Natural Resources

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Snapshot,
John Sfakianakis

As it stands, the mess in Iraq won’t dramatically alter the oil market unless things get far worse inside the country. Iraq has been in trouble for quite some time -- but the world has only just started to pay attention.

Snapshot,
Carter Roberts

On May 21, the Brazilian government and its partners secured financing for the Amazon Region Protected Areas, or ARPA. This project is the largest tropical forest conservation effort in history; at 150 million acres, it will preserve an area three times larger than all of the U.S. national parks combined.

Letter From,
Jérôme Tubiana

In April 2012, a small team of wandering miners discovered gold in the Jebel Amir hills of North Darfur, Sudan. One of the mines was so rich -- it reportedly brought millions of dollars to its owners -- that it was nicknamed “Switzerland.” Diggers rushed in from all over Sudan, bringing with them guns, gangs, and prostitutes.

Snapshot,
Ricardo Soares De Oliveira

The countries of East Africa are in the early throes of an oil boom, with an unprecedented opportunity for economic development. Unless they avoid the mistakes of those before them, though, the region's governments could easily squander it.

Snapshot,
Brahma Chellaney

East Africa is one of the world’s most water-stressed regions. Overexploitation of water resources there has been compounded by declining snowpacks on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. In this light, the discovery of two significant aquifers in mostly arid Kenya has been hailed as a potential game changer.

Essay, Mar/Apr 2014
Robert D. Blackwill and Meghan L. O'Sullivan

As the U.S. boom in shale oil and gas drives down global energy prices, energy-producing states that lack diversified economies will lose out, whereas energy consumers stand to gain. But the biggest benefits will accrue to the United States.

Snapshot,
Matt Mossman

For the world’s mining industry, the past few years have been turbulent. But those Wild West days might be coming to an end.

Snapshot,
John Sfakianakis

Since world demand for oil is set to grow, Riyadh does not see U.S. shale oil production as competition. Nor is it worried about losing its position as the world's supplier as last result. All in all, the U.S. energy boom might be a good thing for Saudi Arabia.

Snapshot,
Adam Minter

The metal shredder stands as the singularly most important piece of recycling equipment ever developed. It is, among other things, the best and really only solution to managing the biggest source of consumer waste in the world today: the roughly 14 million American automobiles that are junked annually. North America is home to more than 300 of them. Another 500, at least, are located in dozens of other countries from Brazil to China.

Essay, Sept/Oct 2013
Larry Diamond and Jack Mosbacher

Over the next decade, a massive wave of new oil and gas discoveries will transform Africa. If the resource curse plays out as it usually does, this oil boom will only serve to entrench authoritarian rule and inhibit democracy. Unless, that is, African governments embrace a radical approach: handing a large share of the new revenues directly to the people as taxable income.

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