Superpower Futures

Jodie Goodacre
Mind Map by Jodie Goodacre, updated more than 1 year ago
Jodie Goodacre
Created by Jodie Goodacre over 6 years ago


Edexcel Geography

Resource summary

Superpower Futures
1 The impact of resources
1.1 Energy
1.1.1 The pressure on energy and other resources can be illustrated by car ownership In 2003, 13.6 out of every 1,000 urban households in China had a car The highest ownership rates were in Beijin (66 per 1,000) and Guangdong (43.7 per 1,000) In the same year the car ownership in the USA was 750 per 1,000 If India and China achieve future car ownership levels even half of those in the USA, there will be double the current numbers of cars in the world
1.1.2 The rapid rise in oil prices in 2007 and 2008 was the outcome of rising demand and stagnating supply
1.1.3 Oil may be being pumped out of the ground at a faster rate than new reserves are being discoverd
1.1.4 A key resource concern is the path India and China take as they continue to grow economically and gain power. If growth trends since 1990 continue, some time in the first half of this century the two emerging Asian powers will reach total GDP levels similar to those of the EU countries and the USA today
1.2 Environment
1.2.1 Chinese and Indian ecological footprints might be similar to those of the EU and the USA by 2040, which would place huge pressure on water, energy and land resources
1.2.2 In reality this sort of future is probably unachievable, as current known oil, gas, water and farmland resources simply could not support such consumption levels.
1.2.3 Such a level of global consumption might be possible with a dramatic shift toward use of renewable resources. This would involve radical restructuring of the way humans consume resources
1.3 In the last 20 years new global powers have emerged.
1.3.1 The 'newcomers' are Brazil, Russia, India and China - collectively known as the BRICs
1.4 As the EU has expanded to include 28 nations, its power as a bloc has grown
1.5 There has been spectacular economic growth in Gulf States such as the UAR, Qatar and Bahrain
1.5.1 Economic growth in the emerging powers has some obvious benefits China has lifted 200 million people out of poverty since 1990 In Brazil income growth has expanded the middle class and shrunk the number of people in poverty
1.6 However, this economic development is raising a number of concerns
1.6.1 The accelerating rise in the demand for energy and other resources
1.6.2 The impact on the environment - from global warming to localised river pollution
1.6.3 The uneven distribution of the benefits of economic growth, with growing inequality between the urban rich and rural poor.
1.6.4 The last of these concerns could create internal tensions that might destabilise and derail economic growth
2 The impact on the older core regions
2.1 Russia and its energy exports
2.1.1 Russia's economy relies on crude oil and natural gas exports
2.1.2 In the last 20 years it has uncovered significant reserves of both oil and gas in its Siberian provinces.
2.1.3 These could add significantly to Russia's global power.
2.1.4 Russia has developed important export partnerships to the east (China) and the west (Europe).
2.1.5 Russia depends on the European market to buy 80% of its oil exports, but the USA is keen to become a buyer and China's demand for oil is ever growing
2.1.6 During the past decade, China has joined Japan and South Korea as a major importer of crude oil from the middle east
2.1.7 This region supplies - Almost 50% of China's oil and 80% of Japan and South Korea's oil
2.1.8 All three countries are in need of alternative crude oil sources and supply routes. Russia would seem to be the obvious source
2.1.9 Asia's great cities need to reduce air pollution by switching to natural gas. Already the liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan account for nearly 80% of all traded LNG. Much of this comes from South Asia and Australia
2.1.10 For mainland China, the cost of LNG has been a constraint, and it has been looking for more cost- effective ways of increasing its access to natural gas. An obvious source would be the large hydrocarbon reserves in nearby Siberia and Sakhalin Island.
2.1.11 In a world where energy resources are increasingly significant, the potentially vast fields of oil and gas that underlie Russia's Siberian provinces are a key card in international affairs.
2.1.12 Natural resource reserves have given Russia increased global significance and confidence. The impacts of this have been felt by several countries: In 2006 Russia cut its gas supplies to Ukraine for 3 days over a payment dispute, and in March 2008 it reduced supplies to its neighbour by 25%. In August 2008 Russian troops entered Georgia, leading to a short conflict and international crisis. In August 2007 Russian submarines planted two flags on the Arctic seabed, effectively claiming sovereignty over a large area of the Arctic. Russia has repeatedly warned the USA not to expand NATO into eastern Europe or to site missiles there. Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and the EU were cut off in 2008-09.
2.1.13 All of these actions have raised international tensions and led some people to speak of a 'new Cold War'
2.1.14 Taken together, they warn the USA to keep out of what Russia considers its sphere of influence.
2.2 Preserving prosperity
2.2.1 China has benefitted people within the USA and the EU by making cheaper clothing and electronics and providing us with cheaper food.
2.2.2 USA and the EU are increasingly dependent on the quaternary sector providing jobs and dominance over global finances and services.
2.2.3 Problems have been caused by outsourcing jobs to India and China and the financial troubles within the banking sector due to the 2008 credit crunch.
2.2.4 Large TNC’s such as Apple and Microsoft are outsourcing jobs world wide instead to bringing graduated to their home country's and creating global villages.
2.3 Restructuring
2.3.1 In the USA a painful period of economic restructuring is likely to continue for some time
2.3.2 The US car industry was once pre-eminent in the world however it has shrunk drastically since the 1970s
2.3.3 Detroit’s big three, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, were begging the US government for financial help in December 2008 to avoid collapse.
2.3.4 Lack of investment and failure to compete with Japan caused Detroit to plummet
2.3.5 In 2008, the top five best selling cars in the USA were Japanese in origin.
2.3.6 Chinese car companies are gearing up to launch themselves on world markets by doing the following: Dongfeng is investing US$1.3 billion in research and development centre and factory in Wuhan with a capacity of 333,000 vehicles a year FAW has committed US$1.8 billion to developing vehicles between now and 2015 By 2015 Geely will produce 1.7 million cars a year from nine factories in China and overseas plants planned in Mexico, South Africa, Indonesia, Ukraine and Russia. Chery is planning a fourth factory with a capacity of 200,000 cars, bringing its total capacity to 850,000 units by 2010.
2.4 Space
2.4.1 1957 USSR launched the first satellite.
2.4.2 1960’s US international prestige has been to explore space.
2.4.3 1961 USSR completed the first manned space mission.
2.4.4 1969 USA used its military industrial complex to enable the first moon landing.
2.4.5 1970’s US dominance was assured by its space shuttle.
2.4.6 1991 the collapse of the USSR.
2.4.7 NASA Planning its orion launch vehicle to replace the space shuttle. Aims to build a moon base by 2020 and visit Mars by 2037
2.4.8 ESA Focuses on unmanned exploration but may plan future manned missions
2.4.9 RKA Planning a manned, reusable spacecraft to begin missions in 2015
2.4.10 ISRO Planning manned missions to begin in 2015
2.4.11 CNSA Planning its own space station, and to land a probe on the moon by 2010. Plans to manned Mars missions by 2040-60
2.4.12 JAXA Planning independent manned missions and a lunar base by 2030
2.5 Until recently the emergence of new economic superpowers was seen by the established powers as more of an opportunity than a challenge
2.6 The EU, Japan and the USA have experienced economic growth and falling consumer prices driven by the explosion of economic activity in semi-peripheral NICs and RICs
2.7 A likely cause of power shifts is dwindling fossil fuel supplies. As oil becomes scarcer and more expensive, tensions may begin to build.
2.8 Therefore nations such as Russia with their own oil and gas reserves have the potential to become increasingly powerful.
2.9 Challenges
2.9.1 The rise of the emerging superpowers will have significant repercussions on the rest of the world. The shift in power is likely to be particularly uncomfortable for the EU, USA and Japan.
2.9.2 The global recession has already checked their economic growth.
2.9.3 The emerging superpowers are also likely to add to their troubles and serious challenges lie ahead. These include: Ensuring future supplies of energy and minerals Creating a balanced economic base that does not rely too heavily on services. Maintaining the lead in space exploration Curbing outsourcing, which ultimately erodes core jobs and prosperity Rejuvenating ageing populations, i.e. ensuring an adequate supply of labour and innovation Preventing the spread and deployment of nuclear weapons
2.9.4 With China and India’s size and growth rate it is highly likely that they are going to transform the 21st century global economy.
2.9.5 Neither country however can assume its place as a superpower as currently these countries still fall short of Japan and the USA
2.9.6 In the future, if growth continues, then the USA and EU will need to make room for China and India
2.9.7 It is likely that the balance of power and technologies will shift from West to East as education, innovation and consumer numbers increase with economic growth.
2.9.8 The USA has a lot to do to maintain its role as a global superpower
3 The emerging powers and the majority of the world
3.1 Opportunities
3.1.1 Growing economies demand resources, some human and some physical
3.1.2 The growing Gulf state economies are rapidly diversifying away from oil and gas towards tourism, services and research and development This has created a spectacular building boom in the UAW, Qatar and Bahrain
3.1.3 The construction workers required come from Pakistan and India: It was the birth of his second daughter that finally forced Raju Singh's decision to leave home The stonemason borrowed $2,500 from a labor recruiter in his village in Rajasthan to pay for an air ticket to Dubai Three years on, his dream seems as elusive as a desert mirage In February he finally paid off his debts to the labour recruiter in Rajasthan, including 42% interest on the loan Sitting in a labour camp in the sprawling workers' district of Sonapur outside Dubai, Singh says he now spends most of his monthly income of about $190 feeding himself Six days a week he wakes at 4am to travel to the building site, where he begins his 11 hour day at 6:30am Raju might be forgiven for comparing himself to an Irish navy building Britain's canals and railways in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries The low-skill migrant worker's story does not seem to change even if the superpowers do
3.2 Resources
3.2.1 The BRICs are in need of physical as well as human resources to fuel their economic growth
3.2.2 It has been estimated that China alone accounted for over 40% of the total growth in the global demand for oil in 2003-8
3.2.3 Of all the global arenas, Africa is probably the most disputed today
3.2.4 As a continent it has huge mineral wealth
3.2.5 The democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia possess 50% of the world's cobalt reserves
3.2.6 98% of the world's chrome reserves are located in Zimbabwe and South Africa
3.2.7 South Africa accounts for 90% of the reserves of metals in the platinum group
3.3 China in Africa: development or colonisation
3.3.1 China's search for oil and mineral resources has focused on Africa
3.3.2 Chinese companies are investing heavily in Africa, primarily in oil exploration projects and infrastructure to help exploit and export raw material
3.3.3 30% of all oil used in China comes from Africa
3.3.4 In 2007, Chinese investment in Africa totalled US$30 billion
3.3.5 China has invested US$8 billion building oil pipelines in Sudan
3.3.6 here were estimated to be 750,000 Chinese working in Africa in 2008, and over 900 Chinese companies
3.3.7 Critics argue that all China wants from Africa is its resources, and that it has no interest in African development
3.3.8 Most investment goes to African governments, TNCs and Chinese companies, not to ordinary Africans
3.3.9 China has been accused of overlooking human rights issues, for example: Providing a huge increase in oil revenues to the government of Sudan, which has helped fund war in Darfur Propping up the government of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe with arms shipments
3.3.10 In many cases large Chinese-funded infrastructure projects are built by Chinese workers, not local labour.
3.3.11 It remains to be seen whether the financial benefits of such investment help some of the least developed countries out of poverty
3.3.12 In general, mining, quarrying and forestry bring few skilled jobs and pay low wages
3.3.13 The age-old problem of Africa's resources leaving the continent as cheap raw materials rather than expensive manufactured goods in likely to continue
3.4 Oil
3.4.1 The US thirst for oil is also boosting the strategic importance of countries such as Angola and Nigeria
3.4.2 Experts agree that over the next 10 years Africa will become the USA's second most important supplier of oil, and possibly natural gas
3.4.3 US strategy in Africa has two main elements The first is unlimited access to key markets, energy and other strategic resources, and the second is the military securing of transport routes along which raw materials will be moved to the USA
3.4.4 In July 2003 an attempt coup in Sao Tome and Principe, a small west African state rich in oil reserves, triggered US intervention in the archipelago
3.4.5 Three months later, oil companies, mostly US ones, offered more than US$500m to explore the deep waters of the Gulf of Guinea, shared by Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe. This is double what the countries had hoped for
3.5 Many developing nations, especially in Africa, could be forgiven for envying the rise of China and India
3.6 Despite the rise of the BRICs, the majority of the world still lives in the developing 'South'
3.7 The growing prosperity of the BRICs is unevenly distributed inside those countries
3.8 In China, the prosperous, urban coastal zone is in sharp contrast to the poor, rural interior
3.9 In India the growing middle class is concentrated in cities and the southern states
4 Tension between cultures
4.1 War
4.1.1 Support for the USA's war in Iraq was initially solid, with the UK, Spain, Italy, Georgia, South Korea, Australia and Ukraine all providing over 1,000 service personnel to the invasion force
4.1.2 The war was opposed by France and Germany, and by the UN secretary-general Kofi Annan
4.1.3 After the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, many countries withdrew their troops, undermining the 'coalition'
4.1.4 The Iraq war and the drawn-out attempt to restore some form of peaceful, functioning government to Iraq undermined the USA's international status
4.1.5 Many Europeans believe the war was less about removing Saddam Hussein and his alleged weapons of mass destruction than about ensuring the USA had access to middle east oil supplies
4.2 Terrorism
4.2.1 A feature of the twenty-first century has been a rise in global terrorism
4.2.2 Terrorism itself is not new
4.2.3 The UK experienced terrorism associated with Northern Ireland for decades
4.2.4 Basque separatist terrorism is ongoing in Spain
4.2.5 Islamic terrorism is most often directed against the USA, although it is questionable whether terrorism is motivated by a dislike of American culture More likely to be directed against American military and political actions
4.3 The future
4.3.1 Tensions between superpowers are only likely to increase in the future
4.3.2 As the emerging superpowers gain around, there is the potential for a clash of cultures
4.3.3 Despite globalisation there are at least four cultural world views,and several of these are present in emerging powers
4.3.4 In the Muslim world the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, with its opposition to what it sees as the moral corruption of the West, has created huge tensions and as China develops, demands for European style freedoms there may grow
4.3.5 It is difficult to know what the future will bring for the superpowers of emerging powers of today
4.3.6 The US National Intelligence Council report Global Trends 2025, puts forward a number of future scenarios These are very much the world viewed from a US perspective, but they are worth consideration. Possible scenarios by 2025 include: A multi-polar world replaces the current uni-polar one, following the rise of China, India and other emerging powers. The USA remains the most powerful, but less dominant. Increased risk of an arms race, possibly a nuclear one, in the middle east and east Asia if tensions and conflict in those regions cannot be resolved Increased resource nationalism and tension as resources run short and increase in price. Rising tensions develop between the BRICs as they search for new resources Long-term decline of Europe and Japan if they fail to meet the challenges of rapidly ageing populations Resource-rich powers (Russia and the middle east) increasingly challenge the political and economic order
4.4 During the cold war there was a huge cultural divide between the USA and the USSR. It was based on the profound difference in political ideologies
4.5 Although Russia has since turned towards capitalism, the cultural tension remains
4.6 Differences in values are magnified by the mutual distrust and suspicion that persist between the two countries
4.7 Even though they are allies, cultural tensions exist between the USA and Europeans
4.7.1 There are some key societal and cultural differences
4.7.2 Although generalising about cultural differences is notoriously hard there have been some examples given European A stronger emphasis on the welfare state A tendency to eat as a family A lower legal age for alcohol consumption A more liberal attitude to nudity in the media Generally not in favour of capital punishment American Individual provision for healthcare and education Greater prevalence of fast food Shopping malls rather than high streets and outdoor shopping areas More overtly religious More concerned about 'being number one'
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