Energy and Environment

Foreign Affairs Article

Blood Barrels

Author: Michael L. Ross

The world has grown much more peaceful over the past 15 years -- except for oil-rich countries. Oil wealth often wreaks havoc on a country's economy and politics, helps fund insurgents, and aggravates ethnic grievances. And with oil ever more in demand, the problems it spawns are likely to spread further.

See more in Energy Policy

Foreign Affairs Article

The Great Leap Backward?

Author: Elizabeth C. Economy

China's environmental woes are mounting, and the country is fast becoming one of the leading polluters in the world. The situation continues to deteriorate because even when Beijing sets ambitious targets to protect the environment, local officials generally ignore them, preferring to concentrate on further advancing economic growth. Really improving the environment in China will require revolutionary bottom-up political and economic reforms.

See more in China; Environmental Policy; Pollution

Foreign Affairs Article

How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor

Authors: C. Ford Runge and Benjamin Senauer

Thanks to high oil prices and hefty subsidies, corn-based ethanol is now all the rage in the United States. But it takes so much supply to keep ethanol production going that the price of corn -- and those of other food staples -- is shooting up around the world. To stop this trend, and prevent even more people from going hungry, Washington must conserve more and diversify ethanol's production inputs.

See more in United States; Renewable Energy

Foreign Affairs Article

The Need for Nuclear Power

Authors: Richard Rhodes and Denis Beller

The world needs more energy, and there is one clean, efficient, and safe way to get it: nuclear power. As the global appetite for electricity grows, atomic power -- which scarcely pollutes, generates relatively little solid waste, and is far more efficient than the alternatives -- should be embraced. A worldwide effort to develop and share nuclear technology is in all our interests.

See more in Nuclear Energy; Global

Foreign Affairs Article

China's Global Hunt for Energy

Authors: David Zweig and Bi Jianhai

Chinese foreign policy is now driven by China's unprecendented need for resources. In exchange for access to oil and other raw materials to fuel its booming economy, Beijing has boosted its bilateral relations with resource-rich states, sometimes striking deals with rogue governments or treading on U.S. turf. Beijing's hunger may worry some in Washington, but it also creates new grounds for cooperation.

See more in China; Energy Policy