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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
• 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
• 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
– 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
• 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.