Yesterday the Carnegie Council held an excellent breakfast meeting with speaker, Michael J. Klare who talked about his new book Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet.
His main point was there is a permanent, significant shift in world power going on at the moment. There are insufficient resources and this is affecting the balance of power.
By 2030, the world's oil supply will fall short of demand. Existing oil reservoirs are on the verge of decline. Fewer new oil fields are being discovered. Oil provinces are in areas that have security of operational problems.
There is a newly emerging New World Energy Order. There is a small number of privileged countries with access to energy resources. The world will become more bifurcated between nations with access to energy and those without. Nation's that are sitting on oil reserves will start exercising their economic power through sovereign wealth funds: petrodollars that they will use to buy up property and use for political advantage.
The competition between the US and China for energy resources will intensify. China is expected to be the top consumer of energy by 2025. They are seeking to secure energy resources by traditional means such as joint ventures and diplomatic efforts but they are also increasingly using military means.
One of his most interesting points is that the balance of power is now similar to the time before WWI.