Here are some useful links to environment, population, and security work that recently crossed my desk.
• China’s willingness to cut exports of rare earth elements to Japan over its East China Sea dispute woke up the larger world to the heavy dependency on China for supplying these key inputs into the modern (and green, in particular) industrial economy. Chinese attempts to take back their shot across the bow
are bound to fail, as illustrated by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke’s call for the G20 to guarantee rare earth access
, Wednesday at the Wilson Center.
• The National Geographic headline, “Replacing Oil Addiction With Metals Dependence?
” raises another key long-term question, explored in detail on NSB
• “Aid Shocks Likely Cause Armed Conflict,” is the provocative title on a post from the new blog AidData. The post summarizes a forthcoming scholarly piece in the American Political Science Review that suggests cutting-off foreign assistance (what the author team calls an “aid shock”) significantly increases the likelihood of violent conflict.
• Dan Smith, Secretary-General of the UK-based NGO International Alert, has multiple nuggets in his latest riff, “From the UK gov’t, a good message on development and peace.” Like the Global Dashboard post I mentioned last week, Smith uses the recent speech by UK Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell as his foil. The MDGs aren’t the sum total of development and a new narrative is needed. “Securitization” is a distraction that should be put to rest, and integration and focus on conflict-affected countries are the centerpiece of a welcome new narrative coming out of London.
• Finally, Wilson Center President and Director Lee Hamilton is stepping down this fall after twelve years heading the Center. His time at the Center comes after 34 years as a Congressman from Indiana. Lee’s departure has engendered numerous profiles; this one in Foreign Policy is one of the best.