dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

The Future Of The Worlds Nations And Alliances?

Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:57 pm

As the world grows in population and resources become more scarce, and the Eastern nations align themselves more strongly with each other for reasons of geopolitik and self-preservation what holds for the future of the worlds existing nations and allied blocs?

The NATO nations are aligned militarily by common cause, but economically seem to be competing on a large bloc scale, and the far eastern nations are growing at a rapid rate and will, over the next fifty to hundred years (some in the next ten), become the largest consumers of natural resources. This is already creating scarcity in these resources (not just oil, but fresh water) and this is going to create serious competition (and at the national level this will mean conflict/wars when it gets serious enough) that has to be resolved simply to allow the worlds population to provide for it's own feeding and sheltering.

Do you think that the US and the EU nations will create an economic bloc to be better prepared to deal with the PRC/China-in-whatever-form of 20/30/40 years from now when it has reached a critical mass in economic development with the accompanying spurring on of consumer demand for staples and luxuries? What about India and the southern Asian nations....there's another billion or so people, several hundred more million of whom will be middle class (or the local version thereof) and already have the freedom to demand better and seek it?

I haven't even mentioned the nations of the middle east, or Africa, or South America. They're both undeveloped and emerging nations and they have resources and needs as well, including some very populous nations such as Brazil and Nigeria. Brazil has even been included in a teaming of nations with Russia and China that includes India and South Africa. If the west doesn't move quickly to either make economically unviable the possibility of war then such alliances will begin to use strength in numbers and resources to grow themselves and squeeze out the nations that have for a good part sent their manufacturing elsewhere and purchase scarce resources elsewhere.

Standing alone both the US and the EU nations do not have the population to compete, and are already higher cost areas to manufacture with what hasn't left. What has to be done to continue to keep the world knitted together and interdependent economically, which is the case now, but what happens when India and China start to have to reach out farther to gain enough resources to provide for their own populations?

This is a question of geopolitics and realpolitik. It's a curiosity about what will happen when I'm reaching the twilight of my life and the youth of today will be in charge. The next 50 years will be very interesting, I think.

I personally would like to be one of the first settlers on Mars because we're going to have to start figuring out how to either totally regenerate the needed resources here or get them elsewhere and bring them back.

Will the US and EU merge in some meaningful economic alliance to parallel NATO? Will the burgeoning alliances of the east ascend the ladder? Let's not get childish in this thread, and let's recognize which feelings are those of forward thinking and which ones are retributaroy in nature. But let's have the discussion. I'm curious to see what many of you think on this.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
SBBRTech
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RE: The Future Of The Worlds Nations And Alliances

Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:35 pm

Hey DL, nice posting, I didn't catch it before but this subject is quite hard to deal with.
Whatever happens in the future be assured that unless desalinization of the oceans becomes a straightforward practice wars will be fought over water resources, no doubt. I really can't imagine what will be left of our planet when the emerging countries get to the point where they can put in practice their own american dream. Maybe mass colonization of the solar system will buy us some time.

[Edited 2008-01-16 10:37:41]
"I'm beginning to get the hang of this flying business" - C3PO
 
BarfBag
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RE: The Future Of The Worlds Nations And Alliances?

Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:06 pm



Quoting DL021 (Thread starter):
but what happens when india and China start to have to reach out farther to gain enough resources to provide for their own populations?

I thought that was already happening ? For example:
Nov 2007: Chinese-African Summit Yields $1.9 Billion in Deals
Jan 2008: India's Jindal Steel to invest 2.1 bln usd in iron ore mine in Bolivia

While the starting post tends to meander, the actual question is more clear - how does the west address competition for capital and resources from the east, both of which it has long had dominance over. Well, going forward, there won't be as much western control over those two, but otherwise I don't see what's the big deal ? It's not like we haven't heard alarmist "those newly rich people are going to rob the world of all the resources" before. Ultimately everyone works in their own self interest.
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: The Future Of The Worlds Nations And Alliances?

Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:27 pm



Quoting BarfBag (Reply 2):
It's not like we haven't heard alarmist "those newly rich people are going to rob the world of all the resources" before

Well, it's not so much alarmist....or me being worried about the newly rich/emerging markets (since all that really does in a global economy is allow more investment potential) so I do appreciate you bringing your particular perspective (angry young asian man!  Wink ) but it's deeper than that.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 2):
Ultimately everyone works in their own self interest.

Precisely. So what I want to know is what does the future hold, in your opinion, as far as relationships between nations go as alliances will be enlarged, shrunk, or newly grown to protect the national interests as the new economies grow and the older ones continue to develop and the resources necessary (not just oil, which will become less important after a certain period) become more scarce compared to the populations that are demanding them. That's the question.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 2):
going forward, there won't be as much western control over those two,

Perhaps not. But the competition for them will certainly be strong. What will Indonesia do when it's population outstrips it's ability to sustain itself with it's existing landmass? What will China do when it finally runs out of oil to run cars for it's 500 million drivers coming on the roads over the next 20 years or so. How will India satisfy the 500 million or so people that will still be below the poverty line as far as opportunity to advance goes in ten or twenty years as a significant percentage every year move up the scale leaving hundreds of millions still living in shanties in Hyderabad or driving rickshaws in Mumbai?

So what if the west doesn't control it? How will the East deal with it?

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 2):
While the starting post tends to meander

Too true....and I apologize. It's a big concept to ask about and consider. Perhaps explaining the lack of response.

Quoting SBBRTech (Reply 1):
Hey DL, nice posting,

Thanks.

Quoting SBBRTech (Reply 1):
this subject is quite hard to deal with.

it's a big one.

Quoting SBBRTech (Reply 1):
Whatever happens in the future be assured that unless desalinization of the oceans becomes a straightforward practice wars will be fought over water resources, no doubt

That's a significant concern. Coming up soon is the need to resolve the water situation between Turkey and Syria, as well as the need to irrigate planting fields for the growing populations who want to do silly things like bathe and drink the water needed for power and farming. Its all getting more and more complicated and the comment about sending ourselves to the stars may end up being a solution...or at least the planets.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
BarfBag
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RE: The Future Of The Worlds Nations And Alliances

Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:22 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 3):
angry young asian man!

Oh cmon, don't go into grumpy old white fart mode again  Wink I'm referring to the usual NYT-type articles bemoaning something like the $2500 Indian car, never mind it's enormous benefits in every manner as a 2-wheeler replacement, from a safety and emissions perspective. I understand that conservatism is a new fad, but these characterizations are ridiculous - you'd need to sell an order of magnitude more of those cars than the average American car to achieve as much oil consumption, taking into account average MPG *and* average distances driven.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 3):
What will Indonesia do when it's population outstrips it's ability to sustain itself with it's existing landmass? What will China do when it finally runs out of oil to run cars for it's 500 million drivers coming on the roads over the next 20 years or so. How will India satisfy the 500 million or so people that will still be below the poverty line as far as opportunity to advance goes in ten or twenty years as a significant percentage every year move up the scale leaving hundreds of millions still living in shanties in Hyderabad or driving rickshaws in Mumbai?

Good questions. In pretty much the same manner as has been happening so far. They are primarily dependent on how well growth can keep up with the rising tide of aspiration, and requires a system that can respond to such aspirational stimulus of the population. As another perspective, recent domestic economic surveys indicate that every year in India, roughly 35-40 million people move up from the ranks of destitute to being basic consumers, i.e. they go from hand-to-mouth existence to having a measure of extra income to spend on non-essential consumption; average incomes have risen at or among the fastest rates in Asia for the last 5 years - salary increases for workers in 2006 averaged nearly 15%; per capita income rose 8%. The gulf between these two numbers will narrow as dependency ratio falls due to the demographic bulge.

However, your posts, and perspectives, deal primarily with external and global implications. The reason why I said that everyone acts in their own self interest, in response to the question of what alliances will happen, is that it is precisely because of self interest that alliances will be unpredictable. Unlike with Europe, the US has no natural affinity or ties to either China or India. I would even dismiss Indian democracy as any sort of common factor for the simple reason that the US policymaking system has typically preferred a malleable tyrant. I'm not making a qualitative judgement, just stating facts. I don't expect any longstanding alliance - the US, China and India (and others like EU and Russia) can be expected to cooperate or screw each other as the situation warrants.
 
SBBRTech
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:32 am

RE: The Future Of The Worlds Nations And Alliances?

Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:46 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 3):
Coming up soon is the need to resolve the water situation between Turkey and Syria, as well as the need to irrigate planting fields for the growing populations who want to do silly things like bathe and drink the water needed for power and farming.

You're right about the Tigris-Euphrates conflict as it seems to be escalating to become the next chapter of MidEast's water crisis - like the 1967 war, Iran x Iraq.... but with those shrinking resources I just don't see them shaking hands and going for a joint venture.
From our "not-as-dry" perspective, here we have a serious problem of water wasting. Potable or not, you can't just go about hosing every inch of your garage for 1 hour every single day. I've see that many times in different regions of the country. It's cultural. Besides the poorest northeasterns, most Brazilians don't appreciate the scarcity of water for they never known it. We got like 12% of the world's fresh water, and growing up with our geography teachers preaching how rich and plentiful our national resources are didn't help much, people got lazy no wonder.
Millions living under the poverty line also contribute to this even with no plumbing at all: cases of miserable communities settling illegally in protected areas and using water springs as garbage deposits aren't hard to find...others go for illegal connections and diversions that end up wasting more water than actually providing.
But IMO the biggest villain we got is cattle raising. Man, 15.000 liters of water are needed to produce ONE freaking kilo of meat !!! I like a steak every now and then, but this has to stop, it's obscene!
"I'm beginning to get the hang of this flying business" - C3PO

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