Natural Resources

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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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Adam Heffez

In a little over a decade, Sana’a, Yemen, might become the world’s first capital to run out of water, turning its millions of citizens into water refugees. A major cause: the cultivation of qat, a mild narcotic plant that takes unusually large amounts of water to farm and to which much of Yemen's population is addicted.

Matt Mossman

Mongolia is one among a small handful of places left in the world with major untouched mineral deposits. But investing successfully in its mining industry demands more than just money and a willingness to take risks; it requires understanding the country's vulnerable geography and byzantine political environment.

Essay, May/June 2013
Michael Levi

The U.S. energy revolution is not confined to a single fuel or technology: oil and gas production, renewable energy, and fuel-efficient automobile technologies all show great promise. To best position the country for the future, U.S. leaders should capitalize on all these opportunities rather than pick a favorite; the answer lies in ‘most of the above.’

Yuri M. Zhukov

Exploratory drilling near the coasts of Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey has unearthed vast reserves of natural gas. Competition over the rights to tap those resources is compounding existing tensions over sovereignty and maritime borders. The eastern Mediterranean is quickly becoming as volatile as its eastern cousin, the South China Sea.

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