Which is More Likely: Oil Wars or Water Wars?

Which is more likely: water wars or oil wars?Michael Klare: I think the more likely conflicts will be over water, there will be more frequent, more numerous, more widespread, but the risk of conflict involving the big powers is greater over oil and natural gas and uranium, because the survival of the great powers is at stake. So, I think the risk of conflict is lesser in the case of US, China and Russia. They are going to be much more conscious, so I don’t think the likelihood is very high and percentage terms. I think the risk of conflict over water is 100%, because it is going to become very scarce in many areas of the world and people will become desperate, but I don’t think the US, China and Russia are going to go to war for water, I think that just practically 0% likelihood. However, when we talk about oil, gas, uranium those are essential to the survival of the great powers and there is this not 0% risk that they will stumble into a conflict.

Recorded: 3/14/08


Water wars will be more widespread than wars over oil, which will involve the big geopolitical players.

The 4 types of thinking talents: Analytic, procedural, relational and innovative

Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
  • Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists reactivate cells from 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth

"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."

Yamagata et al.
Surprising Science
  • The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
  • Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
  • Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
Keep reading Show less

Do you have a self-actualized personality? Maslow revisited

Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.

Personal Growth

Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.

Keep reading Show less