Review: The Race for What’s Left – The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources

4 Star, Complexity & Catastrophe, Corruption, Environment (Problems), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page

Michael Klare

4.0 out of 5 stars All the Negatives, None of the Positives,October 22, 2012

I know and admire Professor Michael Klare and have given his earlier books such as his first blockbuster, Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict With a New Introduction by the Author rave reviews. This book is valuable as a resource but I fear that it is the last beating of the dead horse Michael has been riding for the past decade. His other books also merit reading,

Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (American Empire Project)
Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy

but the theme remains the same:

01) We’re at Peak Everything

02) Special Interests own Governments

03) Governments go to war for Special Interests

While Michael calls for changes in our consumption, this book is missing both the convergence of the evil extractive interests and the emerging good of collective intelligence aka crowd sourcing, and the astonishingly fast forwarding of information technologies and “Open Source Everything” as a meme that I anticipate the Pirate Party (a party that went from non-existent to 50+ countries in 3.5 years) may adopt.

I am in the process of developing a new book, it’s working title is Public Governance in the 21st Century: New Rules, Hybrid Forms, One Constant – The Public. Although all of my work in the past has focused on the intersection of people, information technology, and facts that support decisions made with intelligence (decision-support) and integrity (holistic respect for diversity in all its forms), it is only recently that I have come to realize that not only do most countries suffer under a two-party tyranny that disrespects all aspects of democracy, but the third parties ALSO are invested in doing the wrong thing righter instead of the wrong thing.

This is the quote from Dr. Russell Ackoff that could be used to close Michael’s book, and it is the quote that will open my next book:

“The righter we do the wrong thing, the wronger we become. When we make a mistake doing the wrong thing and correct it, we become wronger. When we make a mistake doing the right thing and correct it, we become righter. Therefore, it is better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right. This is very significant because almost every problem confronting our society is a result of the fact that our public policy makers are doing the wrong things and are trying to do them righter.” (Ackoff 2004)

Now having given Michael three links, I will spend my last seven allowed links on Whole Systems thinking, True Cost Economics, and Collective Intelligence. I end with my two master lists of books I have reviewed here at Amazon, and sign off with my latest book that provides the key to the door that stopped Michael from being more positive.

Whole Systems Thinking:
Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure
Designing a World that Works For All: Solutions & Strategies for Meeting the World’s Needs
Reflexive Practice: Professional Thinking for a Turbulent World

True Cost Economics:
Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

Collective Intelligence:
Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators
Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics (Manifesto Series)

2012 is a year of convergence, emergence, and a new beginning. Industrial Era governments and corporations have reached their maximal level of corruption, ineptitude, and scale. The USA is at the end of its “doing the wrong thing” era. Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and Wild Cards such as the Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, and Turkey, are at the beginning of their era. The yuan will become the global reserve currency, the SWIFT banking system will be replaced by one operated by the BRICS, and somewhere in here, we will achieve free energy, which makes possible unlimited desalinated water.

Here are my two super lists, easily found online, with all reviews leading back to their Amazon page via the cover, and to my own often buried summary review via the Gap icon.

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Negative)

Best wishes to all,
Robert Steele
THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth & Trust (2012)

Vote and/or Comment on Review

Opt in for free daily update from this free blog. Separately The Steele Report ($11/mo) offers weekly text report and live webinar exclusive to paid subscribers, who can also ask questions of Robert. Or donate to ask questions directly of Robert.