of relying on the middle east for oil production and distribution? • Some consequences of being reliant on the middle east is that there is currently political unrest in these areas and this could throw off the oil market. If there is warfare or a shut down in these areas, we won’t have access to oil and since we don’t have our own way of getting it yet, we won’t have any at all. This is obviously a problem since most of our energy is produced by oil products. Also, the middle eastern oil companies can choose to throw the market whichever way the want. They can choose to cap their production and manipulate the prices so they are higher. We won’t be able to do anything about this but pay the price because we don’t have our own means of production and distribution. • 3. What is the chapter’s main point about predicting rates of technological change? What are the key leverage points to explore these energy futures? • The Chapter’s main point about predicting rates is that “There is no scientific way to forecast these important rates of technological change. The baseline assumption in IFs is that the various technological rates of change embedded in the model continue at trend rates. (143 IFs). • The key leverage points are (1) economic growth (2) technology advances on the supply and demand sides (3) investment decisions in terms of energy resources and geographically and (4) disruptions in supply by various actors. • 4. What do you think of the statement the article makes in the beginning about how the earth has enough natural resources to never run out, we just need to find new ways to tap into them? Global Problems: Chapter 11 Question 1: • We have shifted from a modernization to a post modernization information age. Define what this means and what are your opinions on this shift. Question 1: Answer • The post modernization information age is the fact that mass production has decreased and increasingly the power lies less in production but more in information. Every year items that are produced and packaged in US, Europe, and Japan are decreasing. Instead they produce designs, programs, patents, and copyrights that allows them to direct and profit from production of the industrializing world. • Example: US farmers and agricultural laborers went from more than 35% in the beginning of the 1900s to less then 3% by the end of the century. Question 2: • In your opinion is technology isolating or bringing the world together? What is the digital divide and your thoughts on it? Question 2: Answer • Isolating: We text and email anything we need to say. Even if you are across the room from someone. • De-isolating: Can email and now video chat with people all over the world. • Digital Divide: Information age has divided those who have access to technology and are comfortable using it from those that are not. Question 3: • How has our primary energy consumption changed over time? What are some alternatives that are being used for energy? What form of energy has grown the fastest? Question 3: Answer • Using wood to burn fire dates back to ancient Greeks. Wood has become increasingly scarce, many places are being deforested. Coal was used widely in the industrial age (19th C). The mix of the carbon in the coal and oxygen produces excessive amount of carbon dioxide. Oil fired the 20th C. it was driven by petroleum, and petroleum products. • Alternatives: – Solar power: already grows our food. Can be used to generate energy. Gradually the high costs for solar power is decreasing and efficiency is increasing – Wind: Also similar to solar and has limitations – Geothermal Energy: Used widely in Iceland. Hot water under the surface of volcanic land can heat homes . But need geothermal activity is needed to work • Transportation is the fastest growing.