The book, Red Alert: How China’s Growing Prosperity Threatens the American Way of Life, by Stephen Leeb and Gregory Dorsey, ought to be a wake-up call to every American who has an interest in the future of our nation. Mr. Leeb spoke about his book and this topic on MSNBC yesterday and his data shocked the round-table at which he sat. As was I.
Here’s one statement that prickled the hair on the back of my neck. China possesses 97% of the world’s mine-able rare earth metals and it alone has the processing capability to extract these sought-after metals. For those who slept through high school chemistry, rare earths are used in aerospace components, nuclear batteries, ceramic capacitors, lasers, X-ray machines, PET Scan detectors, and in many high-tech weapons systems.
The chart above ought to be a wake-up call to all of us. The United States has fizzled out in its quest to locate and process rare earths. Get this: the global supply of rare earth elements could be wiped out by 2012. Yes, 2012, next year. In an op ed in Natural News, editor Mike Adams writes:
The problem with the supply of rare earth elements is that demand has skyrocketed over the last decade from 40,000 tons to 120,000 tons. Meanwhile, China has been cutting its exports. Now, it only exports about 30,000 tons a year — only one-fourth of the demand the world needs. In order to build more “green” technologies, the world will need 200,000 tons of rare earth elements by 2014, predicts The Independent. Yet China now threatens to drop exports to exactly zero tons by 2012.
Economist Leeb (Game Over: How You Can Prosper in a Shattered Economy) argues that while U.S. officials and politicians engage in short-term myopic planning, endless legal maneuvering, scandals, and wartime investing that are crippling American economic viability, China’s government is run by visionary scholars with backgrounds in such fields as chemistry and engineering who are carefully analyzing the long-term, big picture. China is gaining ground as a superpower and attaining competitive advantage over other countries, especially the United States, by using its profits to invest in and control mineral commodities such as coal, oil, zinc, silver, and gold. These resources are becoming scarce, and the author argues that access to them will determine the standard of living for future generations. According to Leeb, the Chinese government recognizes the importance of these resources to key industries such as renewable energy and electronics and views the ability to accumulate them as proof of the country’s strength. He also discusses the global demand and supply of key resources such as water.