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Energy, Economic Growth, and Geopolitical FuturesEight Long-Range Scenarios$
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Evan Hillebrand and Stacy Closson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028899

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028899.001.0001

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Natural Disasters Promote Unity

Natural Disasters Promote Unity

(p.151) 9 Natural Disasters Promote Unity
Energy, Economic Growth, and Geopolitical Futures

Evan Hillebrand

Stacy Closson

The MIT Press

This eighth scenario is marked by low energy prices, weak growth, and global harmony. A series of catastrophic natural disasters bring disparate countries together in humanitarian relief efforts ranging from rescuing victims of floods, droughts, earthquake, tsunamis, and fires. These transnational calamities forge a strong international will towards addressing human security above all. The majority of countries, particularly in the developing world, are incapable of dealing with the wave of climate catastrophes and domestic unrest increases. Some of the more able countries take on an adaptive management approach to mitigating crises. The flood of refugees seeking haven in OECD countries increases, placing a burden on their economies, which are already severely stressed by decades of poor economic management. Energy prices stabilize due to the availability of hydrocarbons and slow growth in energy demand in most of the world. An inability to overcome government inefficiency and rent-seeking behaviour combined with growing domestic unrest prevent China and India from reaching the levels of development experienced by OECD countries in the 20th century. With a few exceptions, low demand globally prevents large-scale investment in cleaner energy technology and most countries choose to burn fossil fuels.

Keywords:   Low Energy Prices, Weak Growth, and Global Harmony, Multipolarity, Natural Disasters, Fossil Fuels

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