Rare Earths – Peace or War? Cooperation or mutual ruin?

This very helpful graphic on where deposits of Rare Earths (essential materials for renewable energy technology) from Visual Capitalist (“rich visual content for the modern investor”) sheds a revealing light on:

  • the relative scarcity of US reserves (just 1.3% of the world total).
  • why a transition to energy primarily generated by renewable sources therefore either requires them to have peaceful co-operation with China and Vietnam – which between them hold 56.8% of global Rare Earth reserves – or puts aggressive attempt to seize them by force on their agenda, while they double down on fossil fuels in the meantime. This is the difference between what the Chinese describe as “win, win cooperation” and a course that would turn the new cold war hot.
  • the potential for Russia to take a more positive role in transition, balancing its 10.3% of global Rare Earth reserves against its current heavy reliance on its oceans of natural gas.
  • the interest taken by the US in the results of next year’s Brazilian Presidential election and their preference for Amazon burning Bolsonaro over Workers Party candidate Lula; as Brazil has 18.3% of global reserves.
  • why there is such foot dragging on making this transition on the part of the Western ruling classes, even though our civilisation faces collapse if we don’t do it.