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revolution, 3-D printing
and medicine, marketing made meaningful, balanced communities and ...
Future Now Show
The future often starts with changing your own personality. Our event
in December is a
think tank in which we pose urgent questions on the theme and develop
knowledge. It takes place in Cataluna in
us December 12 & 13, 2014 forthe future ofPersonal
Rare Earth dependence on China - Future Perspectives
Patrick Crehan CEO and Founder, Crehan, Kusano & Associates
Director, Club of Amsterdam
Rare Earth Elements (REEs) form a group of 17 metals which play
a very important role in modern industry, especially in the clean-tech
and electronic sectors. Despite their name they are not really
all that rare. However they are costly to extract, and sites from
which their extraction makes commercial sense are relatively few
and far between.
in Sweden in the late 1700s, they now play a very important role
in modern industry as essential ingredients in:
Electrical Motors: A modern car can contain 60 electrical
motors, doing all manner of things from adjusting the seats
and the side-view mirrors to winding the windows up and down,
controlling the air-conditioning and driving the windscreen
wipers. REEs allow manufacturers to reduce their size and weight,
while improving their energy efficiency. Modern electrical appliances
for use at work or around the home try to be smaller and lighter
cutting down on transport costs, while doing the same or better
work using less energy.
and Hybrid Electric Cars: The generators of modern wind
turbines contain many Tonnes of rare-earth metals. The turbine
pictured below is produced by a Finnish company called Switch.
Capable of generating 2.5MW, its permanent magnet is an alloy
of neodymium and weighs 2000kg. About 30% of this by weight
Microphones: For example the small powerful energy efficient
ones used in modern mobile phones.
Disc drives, flat panel displays, the "phosphor" of
traditional TVs and fluorescent light bulbs, new high efficiency
light bulbs based on CFL and LED technologies, catalytic converters.
The picture below
shows an example of a turbine for production of wind-energy. This
particular model is produced by a Finish
company called Switch.
It has an output of up to 3.5MW and employs a permanent magnet
containing 2,000 kg of REE alloy.
Modern mobile phones
use small but essential quantities of REEs. Making the iPhone
for example requires 9 different REEs in the screen and to polish
the glass of the screen, in the microphone and vibration unit,
as well as in its electronic circuitry. The following able was
developed by CNET
journalist Mark Hobbes.
It is easy to see
why the demand for REES has developed very rapidly in the last
few decades and is likely to continue to increase in future.
In 1990 China produced 27% of REEs and related minerals. By 2009,
global production was of the order of 132,000 Tonnes of which
China produced 129,000 Tonnes equal to almost 98% of global production.
According to Wikipedia we are now in the "Chinese Era"
of REE production.
Things started to
get tense however in about 2009 when China announced a plan to
reduce exports of REES to 35,000 Tonnes per annum over the period
2010-2015, ostensibly to conserve scarce natural resources and
protect the environment. This was followed up by a series of revisions
of this policy, which in each case amounted to further limits
on the export of REEs, including a total ban on exports to countries
like Japan. The result was market chaos as prices rose out of
control for a while and a number of REE consumers bought up reserves
in a panic to ensure suppliers.
This began a period of trade tension between China and other countries
including Japan, the US and Europe. Cases brought against China
at the WTO, have ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and China is
currently in the process of appealing the judgments.
In fairness, China is not only the biggest producers of REEs,
it is also the biggest consumer. Demand for REEs has grown as
fast in China as it has elsewhere. China also had very real concerns
about the environmental damage and public health impact of illegal
mining activities that had grown up in response to burgeoning
domestic and international demand. According to a recent report
published on the website of Rare Earth Investing News, 40%
of magnetic REE mining supply in China is illegal.
These activities are often mom-and-pop affairs described by one
of the exports at the EIAS as an opportunistic situation where
someone digs a whole in the ground, fills it full of sulphuric
acid, waits a while, then scoops up a part of what is produced
for further processing, before moving on to dig another hole without
much care for the overall consequences on the environment, local
water resources or the health of workers involved.
Other commentators such as The
have pointed out that export restrictions apply only to the raw
materials and not to intermediate or finished goods. They observe
that this is a very good strategy to help Chinese manufacturers
move up the value chain, by "forcing" foreign manufacturers
to outsource or relocate at least some of their manufacturing
tasks to China. The case of General Motors moving its magnetic
research facilities to China in 2006 has been put forward as evidence
in support of this hypothesis.
The last word has not yet been printed on the WTO case against
China. No doubt it will generate headlines in the months and years
One of the main messages of the EIAS meeting was that the demand
for REES has actually fallen since the crisis. One of the reasons
put forward is that many who were in the market for REES are not
permanently out because they have found other ways for doing what
they did with REEs. Apparently this substitution effect has happened
to some extent across all domains of application of REEs. It is
possible also to imagine a natural fall-off in demand due to the
global crisis that has reduced spending by individuals and by
governments. Renewable energy policies for example should be seen
as major drivers of demand for REEs based products. Another big
driver should be overall global population growth. It seems that
there is room to continue the conversation started at the EIAS
and develop scenarios based on realistic assumptions about the
impact of global growth, energy, environment and climate change
policies on future demand for REEs.
Another major message coming out of the meeting seemed to be that
nervousness concerning sources of REEs may be overblown. A representative
a major US producer of REEs based at Mountain Pass in California,
pointed out that the Chinese share of production has fallen a
long way from the highs of 2009 and 2010 and is now at about 82%,
far from the 95% or 97% often quoted in the press. It seems many
new sites are coming on line. Molycorp itself has made very important
investments in its production facilities. To thoroughly re-invent
and modernize its system of production based on in California
it has had to obtain more than 500 permits. According to its representative,
its new facilities are exemplars of industrial and environmental
good practice, allowing it to produce at prices that are competitive
with respect to China. Things look calm and stable for now and
the pressure causes by Chinese limits on production and export
is much lower for now. However the questions remain as to how
long this might remain and what impact will growth and progressive
policies in emerging economies have on demand and the adequacy
of available supplies.
In the case of Japan, its reaction to the crisis of 2009-2011
includes initiatives to look into other sources of REEs, for example
on the sea-bed. Already interesting prospects for commercially
viable under sea sources of REEs seem to have emerged in the regions
close to Japan. This indicates that the full range of possible
sources of commercially viable REEs has not at all been fully
Another reaction in Japan has been to look at the opportunities
presented by recycling. Electronic waste is a rich source of REEs
through recycling. Unused
electronic goods in Japan alone
are estimated to contain of the order of 300,000 Tonnes of REEs.
Several industrial initiatives have been set up to tap into this
opportunity. The extraction of metals from land-fill or urban
waste is often referred to as "urban mining." In the
case of e-waste in Europe however it is problematic. E-waste is
often classified as hazardous due to the presence of metals and
other components that are ultimately seen as harmful to health
or the environment, and therefore subject to strict controls in
terms of handling and disposal. For this reason e-waste is often
wrongly classified as "used goods" and exported without
In this way large quantities of strategically important minerals
that could in principle be recovered and recycled are exported
from Europe to landfill sites in far-away places such as Africa.
One of the "incentives" for doing this seems to be the
relatively high cost of recycling of e-waste. In actual fact many
exciting and highly effective technologies now exist based on
closed-loop chemical processes that enable the recovery of REEs
in industry friendly forms, as useful oxides, alloys and mixtures.
At the EIAS meeting a German company called Loser
gave an excellent overview of what is nowadays possible. To be
really effective these techniques need to be combined with sorting
strategies that are "aware" of the REE content of e-waste.
A more transparent and liquid market for REEs extracted in this
way would help. According to the CTO of Loser Chemie, not even
1% of the potential for recycling REEs in Europe is currently
being exploited. It seems that there are many entrepreneurial
opportunities for those with the knowledge and vision to make
the leap. It would be nice to have a better grasp of the size
of the opportunity that represents for Europe. Maybe this is a
good question for someone else to take up as a way of building
upon the debate started by this initiative of the EIAS.
The final question is to ask "how did we end up in this position
of crisis in 2010" to start with. According to an online
MIT resource dealing with The
Future of Strategic Natural Resources,
the entire world is still in danger of a resource crisis. Since
the 1960s, China developed a strong mineral policy that was in
line with its own growth needs, its natural advantage in terms
of high quality deposits and low labor costs, while the rest of
the world sat by and allowed itself to become dependent on a single
country to meet the majority of its needs. Our last though is
what ne3ds to be done to avoid this kind of situation ever arising
October 2014, the EIAS (European Institute for Asian Studies)
organized a briefing seminar on "Europe's Rare Earth dependence
on China - Future Perspectives".
Future Now Show - the first shows
the future now, where near-future impact counts and visions and
strategies for preferred futures start.
Do we rise above global challenges? Or do we succumb to them?
The Future Now Show explores how we can shape our future
now - where near-future impact counts. We showcase strategies
and solutions that create futures that work.
Every month we roam through current events, discoveries, and challenges
- sparking discussion about the connection between today and the
futures we're making - and what we need, from strategy to vision
- to make the best ones.
The Future Now Show October
about 3-D printing and medicine, marketing
made meaningful, balanced communities and ...
Featuring Lise Voldeng, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Ultra-Agent
Industries Inc. Mylena de Pierremont, Board Member, World Future Society Patrick Crehan, CEO and Founder, Crehan, Kusano & Associates Markus Petz, Head of Special Projects & Development,
Experience Alternative Tampere
printing services are popping up everywhere, but, given their
low scalability, where will their biggest impact be? Patrick
Crehan reckons that it will be in printing living things.
Not whole beasts but organs, from skin (already available) to
hearts. The panel discusses the ethical implications, pulling
in the increasing ability to build life from DNA up. Sounds scary?
It probably isnt. Probably
Talking about scary,
what about massive corporations, whose wealth affords enormous
power but whose primary driving force (shareholder value) is fundamentally
amoral? Mylena de Pierremont suggests that societal pressures
(presumably fuelled by enhanced global communication and wider
investor spread) are driving a new business model whereby things
like transparency, sustainability and corporate responsibility
equate to shareholder value. Maybe those evil giants
need not be defeated but can be converted.
Mark Petz introduces the global village, as
typified by the balance4yourlife project, billed as a new form
of intentional community a sustainable urban
village firmly anchored in the modern, interconnected world. While
global populations are increasingly migrating to cities and city
living is proving the most sustainable, can this concept buck
that trend? After all, modern communications are often making
geographical proximity less important. The attraction of villages,
green fields and trees aside, is the small inclusive community,
for which humans have arguably evolved, the antithesis of the
impersonal anonymity of city life. Is the global village then
a potential model for the future, maybe alongside cities? And
will we all be invited? By Paul Holister, Editor
The Future Now Show
about Climate Change, Food, Social Revolution
Featuring Lise Voldeng, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Ultra-Agent
Industries Inc. Kirsten van Dam, Director & Founder, Out Of Office Arjen Kamphuis, Futurist, Co-founder, CTO, Gendo Hardy F. Schloer, Managing Director, Schloer Consulting
Kamphuis calls climate change humanitys greatest threat.
How will we deal with this and with resource depletion, as forecast
famously by the Club of Rome in the 70s? Does the point
of no return for a solution lie ahead or has it passed and, if
so, with what consequences?
Kirsten van Dam
poses a related critical question, how to feed an ever-increasing
population in a time of diminishing resources? Will technology
provide an answer, as it has done before, or does mass starvation
A re-run of the Rome
model in 2005 forecast collapse for any reasonable input values.
And how bad could runaway climate change become? Some suggest
a reduction of the Earths carrying capacity to 2 million
souls. One respectable commentator suggests that a transition
to a lifeless new Venus is conceivable. A great threat indeed.
Joining the discussion
are Hardy Schloer and moderator Lise Voldeng. Solutions might
require complete abandonment of the cultural and economic models
born with the Industrial Revolution. But how much pain is needed
to bring about such a revolution?
Hardy Schloer sees a common thread in recent events such
as the Arab Spring, ISIS, the troubles in Ukraine and more
the uprising of groups defined by cultural or ethnic heritage,
united in their rage against the machine. Are we seeing the beginning
of the end of the nation state (a relatively recent construct
anyway)? Will a more natural new world order emerge, or an older
one re-emerge? How ugly might the transition be?
These questions are
discussed with Arjen Kamphuis, Kirsten van Dam and moderator Lise
Voldeng and it is agreed that the recent revolution in global
communications is central, now and for the future. Maybe borders
are obstacles and traditional democracy is outdated. Maybe we
need a sense of belonging and usefulness that is framed around
humanity rather than a nation or economic interests. By
Paul Holister, Editor
WHAT The Socratic seminar is a exciting
experience of creating knowledge. The socratic design guarantees
a process of values, listening, reflection and design.
You will be at your "best", free from addictive thoughts
and open to other ideas.
The seminar is a
think tank in which we pose urgent questions on the theme and
develop knowledge. This knowledge will be directly translated
into concrete road maps and future scenarios, or to put it simply,
into new narratives.
It will be a whole day of dialog, brainstorming and creating.
There are inspirators like Rosana Agudo, Associate Director,
Tecnologia para la Transformación Interior (Technology
for Interior Transformation), Bilbao, Mark Blaisse, historian
by education, a journalist by passion and a writer by necessity,
Amsterdam, René Gude, De Denker des Vaderlands,
Stand-up Filosoof, Former Editor-in-Chief, Filosofie Magazine,
Former Director, Internationale School voor Wijsbegeerte (ISVW),
Amsterdam, Jan Bruch, Founder at Neumorgen and Goodlife
Capital, Berlin. The inspirators will not deliver speeches but
participate with you all.
The Socratic Design method will be rolled out during the day,
resulting in the different scenarios.
The seminar is designed by Humberto
Schwab, Socratic Transformer.
Please ask for seminar details and registration
information without obligation: click
Or just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and cc to email@example.com
Elon Musk is a South Africa-born, Canadian American business
magnate, inventor, and investor. He is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX,
CEO and chief product architect of Tesla Motors, and chairman
of SolarCity. He is the founder SpaceX and considered by many
to be the cofounder of PayPal,] Tesla Motors, and Zip2. He has
also envisioned a conceptual high-speed transportation system
known as the Hyperloop.
Steven Chu is an American physicist who served as the 12th
United States Secretary of Energy from 2009 to 2013. Chu is known
for his research at Bell Labs in cooling and trapping of atoms
with laser light, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in
1997, along with his scientific colleagues Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
and William Daniel Phillips. At the time of his appointment as
Energy Secretary, he was a professor of physics and molecular
and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley,
and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
where his research was concerned primarily with the study of biological
systems at the single molecule level. Previously, he had been
a professor of physics at Stanford University. He is a vocal advocate
for more research into renewable energy and nuclear power, arguing
that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combating
Elon Musk and Steven Chu at the energy innovation
impact of culture on education
by Huib Wursten, Senior Partner, itim International and
Carel Jacobs is senior consultant/trainer for itim in The Netherlands,
he is also Certification Agent for the Educational Sector of the
program plans to develop technologies to restore and maintain
healthy physiological status through monitoring and targeted
regulation of signaling in peripheral nerves that control organ
functions. Novel therapies based on targeted stimulation of
the peripheral nervous system could promote self-healing, reduce
dependence on traditional drugs and provide new treatment options
ElectRx is also
expected to improve peripheral nerve stimulation treatments
for brain and mental health disorders, such as epilepsy, traumatic
brain injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and
goals for the program would require new technologies for in
vivo sensing and neural stimulation, including advanced biosensors
and novel optical, acoustic and electromagnetic devices to achieve
precise targeting of individual or small bundles of nerve fibers
that control relevant organ functions.
The technology DARPA plans to develop through the ElectRx
program could fundamentally change the manner in which doctors
diagnose, monitor and treat injury and illness, said Doug
Weber, DARPA program manager. Instead of relying only
on medicationwe envision a closed-loop system that would
work in concept like a tiny, intelligent pacemaker. It would
continually assess conditions and provide stimulus patterns
tailored to help maintain healthy organ function, helping patients
get healthy and stay healthy using their bodys own systems.
Researchers at the University of Bonn discover a new signaling
pathway to combat excess body weight.
The number of overweight persons is greatly increasing worldwide
- and as a result is the risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke,
diabetes or Alzheimer's disease. For this reason, many people
dream of an efficient method for losing weight. An international
team of researchers led by Professor Alexander Pfeifer from the
University Hospital Bonn, have now come one step closer to this
goal. The scientists discovered a new way to stimulate brown fat
and thus burn energy from food: The body's own adenosine activates
brown fat and "browns" white fat.
"Not all fat is equal," says Professor Alexander Pfeifer
from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University
Hospital Bonn. Humans have two different types of fat: undesirable
white fat cells which form bothersome "love handles",
for example, as well as brown fat cells, which act like a desirable
heater to convert excess energy into heat. If we are able
to activate brown fat cells or to convert white fat cells into
brown ones, it might be possible to simply melt excess fat away
reports the pharmacologist.
"If adenosine binds to this receptor in brown fat cells,
fat burning is significantly stimulated," reports Dr. Thorsten
Gnad from Prof. Pfeifer's team. It was previously thought not
possible for adenosine to activate brown fat. Several studies
with rats and hamsters demonstrated that adenosine blocks brown
What is the future of Continental philosophy of religion? These
forward-looking essays address the new thinkers and movements
that have gained prominence since the generation of Derrida, Deleuze,
Foucault, and Levinas and how they will reshape Continental philosophy
of religion in the years to come. They look at the ways concepts
such as liberation, sovereignty, and post-colonialism have engaged
this new generation with political theology and the new pathways
of thought that have opened in the wake of speculative realism
and recent findings in neuroscience and evolutionary psychology.
Readers will discover new directions in this challenging and important
area of philosophical inquiry.
AsianSquare Dance - 1st part
Michael Akerib, Vice-Rector, SWISS UMEF UNIVERSITY
Goldman Sachs first coined the expression BRICs - Brazil, Russia,
India and China - to identify the economic giants of the future
that will reshape the world economic order. While Russia's economy
is linked to the prices of commodities, energy in particular,
Brazil has not lived up to expectations. Of the four countries,
China and India have shown the most impressive growth in recent
years with, respectively, 10% and 8%. Excluding Brazil, the population
of the BRIC represents 40% of the world's inhabitants.
With Asia, reckoned to be today the most dynamic continent, accounting
for 65% of the world's population, and China and India together
accounting for 40%, these two countries can potentially alter
the fragile equilibrium of the world's economy. It is forecast
that by 2030 the East Asian economies will be the world's largest
Due to diverging political ideologies and concerns, however, this
bloc does not, in fact, exist other than in prose. Even worse,
all the countries in the area have made significant investments
in military equipment over the recent past thus sharply increasing
the risk of conflict particularly as fears grow over China's intentions.
The US' dream, during the cold war, of creating an Asian equivalent
to NATO was short lived. Today, Asia has five nuclear powers:
Pakistan, India, China, North Korea and Russia. On the other hand,
the US is constrained by budgetary problems.
Our argument in this series of articles is that the development
of Asia, and its impact on the rest of the world, depends to a
large extent on the relations between five countries: China, India,
Japan, South Korea and the US. Depending on the structure of the
type of relations that will develop, and choices made by Russia
and the US, for instance on their energy policy, we may see a
new world order developing, very different from that of the last
four hundred years. Further, if the Chinese economy faces difficulties
in the future, the US will be instrumental in determining Asia's
future. Conversely, if the US economy falters, China, if it so
wishes, could assume the world's economic leadership.
Since the end of the Second World War, the US' role in the area
has been a major influencing factor politically, militarily and
economically and while it has declined recently, it remains, nevertheless,
important. Asia is challenging the EU as the world's most important
The US imports from Asia for over $2 trillion per year, thus making
the US responsible for the creation of hundreds of thousands of
jobs. A weakening of the US dollar could significantly diminish
the US' role in the region.
At issue here is what A F K Organski has termed 'Power transition
theory' - i.e. the change of the guard of the dominant power where
the dominant power occupies this position because of its control
of resources, be they demographic, economic, geographic, natural
According to the theory, the dominant power, or powers, must ensure
the stability of the system failing what the system might be challenged
by an emerging hegemon. These situations are conducive to confrontation,
very often military.
The emerging hegemon is, no doubt, China, and the events in Eurasia,
over the coming quarter century will witness an indirect confrontation
between China and the US, a confrontation whose secondary actors
are India and Russia.
Is China striving to attain the status of great power and challenge
the US, at least regionally, and what role do the other regional
powers, as well as Russia and the US play? Or is it just trying
to reduce its feeling of being surrounded by enemies?
Asia has become a powerhouse with several countries showing economic
strength and appearing to be rivals. A dangerous rivalry inasmuch
as five countries in the area have a nuclear arsenal (China, India,
North Korea, Pakistan and Russia), with two more (Japan and South
Korea) able to produce a nuclear bomb in a relatively short time.
Monetary reserves in Asia are sufficient to allow the area to
develop without much further foreign investments. Further, an
increase in economic stability is heralded by the recent agreement
between several Asian countries - the members of ASEAN, China,
Japan and South Korea - to pool their financial resources in case
of a speculative attack.
While the major trade partner of most of the countries in the
area is Australia, the European Union and the United States, regional
trade has increased considerably. Services such as tourism also
cater increasingly to Asians.
There remains the question of whether the continent is able to
develop its own technological base to compete with Europe and
the US. There are diverging points of view on the issue.
The perception by the Asian countries of the effect of China's
domination of the continent evolved into an understanding that
they only have two options - siding with China or with Japan and
its US ally.
The financial difficulties originating in the US and which have
spilled all over the world have affected Asia in its role of major
exporter. As a reaction, China, Japan and South Korea are considering
the creation of a community modelled on the European Union that
would help them expand trade within their area and increase trade
with the ASEAN countries, Russia, the Middle East and Europe.
They are encouraged in this action as inter-Asian trade has been
growing at twice the rate of global trade. Inter-Asian trade is
more important as a percentage of total trade than inter-NAFTA
The US should fear the creation of a trading block including China,
Japan and South Korea as it would represent 43% of US' foreign
trade and holdings of over one trillion dollars in US Treasury
The countries in the area, with the notable exception of Russia,
share two major problems: access to raw materials in general,
and energy in particular, and an economy essentially geared to
exports, and thus very dependent on the purchasing power of EU
and US consumers. This last aspect is changing rapidly though
with domestic markets starting to take shape and offering local
producers a partial insulation from the American-led boom and
It is generally felt in the US that China has not been doing enough
to stimulate internal demand - the number of consumers is no bigger
than Italy while the population is 20 times that of the European
country - and that the situation has been worsened by the decision
of the Chinese government to peg the Yuan to the US dollar, thus
effectively undertaking a devaluation.
Should China's export drive remain as a major contributor the
country's economy, the accumulation of reserves by 2020 will be
bigger than that of Germany, Japan and the Middle East countries
put together. America's response could be to return to a more
isolationist policy by slapping import duties on Chinese products
or getting China to open its doors to greater exports of US products.
Both China and India have to contend with an extremely large population.
In fact, they are the only two countries with a population of
over 1 billion persons. Economic development has brought, to both
countries, an uneven distribution of wealth to the extent that
social disruptions can be feared in the future.
China has become the world's second largest oil consumer and it
is likely that it will surpass the US to lead the world in energy
use. Imports which represent 50% of consumption are likely to
rise to reach 80% in another 10 - 15 years particularly considering
the oil intensity of economic growth is particularly high, as
in most developing countries. Thus, for each 1% growth in GDP,
the country needs 1.2% additional oil.
In fact, China is the world's fast-growing energy user, Russia
is the most inefficient user of energy and he US is the country
with the largest carbon footprint.
China is also the world's largest consumer of several raw materials.
The country's search for natural resources has been done in a
predatory way, and there is fear that, backed by its staggering
reserves, it could encourage suppliers to increase prices at levels
beyond those acceptable to a large number of other users.
India's energy requirements are expected to grow by 30% in the
next 3 to 5 years and its imported crude oil dependency is expected
to reach 95% by 2025.
India depends for 50% of its energy needs on coal and increasing
its use would create major environmental problems.
Its gas suppliers are considered to be relatively unreliable and
include Bangladesh, Iran, Myanmar and Turkmenistan.
This situation has encouraged India to pursue the road to nuclear
Such growth in raw material requirements is not sustainable and
is strategically dangerous.
Both China and India have very large armies (in fact the largest
in the world) and nuclear weapons.
Japan is also a major energy importer, relying entirely on imports
for oil. Japan has an important stockpile of energy products,
and it has encouraged other Asian countries, including China,
to jointly plan the stocks and their administration.
Indeed, Asia's energy needs are expected to double in the coming
20 years. In spite of this, OPEC countries do not seem to be prepared
to invest in increasing production, in large part because of the
massive funds required. They have been estimated by McKinsey to
be of the order of $ 45 billion a year over the next three decades.
The countries in the area perceive themselves as rivals in securing
energy sources and China, particularly, has shown an eagerness
to develop partnerships, whether through limited investments,
or through political support, in the United Nations, of countries
Hydrocarbon reserves in the China Sea are claimed by several countries,
and are a growing point of contention. Neighboring countries are
fearful of China's rising military power and have led them to
develop closer relations with the US.
In an effort to temper their competition, India and China have
made some joint bids to buy and share oil fields.
Japan too is dependent on energy imports and has recently been
unlucky with their supply sources. Thus, they have had to curtail
their investments in Iran, Kuwait, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
To counterbalance these losses, Japan has offered Saudi Arabia
the possibility of building oil-storage facilities in Okinawa,
provided Japan can have access to them in case of emergency.
A closer rapprochement between the two countries depends, however,
on the US' willingness for this to take place as the Saudi monarchy
depends on the US military shield against the rising threat of
Iran and of the djihadists, and there is no way Japan can replace
the US in that role. This, in spite of the fact that Asia is today,
by far, the largest buyer of both Saudi and more generally, Middle
Eastern oil - up to 60% and 70% of their exports, respectively.
Reliance on Russia for energy is therefore extremely important.
While a pipeline is being built from Siberia to the Pacific that
could partly alleviate these escalating needs, a number of other
pipeline projects have been proposed. All these projects require
large investments ($ 1-2 million per kilometer of pipeline or
around $ 12 billion for the pipeline that will link Russia and
China), long delays in building and face substantial political
and ecological problems. Further, the gas transmission systems
in China and Japan are under-developed and therefore not suitable
for the transport of large quantities of imported gas.
Russian industry has access to gas supplies at prices substantially
below those practised on world markets and has therefore become
a voracious user. The Russian government will be increasing prices
for domestic consumption, including for private heating, and /
or turning to alternative energy sources such as coal, hydro-electric
or nuclear power.
Other possibilities have also been considered, but they all depend
on Russia's cooperation.
Thus, for instance, integrating the energy grids of Russia with
those of China, Japan and the two Koreas has been proposed to
enable the exchange of seasonal surplus.
This entails not only Russia's cooperation, but also North Korea's.
It also requires large investments, although possibly not of the
scale of building a pipeline network.
Another common point between the China, India, Japan and South
Korea is that they constitute, jointly, the world's largest weapons
market and their suppliers are the European Union, Russia and
the United States.
China and Japan also share the will to stop North Korea's nuclear
The two countries are also large emitters of greenhouse gases.
Both China and Russia fear, perhaps rightly so, that the US is
conducting an encirclement strategy due to their military presence
in Central Asia as well as, in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan as
far as China is concerned, and Russia is concerned with a possible
NATO expansion in Europe.
and Western intelligence role in the Middle East
ISIS and Western intelligence
role in the Middle East by Annie Machon.
Machon is a former intelligence officer
for MI5, the UK Security Service, who resigned in 1996 to blow
the whistle on the spies' incompetence and crimes. Drawing on
her varied experiences, she is now a media pundit, author, journalist,
political campaigner, and PR consultant.
Geci's interests are broadly in foresight and R&D spanning
a range of public policy, development, and innovation issues.
She is actively involved in the futures study field which she
champions through her role as a founding member and director of
the SA Node of the Millennium Project.
She holds an MA in
Urban Planning, and a Masters in Architecture and Urban Design
from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and a PhD
in development planning and innovation from the University of
Witwatersrand. Geci Karuri-Sebina: ... "Johannesburg hopes to be a vibrant,
equitable, diverse, sustainable, resilient and adaptive city by
2040, a vision that will require rigorous engagement and monitoring
over time, in unfolding contexts.
As a foresight enthusiast and practitioner, Johannesburgs
growth and development vision appeals greatly. Not because it
will accurately predict or enable a specific outcome - a
world class African city, a city of our dreams,
a city growing with you, or a city that works
for me, as various cities across South Africa have outlined
in their catchy slogans - but because espousing a view to the
future is a basic prerequisite of visionary action. It is a bold
move, creating the potential to focus and capture the imaginations
of the co-creators and constituents of that future. A basic question
remains: What exactly is the future that we see for the entirety
of our city? Before we begin talking of GDS 2050, perhaps we should
attempt a shared peek from the mountaintop, to see if there is
a believable and grounded promised land ahead, with clear signs
behind, and many signposts in between." Source: CityScapes
Geci Karuri-Sebina, South Africa Node of the Millennium Project,
Baku Futures Forum
the future ofCollective
Location: The Cube, Studio
5, 155 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ
This is a collaboration
between The Cube and the Club of Amsterdam.
the future of South
East Asia Location:
24, 2015 the future
of Metro Vitality Aprll
This is a collaboration between APF and the Club
of Amsterdam GERMANY May/June
the future of ...