TCS Daily


Running Out of Resources?

By Pete Geddes - August 9, 2007 12:00 AM


I'm often asked about our consumption of natural resources, e.g., oil, iron, and copper. Since these resources are finite and population continues to grow, aren't we in danger of running out? My short answer is no, we'll never run out of anything that trades in the marketplace. But, we should be concerned about running out of "resources" that have no price and no owner, e.g., wild things and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Here's why I'm concerned about the one and not the other.

Geologists define resources as the total physical stock of any material e.g., coal. In contrast, reserves are the portion of those resources that can be economically developed. Technological advances allow us to constantly move commodities from the resource category into the reserve pool.

Prices also expand our reserves, as yesterday's high cost resources become today's lower cost ones (e.g., Canada's tar sands). Rising prices signal scarcity, and this creates incentives that spur conservation and the search for substitutes (e.g., silicon fiber-optic lines replaced copper phone wires to great environmental benefit).

The 20th Century is littered with predictions of the world's imminent collapse from overpopulation, pollution, and resource shortage. A federal judge at a recent FREE conference noted, "When we see nothing but progress behind us, why should we see only destruction in front?" When institutions foster innovation and property rights are secure, scarcity never wins against creativity.

Ecologist Garret Hardin wrote his classic, "The Tragedy of the Commons" in 1968. The logic of this article is straightforward. When no one has control over a resource, be it a parcel of ocean or a dormitory lounge, it tends to be poorly maintained, overused, or depleted. This explains why prized resources, such as ocean fisheries, available to all, will be over exploited.

Without social or legal constraints, the incentive is for people to seek narrow personal advantages at the expense of the group and the resource. Few people act as wise stewards because others take a "free ride" on such actions, and rarely reciprocate.

Some common-pool resource problems, like climate change, present a great challenge. Since it is impossible to limit access to the atmosphere, a regulatory approach may be justified. For example, a carbon-tax to reduce
CO2 emissions. Other open access resource problems, ocean fisheries for example, can be solved by assigning property rights to fishermen in the form of tradable quotas.

It's a challenge to extend property rights to wildlife and their ecosystems.
The traditional approach has been to create protected areas and limit human use (usually with a uniform and badge). But this frequently fails, especially in developing countries where poverty drives people to exploit the natural world and there are no institutions to foster conservation. A key to success is to structure institutions such that local people have incentives for conservation.

Over a decade ago, a group of conservationists gathered to discuss an approach that was sensitive to the aspirations of local people. They collected their thoughts in an attractive booklet, "The View from Airlie." Conservation success often depends on the active involvement, rather than the exclusion, of local communities. They observed:

"The chief strategy of conservationists for more than a century has been exclusionary and implicitly misanthropic.... establish protected areas...and then safeguarding these areas by carefully limiting human use.... The protected-area approach...has often robbed rural communities of their traditional user-rights over forests, waters, fisheries, and wildlife, without offering appropriate remuneration."

Here's the nugget: "Blockading rural people against the use of their own landscape without offering them viable alternatives will always, to the blockaded, seem perverse and intolerable. And will always, consequently be futile."

Successful conservation groups understand this. For example, the Bozeman based Tributary Fund works with local communities in Mongolia to protect the Eg-Uur watershed, home of the world's largest (and endangered) salmon, the taimen. The Tributary Fund generates incentives for environmental stewardship by employing local families in their operations, e.g., as fishing guides.

We should not be worried about running out of resources that fuel our economy. And fortunately, entrepreneurs like those at the Tributary Fund give us hope that we can overcome the other kind of resource scarcity as well.
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92 Comments

An offer:
I have about 10,000 acres of mining claims in pristine Alaskan wilderness. I intend to mine all 10,000 acres over the next 40 years, but I will accept offers from the public of $100/ac to withhold mining these legal claims. Please post your interest here and if there are enough interested parties, I will place this offer on E-Bay for your convenience. This is even better than the carbon trading scheme, which does nothing but enrich con-men preying on the self-esteem of wealthy westerners. I get a real good guffaw over that deal. Anyway, if you purchase these mineral rights, the land will never be developed as long as the rights are maintained. You could do something real instead of something only imagined.

Oxygen Quotas
I am waiting for Al Gore and company to start proposing oxygen quotas on people, since the more oxygen someone uses the more carbon dioxide they produce.

It's not about running out of resources.
Only the real wingnuts talk about actually running out of a resource. That's a straw man of Wicker Man proportions. The question is what will happen when we see a repeat of the 1973 formation of OPEC with the price of oil doubling or quadrupling overnight. Don't say it can't happen, because it did. The only reason it hasn't happened yet is likely because of the US presence in Iraq. If we pull out, expect the Saudis and the rest of OPEC to drastically cut production and raise prices more than enough to recover the loss in volume. Sure, alternatives will eventually come on line, but it will take years to decades and in the interim the economic consequences will not be pleasant. With the Democrats in power you can expect government meddling that makes the situation even worse. Remember price controls and the resulting gas lines, not to mention the windfall profits tax?

Seeing into the future
Naturally we don't run out of essential commodities all of a sudden one day, and find them gone from the shelves. Instead, the price goes up. Just as we're seeing now with fuel. Remember, it was only back in 2004 that the oil market pundits were confidently saying they expected the price to stay in the $35-40 per barrel range indefinitely. So I think the people who said we'd reach Peak Oil around 2010 only missed it by five years. It began in 2005.

You don't have to listen to the pundits. Instead you can do what they do. Get out a sheet of graph paper and draw a line for the projection of increasing global fuel demand. You'll find it going up pretty sharply.

Then get another color pencil, and match that line with the one that gives our recoverable barrels of crude (or the equivalent in alternative fuel) at X price, at Y price and at Z price.

This graph will give you the future cost of fuel, in 2007 dollars. It's pretty scary.

Don't worry, be happy.
A few years ago, a Saudi oil minister said in Arab News that oil income would significantly decline in 25 years. He knew they were running out of oil and had to diversify.
What he was most concerned about in the near term was when the price of oil was high enough to stimulate more exploration, development of alternate fuels, and conservation.
That's what markets do.

Honda has a car you can plug into your natural gas line at home.

Europe is producing a car powered by air (the air car)

Hybrids using diesel are on the way as well as hydrogen combustion and fuel cells.

If the price of oil didn't rise, why would anyone bother to explore alternatives?

Why does Europe and Asia have better cell phone service than the USA? Because the USA had an excellent wired phone system. Emerging economies get to start with the latest and greatest.

Find me an airplane that can fly on anything other than a petroleum distillate
"Don't worry, be happy"

Someone once told me to cheer up, things could be worse. I did and sure enough, things got worse.

The energy density of any other practical fuel is too low. I guess we could go back to dirigibles until we run low on helium and start building clipper ships to cross the oceans.

The Age of Sail
In the future people will marvel that we once went about in huge tin cans in the sky, gulping jet fuel. They'll have solar wings-- great, graceful sails that can lift one person into the sky, or possibly a ton of cargo, to sail about on the wind.

Like the clipper ships, top speed won't be any more than zero against the ambient wind speed. It'll be passive air travel, dependent on the gusts and currents.

Why? Most of the earth's carbon will by then be airborne. The remaining sequestered carbon will be far too valuable as organic life to be burned as fuel.

Who will impose social and legal force to whole world?.
I fully agree to impose social and legal force to ban on automic bomb, on population, on monopoly,on racical prejudice on war.
But who to impose this force. Today every nation behaving selfishly. U.S.is most selfish compare to other nations,because U.S. have more milatary and economic power.My firm openion is only U.S. can impose this kind of social and legal force to whole world can U.S.sacrifice her own interst for sake of world`s well being

Roy, this statement
"Most of the earth's carbon will by then be airborne." is just silly. To start with, most of the earth's carbon is locked up in limestone. It's why we no longer have an atmosphere that resembles Venus.

Second, do try to keep the magnitudes right here. Total annual carbon emissions from human activity: about 10 billion tonnes, total emissions annually from the biosphere: about 800 billion tonnes; total carbon dioxide exchange annually between atmosphere and ocean: about 36,000 billion tonnes.

Most of the world's carbon? Not really. Also remember that there's a chemical balance between ocean and atmosphere. Most of the carbon dioxide ends up in the oceans (about 98 per cent of it). Given the existing carbon inventory in the oceans, this contributes trivially to acidification, particularly since its swamped by the size of the overall ocean/atmosphere exchange.

Right now
None. But it is not at all unreasonable to construct an aircraft fuel system using liquid hydrogen. Density isn't as good as aircraft fuel, but it's within the ballpark.

Helium is more serious. That is running out mostly because the quantity and nature of its origin was so limited to begin with.

oceans and CO2
I was reading an article a few days ago in which the author stated that since the oceans hold 50 times as much CO2 as does the air, there is not enough fossil fuels left in the ground to double atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
(all of the scary predictions (which are innacurate anyway) are based on a doubling of the pre-industrial CO2 concentration)

solar powered airplanes?
are you totally delusional roy?
To get enough power, your cells would have to top 300% efficiency.

they were off alright, but in the wrong direction
peak oil is probably closer to 2030 or 2040.
Of course that doesn't count the fact that it's relatively easy to convert things like coal into oil, and there's enough coal in the world to last a thousand years or more.

As to your graphing excercise, as usual roy, you are to simple by far.

Out here in the real world, as the price of something goes up, people find ways to use less, or to substitute something else. Simple straight line projections may fascinate the simple minded, but they are useless for real world analysis.

Better look again
""Most of the earth's carbon will by then be airborne." is just silly. To start with, most of the earth's carbon is locked up in limestone. It's why we no longer have an atmosphere that resembles Venus."

I could more properly have said most of the earth's readily available, circulating carbon. Carbon that is deeply sequestered (there must be a lot of it, for instance, buried deep within the mantle) is just not a factor in maintaining biological balance, because it is not available.

"Second, do try to keep the magnitudes right here. Total annual carbon emissions from human activity: about 10 billion tonnes, total emissions annually from the biosphere: about 800 billion tonnes; total carbon dioxide exchange annually between atmosphere and ocean: about 36,000 billion tonnes."

Follow along with me for a moment. Obviously, the amount being exuded INTO the atmosphere annually has to be more or less equalled by the amount being taken FROM the atmosphere, by biologic processes. Because otherwise there would not have been rough equilibrium.

What is different now is that an excess is being produced of skyborne carbon, over what can be absorbed by natural biological and chemical processes. We are currently not in equilibrium. Unchacked, this will inexorably lead to a new equilibrium, and a world unlike the one we inhabit now.

"Most of the world's carbon? Not really. Also remember that there's a chemical balance between ocean and atmosphere. Most of the carbon dioxide ends up in the oceans (about 98 per cent of it). Given the existing carbon inventory in the oceans, this contributes trivially to acidification, particularly since its swamped by the size of the overall ocean/atmosphere exchange."

The effect is certainly not trivial! The oceans have acidified significantly already, some 30 percent in fact, in their absorption of excess CO2. The danger lies in the disruption of the ability of organisms to form limestone shells.

Coral reefs worldwide are already in trouble. But that's nothing yet to what we will see when the acidification becomes further advanced. Once the phytoplankton, the base of our food chain, are in trouble we are all in trouble. Because it is they, not the terrestrial plants, that breathe in the CO2 and keep our planet on an even keel.

Not to mention that we are in unknown territory if all the genera that form shells become extinct, or effectively so. You can elect not to believe... but you must close your eyes to do so. Open them and you will see that all this is just elementary science, and an extrapolation of trends we are already seeing in the world around us.

Oh, you read an article
"I was reading an article a few days ago in which the author stated that since the oceans hold 50 times as much CO2 as does the air, there is not enough fossil fuels left in the ground to double atmospheric CO2 concentrations."

Too bad you can't produce that article, so we could all take a look at it.

And apparently your article does not mention the fact that there are more sources of carbon on our planet's surface than just fossil fuel. One effect of civilization has been to drastically reduce the amount of biomass-- that is, the amount of carbon bound up in living systems.

For as long as our ability to clear all the areas we humans live in of life, so we can put them to our own urban and industrial purposes, exceeds the ability of living organisms to reverse this effect, and sequester more carbon back into life, the trend will be in the direction of more of our total carbon being airborne. The oceans, for instance, already contain only a fraction of the fish they had prior to 1950, and the rise of modern factory fishing methods.

Solar sails
You might want to read more closely. Planes are heavier-than-air vehicles. I said sails-- ultra lightweights that maximize surface area and minimize weight.

This would employ around-the-corner technology that is not being contemplated yet. But when we do run out of affordable fuel the only approaches to transportation left will be passive, non-fuel based vehicles. Think 22nd century.

Helium power
How do you burn an inert substance? Doesn't this approach require some portable helium fusion apparatus?

The mouse and the elephant
You ask "But who to impose this force"?

Hi Ragunath. At this moment in history the answer is obvious. The United States is not willing to let anyone else handle the task of running the world. So it is either to be done the American way or there will be more war.

One school of thought is to just let the Americans win, and to take whatever work there is to be found in the New World Order. But there are still many people who are not content to live in a society where money is the measure of all things, and the rich tell the rest of us how things are to be.

So we see people who rebel against this authority, and take up arms against it. And even though those people are few in numbers and aren't able to do more damage than a mouse could do to harm an elephant, they provoke an angry reaction. And whole countries are laid waste while the elephant rampages, screaming "Terror!"

Someone wanting peace above all else would counsel those angry few rebels to stay quiet, so the forces of authority could finish taking over-- and could bring their police forces to your neighborhood and mine. Then things might be more quiet under their total control.

Doobie prognosticactions
Smokin' doobies and gazing at Roger Dean posters is a great way to predict the future, eh? While you're thinking, please describe traffic control in year 2100.

I've read an article, too.
In fact, I've read probably well-nigh 100 articles on the matter by now.

Also watched videos, DVDs, and the like...listened to radio shows...Oh, and done that thing you don't do, which is think for myself after reviewing all sides of the story and gathering up the information from informed sources.

And--your view on carbon dioxide emissions is ludicrous, petulant, whiney, unscientific, and just plain STUPID.

STFU already.

Bad ideas
all the way around.

You don't impose such forces on anyone. The United States was founded to rid its citizens of just such actions.

Much of what you talk about has to do with morality. Trying to legislate morality is a big no-no (and one of my personal criticisms of the Republicans, whom I favor over the Democrats, though I belong to neither).

Banning the atomic bomb? Welcome to reality and the world after the genie was released from the bottle.

The U.S. is most selfish, eh? Good thing for you, or else wherever you are (judging from your diction and syntax, and your choice of screen name) wouldn't have half of whatever good stuff it has now.

Selfishness, incidentally, is a virtue. It is SELF-CENTEREDNESS that is a vice.

Are you aware that Americans give more to charities, both within the U.S. and abroad, and do more charitable work around the world, every year than the people of any other nation?

Wherever you're writing from, they haven't taught you that becoming wealther frees you up to do more good works in and for the world.

where money is the measure of all things,
“But there are still many people who are not content to live in a society where money is the measure of all things, and the rich tell the rest of us how things are to be.”

Show me a country where the rich DON’T tell everybody what to do.

The EU? Nope- Look at who controls the EU. The rich and the powerful, not you’re every day person.

The people’s paradise of China? Nope there again all the people in power live the high life, while telling the normal people to sacrifice for the greater good of the country.

Cuba? Nope, Castro seems to be living good while the normal people suffer.

Surly that great champion of human rights down in Argentina? Nope, He’s living high on the hog also.

Even the Pope lives like a king in Rome.

You can not show me one person in power that is not rich and living it large. They all talk the talk, but none walk the walk. Each has their own “reason” why they can’t live like normal people.
- I can’t expect some other leader to visit me in a small house.
- I can’t be expected to fly on scheduled planes and still make all the contacts I need to in time.
- I can’t serve the leader of another country lower common food.
- Etc Etc Etc

It all comes down to the fact people in power have money and spend it. As long as you have human nature you will have this issue. The only why around this is by technology. If we get to the point where robots can build and maintain everything and people can just punch up anything they wish, then you could have a society not based on money or possessions. The issue is that if we get to that point will we still have the drive left to live anyway?

Oops, I meant to say Venezuela, not Argentina
NT

too bad your jerking knee has knocked you silly again
Regarding CO2 and water, that's a well known fact, maybe you should try looking something up once in awhile, instead of just assuming that people you don't like must always be wrong.

Reduce the amount of biomass? I'm guessing you are talking about the forests, especially the rain forests.
Never was much there in the way of CO2 storage. We release more CO2 for oil alone in one hour than the rainforests held at their maximum.

In fact the wood in our homes holds more biomass than the rainforests ever did.
The newspapers in our landfills hold more biomass than the rainforests ever did.

roy, it would do you some good, if for once, you checked out some basic reality, instead of going off on your usual, mankind is evil rants.

they would employ technologies that aren't even being contemplated yet???
forgive me while I get my laughing under control.

roy, over the years, you have said many, many, stupid things.

But you have managed to outdo yourself today.

As to your claim that we will have to run on non-fuel based vehicles???
say what? I'm going to try and guess that you meant either fossil based fuels, or perhaps carbon based fuels.

By definition, whatever a vehicle runs on, is it's fuel. Even the imagination powered vehicles that seem to inhabit your fevered dreams.

I agree that when we run out of fossil based fuels, we will have to use something else. But that won't happen for several hundred years, I'll leave it to my great great grandchildren to use the technology of 2500 to find the next great fuel.

the world as it is
roy whines:

"But there are still many people who are not content to live in a society where money is the measure of all things, and the rich tell the rest of us how things are to be."

Considering the fact that such a world only exists in roys marxist based imagination, why should the rest of us worry?

rich and powerfull
Bill Gates doesn't tell me how to live my life.

To do that, takes govt. And funny thing, roy wants govt to be more powerful.

Huh?!
Jets run on one of the lower level distillantes, basically kerosene. Piston engine planes can be modified to run on anything piston driven cars run on, even diesel; and electric is an option.

The military is already looking at non-petroleum fuels for jet fighters and other aircraft.

Basically this is a silly post. "Av Gas" has never been anything but higher octane gasoline (street drag racers in the 50-70s used to go to local airports and buy a few gallons of the stuff to use in their cars on race days; adjust the timing a smidge and it gave them a few extra BHP). JP-8 is still jsut a modified version of kerosene. Both can be modified to run on hydrogen, cooking oil, alcohol or bio-fuels.

As for clipper ships, get real!! Ever heard of nuclear?? Ships could also run on Hydrogen, and probably cheaper than cars as they are already floating on the basic component of the fuel.

I'm no alternative fuels advocate, but this is just nuts.

Ask Dr Science
I'll be very willing to concede your superior understanding of the science, if you only display it for us. Your post, unfortunately, is empty of content.

From your viewing of hundreds of videos on the subject, can you explain for us how the basic chemistry of changing alkaline to acid is somehow suspended in the absorption of CO2 into seawater? I'm hanging on your explanation of this.

BTW my own view is not original. What I've done is to toss out the junk and just read the actual science. For example

"Total alkalinity is a measure of the amount of negatively charged ions in a given amount of water. In the oceans, most of the negatively charged ions present are bicarbonate (HCO3-) and carbonate (CO3-- ). Since the other ionic species which contribute to the amount of alkalinity in sea water are present in both small and relatively well known amounts, when we measure the alkalinity of a sea water sample, we are really measuring is the amount of these two major compounds.

"Total alkalinity is important to us here at the Scripps CO2 Program because it, along with the amount of DIC in a batch of sea water, can be used to calculate the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide gas (pCO2 ) in that batch of sea water. Precise measurements of total alkalinity are thus vital to our efforts to understand how the oceans are responding to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. We have traditionally used the closed-cell titration method to measure total alkalinity."

http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/research/sea_water_co2_3.html

Now let's have your explanation.

Get thee to a dictionary
This may be the most embarrassing thing you've ever written. It's obvious you don't even know what biomass is. You're only off by a factor of a million or more.

You're telling me there is more biomass bound up in the wood in our homes and newspapers in landfills than there is in the weight of all living organisms on earth.

No wonder you believe all the zany things you read on the blogs.

Non-fuel vehicles
I did explain the concept to you. It's a solar sail. This would be a passive system, like ordinary solar heat, that does not rely on fuel or any power source other than the sun.

That's what you do when you can't afford to buy fuel. And once all our readily available fuel gets used up, that'll be what's left.

"By definition, whatever a vehicle runs on, is it's fuel."

Nope. Try a solar battery. What fuel does it use? Only freely available solar energy.

It'll be sooner than your off the wall guess. At present rates of increase we'll be using up accessible stocks of coal, gas and oil by the early 2200s.

Living large at the public's expense
Your assumption would be incorrect. Much as you would like to believe they are, neither Castro nor Chavez are living high on the hog. You can look that up.

In Cuba everyone is poor, because the country has no great natural resources. In Venezuela they don't have that problem, so the standard of living is rising. But in both places there is a lessening of the great divide between rich and poor. And that is because people are trying to get it right.

Your sentiment, that people are everywhere alike, and are all trying to get rich at one another's expense, is not only cynical but incorrect. It's an easy excuse to think that nothing can be done, so why bother?

If you think Castro and Chavez are living in the lap of luxury, off the wealth of the nation, show us the evidence.

There do exist people of good will. And occasionally, one will get into a position of influence.

A counterpoint
Are you saying you don't think the United States has been trying to impose its idea of order on the world for the past hundred years? And doing so by appointing itself as the guarantor of that order?

How about the Monroe Doctrine, for instance? James Monroe goes a long time back. And that doctrine enabled the US to decide unilaterally what was good for every nation in the western hemisphere. The only thing that has changed since the close of WW Two is that the doctrine has gone global. Anywhere on earth anyone wants to create a system different than our own, we're there to stop them if we can.

You say "Are you aware that Americans give more to charities, both within the U.S. and abroad, and do more charitable work around the world, every year than the people of any other nation?"

But are you aware of the degree that our wealth has come from extractive industries, where the natural resources of foreign countries are plundered through the connivance of rascals we install in positions of leadership over their people? The list is a very long one, but let's call up the names of Mobutu, Marcos, Suharto, Batista, Trujillo and Somoza for starters. Sold American weapons to use against their own people, they paid for them with the wealth of their countries, which is now ours. Our vehicles run, for example, on their gasoline.

We can afford to toss them a few cents in charity.

Raghunath is a fairly common Indian name, so let's assume he is Indian and using his actual name. You're saying that India enjoys all the good things that it has because of American largesse, right?

Right.

materials
Bean -- what are your contraptions made from and how do you propose to produce them? Heavy equipment and machinery fueled by non-fuel?

Nuclear powered air planes
There was significant research in nuclear powered airplanes and rockets in the 50s.

With all the new, lightweight materials and new reactor designs, why not take another look?

Also, I have heard stories of 'anti-gravity' effects observed in Bose-Einstein condensates. Wouldn't that be interesting.

I still believe that if someone discovered a revolutionary energy source, really cheap and decentralized, governments would do all they could to slow or halt market introduction to prevent 'chaos'. Which really means it would weaken the power of government.

Outrage
You make Castro and Chavez to be people of good will? This is outrage! These men are devils like Mao Zedong, Robert Mugabe, and Josef Stalin. They take what they want. They hijack a country and rub out all opposition to keep power. These men are the face of tyranny. And you want more. You want to bring this to our country? Shame. You curse freedom.

Details are hard to come by
Okay. First, I did say this would be technology not under development right now-- in fact the idea is scarcely imagined. It's just the logical next step to take, once we run out of affordable quantities of fuel for air travel. So I can't just come up with a lot of detail as to how they might be made.

I would assume that ultralights would be constructed of high-tensile strength graphite composite fiber, much like more and more airplane components are being developed now.

And at least at first I wouldn't think of these things as being able to lift heavy machinery. You'd be happy if a prototype could easily lift 500 pounds. That would make for a nice commuter vehicle. Two tons of dead weight, and you'd have a great utility truck. But it would require a LOT of surface area, so the greater the load one could bear, the bigger it would have to be. Clumsy, in heavy sky traffic.

It's just an idea, at this stage. But we're a lot closer to something like this than we are to anti-grav lift.

Seeing devils
Your seeing people you've never met, in countries you've never visited, as devils indicates you are in the grip of primitive emotion, not reason.

Each of the individuals you name is a distinct individual. Stalin was a master criminal who casually killed millions to further his plans. Mao was very good at leading an army, but terrible at running a country. Mugabe is senile and in the grip of the thugs who raised him to power. And Castro has his faults-- he's intolerant of opposition, won't listen to good advice and is a terrible economic planner.

Chavez is about as good a leader as you can find in the developing world today. In all the countries under the American thumb, where the poor are staying very poor and the tiny upper class has to live in enclaves guarded by soldiers, the country's resources are being siphoned off so foreign interests can make all the profits.

By contrast, corruption and graft are very low under Chavez, and the standard of living is rising rapidly. The profits from exploitation of the country's resources are being directed not toward some ruling class, but toward the people in greatest need. I know this must give you apoplexy... but I like that kind of government, and would predict that following the Venezuelan success we will see more of it elsewhere, as nations grow tired of watching their wealth leave in the pockets of overseas investors.

Feel free to continue holding the beliefs that define your world. But I would recommend that you try to find some actual first hand reporting that will back them up.

He doesn't?
Got a computer at home? Bet you run Microsoft on it.

But, in directly he could, and does, by funding programs, Political Pac and such.

Gates, from what I have read, is not politically active in a hugh way. He his very active in the medical and health fields pushing for programs. These could directly effect you life.

Just because you have money does not mean you have to use it to push agenda, but on the other hand show me someone without money that has pushed agenda.
politicly

OK Here you Go
Castro #7 on Forbes riches list About $1 Billion dollars.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/05/16/world/main1622957.shtml

Of course he says it’s all a lie.

interesting, true, and as usual, utterly irrelevant
something you would know if you ever bothered to learn a little science

typical roy, anything he doesn't want to believe, isn't true
I don't see that you have managed to disprove anything that I have written. All I see is you petuantly whining that reality isn't going your way.

as usual, roy gets close to the truth
but his utter lack of basic scientific knowledge causes him to speed past the truth without even slowing down.

A million years ago, CO2 was hundreds of times higher than we will ever see agan, yet somehow, shellfish didn't disolve.

The reality is that even if ocean acidity tripled, the oceans still wouldn't be acidic enough for sea creatures to even notice.

man roy, reading your deranged maunderings can be fun
1) The fuel is the sunlight directly, or the electricity derived from the sunlight.

2) Are you actually telling us that you are stupid enough to believe that solar powered vehicles are ever going to be anything other than college playthings?

perhaps they'll use gold plated latinum
or maybe some other imaginary material

affect is not the same as dictate
Do you believe that Gates is more powerfull than say, the NRA?

roy prefers fantasy
Castro isn't living it up? Not according to everyone who's ever visited him.

As to Cuba having few resources
1) Wrong
2) Irrelevant

Prior to Castro's disaster, Cuba was the wealthiest country in Latin America, the lifestyle of the average citizen was not far below that of the average American.

Cuba is blessed with a good climate which makes growing things easy and profitable. Beyond that, the industriousness and intelligence of their people created much wealth.

Finally, roy actually believes that the only way to wealthy is by beggaring someone else. Just can't get beyond the Marxist dialectic can you bean old boy.

It doesn't matter how many people you kill, as long as you claim to do it the name of the people
roy really believes the garbage he spouts.

Of course it's a lie, Forbes is nothing more than another lying capitalist tool
And of course Cuba has the best health care in the Western Hemisphere, Castro has told us this, and Castro would never lie.

roy demonstrates that he knows nothing about history.
The Monroe doctrine had nothing to do with the US dictating how the other American countries should be run, it was a declaration that European countries should stay out of Western Hemisphere affairs.

As to the rest of roy's deranged ramblings, he's still upset that the US stopped the Soviets from forcing communism on everyone else.

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