10 Sep 2010

The origins of conflict

...can often be traced to a struggle over resources.

This report (via CM) claims that many water conflicts will happen in the Western US, due to increasing demand and falling supply. They use this graphic to illustrate the point.

Unfortunately, the report does not examine some obvious tools for alleviating conflict.

The only mentions of "price" or "market" in the report are related to insurance markets (for climate change risk). Unfortunately, the report is silent on the use of markets for water, or energy, or carbon. That's a pity, since the report reflects the collected wisdom [sic] of the Federal government, and prices and markets are notoriously useful in reducing the cost and conflict over resource allocation.

Bottom Line: Use the right tools to solve problems; the wrong tools don't fix anything and leave you frustrated.


  1. The fact that this report does not even bother to look at solutions is so typical.

    They are not interested in solutions, just making the problems seem as big as possible.

  2. There may be other conflicts. As far as I know, in many of the conflict regions, the water has been sold many times so 'owners' have a legal right to approximately five times the actual flow. These legal rights would appear to dwarf population and endangered species concerns.

  3. Fourteen pages into the report I get to the first statements about something. These statements seem to violate validated climate science.

    I stopped reading.


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