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Red Alert: How China's Growing Prosperity Threatens The Aermican Way of Life

2011 nonfiction book by Stephen Leeb and Gregory Dorsey

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America is asleep at the switch!

  • Nov 3, 2011
Rating:
+5
"China's aggressive actions in Africa and elsewhere to secure long-term supplies of increasingly scarce natural resources have implications well beyond what Americans pay for their gasoline, cell phones, and other electronic devices. In the long term, China's control of key resources from Africa could make us hostage to our greatest adversary--a situation no American should be content to let stand." pp. 96-97

Wake up America! Most of the available evidence would indicate that our politicians are clueless and that the American people are blissfully unaware of the dangers lurking just around the bend. Americans have long taken for granted that when it comes to solving our impending energy, precious metals (gold, silver, copper etc.) and rare earth mineral shortages that "technology" would somehow magically save the day. But according to the noted economist and author Dr. Stephen Leeb the problems confronting the United States in the near and long terms are far more complex and ultimately much more difficult to resolve than any we have seen in the past. His new book "Red Alert: How China's Growing Prosperity Threatens the American Way of Life" is a clarion call for all Americans to wake up to the stark realities that are almost certain to result in substantially reduced lifestyles for all of us in the years to come. In his book Dr. Leeb warns that while our leaders in Washington continue to procrastinate and focus on the short term the powers-that-be in China have been quietly and systematically sewing up vast quantities of the world's remaining fossil fuels, precious metals and rare earth minerals at an alarming rate. The implications for countries like the United States, Canada and most of Europe are frightening to say the least. The shortsightedness and ineptitude demonstrated by the leaders of the Western world in these matters may well threaten our very way of life. Furthermore, Dr. Leeb fears it may already be too late to do anything about it!

Perhaps the most important lesson to be gleaned from "Red Alert" is that the assumptions most Americans have been operating under regarding future energy supplies have changed dramatically over the past two decades. That is because emerging economies in places like China and India are gobbling up ever increasing amounts of energy and other natural resources at a pace that seemed unimaginable just 20 years ago. As a result of this increased demand Americans can expect to see a dramatic rise in commodity prices in the not too distant future that will likely result in a greatly diminished standard of living for the vast majority of us. Dr. Leeb argues that we have probably already passed peak oil (the point at which demand for oil begins to outstrip the world's ability to supply it) and more importantly we are likely to reach peak coal in the next 10-20 years. Think about it. Americans have been told that we have enough coal to last us for at least 100 and perhaps 200 or more years. Clearly this is no longer the case and as Dr. Leeb is quick to point out much of the remaining coal contains far fewer BTU's that the coal that has been mined in the past. Meanwhile, the increased demand for precious metals and rare earth minerals will cause the prices of all of these commodities to rise dramatically in the coming years. Did you know that copper now sells for $450 per pound and is expected to rise exponentially in the near future? Think about the implications for new construction. Large amounts of copper are also used in building "hybrid" cars . It does not take a rocket scientist to see where all of this is heading. Unfortunately, despite the fact that our national security and economic future is at stake our leaders in Washington barely even acknowledge these issues and have done precious little to begin to address them while their counterparts in China have made stockpiling these commodities a national priority. Advantage: China!

"Red Alert: How China's Growing Prosperity Threatens the American Way of Life" examines these and a whole host of other critical issues in an extremely thorough and thoughtful way. Stephen Leeb argues passionately that the United States had better get off its duff and begin to address these monumental issues right away. Failure to do so will only exacerbate an already gloomy picture. Furthermore, he presents a compelling case that the 2008 financial meltdown had more to do with rising commodity prices than the so-called housing bubble. If this is indeed true American is already reeling from the issues Leeb is so concerned about. I am in complete agreement with another reviewer who opined that this book "should be mandatory reading for policy-makers". "Red Alert" is an extremely well-researched book and Dr. Leeb presents his case in language that most folks can readily understand. This is a great way to get up to speed on issues that are destined to change the way Americans live and work. Very highly recommended!

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November 30, 2011
Our plunge into oil-rich Iraq wasn't an aggressive action? I think not. I would like to see more progress on wind, solar, the Artificial Sun/Fusion, natural gas (here in America) and potentially coal gasification.
 
November 06, 2011
“Red Alert,” by Leeb and Dorsey, seems to me to be one more hyperventilating creature from the Cold War swamp…you know, “Red” China, who “lost China?, and let’s find the incompetent wimps in the administration (any Democratic administration, that is) who screwed things up.

I’d suggest this:

1) The authors’ characterization of “aggressive” actions in Africa is a thorough misreading of reality. Yes, China is buying mines of coal and rare minerals. Aggressively? Hardly. They’re cutting deals, which we have done ourselves. After all, we cornered the market in bananas not so long ago. More tragically, we attempted to secure a docile client state in the mid-east through an aggressive war that would be paid for by our new client state’s oil and which turned out to nearly bankrupt us. (So we can't buy up those African resources ourselves.)

2) The usual scare and doom predictions about America’s coming failure because of (you name it) loss of moral fiber, all those minorities who vote, Big Macs, undisciplined use of resources, Barak Obama, rap music , smarter countries than we are, and the ineptitude of the West are scare tactics. These people can’t seem to write without hyperbole. There are serious issues facing America…and they need to be discussed seriously. Just maybe Jesus isn’t arriving next week to wreak havoc on nonbelievers, which one 90-year-old preacher finally admitted to.

3) As usual, we learn of dire predictions based on half-baked “facts” which are posed so that we can target an “enemy.” In this case, China. This is the toxic residue of the Cold War.

I’d further suggest than any realistic reading of the tea leaves makes a good case that China and the U.S. have far more in common than what we differ on. We are not natural adversaries. Our future and China’s are not tied together in some simplistic zero-sum struggle. Each of us wants our zones of influence. Each of us needs to understand each other much better than we do (witness the differences between us on contractual law). Each of us will continue to compete, but we have more to gain by trade and finding mutual areas of cooperation through negotiation. This is a lot harder to do than ringing the book-selling doom chimes.

To paraphrase what one British prime minister said about the UK quite a while ago, “The U.S. has permanent interests. It does not have permanent friends.” The same is true of China. The key question is what are our mutual interests? Books like this tend to smother the child who asks this question as soon as it’s born.

So, Mr. Leeb and Mr. Dorsey, let's not give up on our country quite so soon. The Great Pumpkin isn't really that scary.
 
November 05, 2011
The thing to do is to encourage more exports and reward entrepreneurs.
 
November 04, 2011
It's amazing and quite alarming how roles and positions can shift like this. Sounds like a very intriguing book. Thanks for sharing, drifter!
 
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More Red Alert: How China's Growing... reviews
review by . April 13, 2012
America is in a race with China that will go a long way toward determining our future quality of life. Few Americans know that this race is underway.      World supplies are growing very tight of certain key minerals (sometimes called strategic minerals) that are absolutely vital for the smooth running of a 21st century economy. Names like neodymium, europium, indium and niobium may sound very boring, but you can't run a high-tech economy without them. China has spent years, …
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this book

Wiki

"I would caution readers to dismiss Stephen Leeb's warnings only at their peril."
-Thomas Kaplan, chairman, Tigris Financial Group

The American Dream is close to being replaced by a living nightmare:
  • Key commodities that are essential to our daily lives and that are widely believed to be abundant are running critically short. Even worse, the Chinese are doing what they can to monopolize the world's dwindling resources.
  • The U.S. is now largely dependent on our greatest economic rival for rare earth elements as well as a host of other minerals-all of which are absolutely essential to the development of alternative energies and are critically important for our defense industry, computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.
     
  • While America has been fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, China has focused its substantial muscle on securing vital commodities from these and other lands to upgrade its infrastructure and industrial strength to meet the resource challenge head-on.
  • China has wrapped itself in the green flag of combating climate change while systematically discouraging other nations from adopting similar policies in a bid to gain time to achieve its plans.
     
RED ALERT is a provocative and frightening look at the growing political, economic, and social power of China and the threat that nation poses to the Western world. It lays out how the Chinese are strategizing to overtake the United States as the world's premier economic...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0446576239
ISBN-13: 978-0446576239
Genre: Business & Finance
Publisher: Business Plus
Date Published: October 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First to Review
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