Just Another Reason To Fight

A large amount of the problems of this world (though by no means all of them) are issues of resource management. While some people would fight and disagree anyway, competition for resources, be they material resources or such matters as prestige and honor, drives a great deal of conflict in this world, whether it is between people or companies or nations. It does not matter that we are not always or often the best stewards of our resources, because when other people threaten our resources then we are quick to lay the finger of blame at others. I suppose in general we are far too quick to blame others, but given that we are by nature at least a little bit self-absorbed we ought not to expect anything different.

Resource management is the way that we deal with the problem of scarcity, which is an unpleasant and undeniable aspect of our existence. We all have infinite wants and limited resources, and the demands on those resources tend to increase faster than the resources themselves do. I often wish that I were better at logistics myself because of how often logistics was a concern in my own life, but I suppose the practice I have gotten has made me far better at it than I would otherwise be, even if I have no real natural abilities in logistical management that I am aware of.

Logistics shows up all the time in my life. To give but one example, there is a young boy whose parents are students at the school where I teach, and he loves to draw on the board with our dry erase markers. Unfortunately, he is not so skilled (being a toddler) at putting the caps on the markers, which causes them to dry out rather quickly. Then there are the vehicles and arranging transportation for students to and from campus and the farm, and making sure that both of the trucks work. All of these problems take up a fair amount of time for the people I am around, and that is when everything is going smoothly and there are enough tools and hats and boots and everything else for work to go smoothly. Items have to be taken care of, stored properly, kept from the elements, and kept track of so that they do not get lost. All of that is quite a substantial effort.

Even nations struggle with these problems, though. For example, there are rising concerns in international relations over the problem of resource management of water. Nations that control water sources want to use the water for their electricity needs (China, India, Turkey, Laos etc.) while downstream nations are concerned about their own water needs. Given the large number of issues that nations already have to fight about, adding something as fundamental as water to the list seems to make life even more tense for people in many nations, and it seems to overdetermine conflicts between nations and peoples that are already on bad terms for other reasons.

A list of the regions of the world where water problems are the most severe includes areas that are already full of conflict in the world [1], like Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank, or South Asia (China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), or the Middle East (Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq), or Southeast Asia (China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam). It is not as if these areas of the world need any more reason to have problems with each other. With wasted resources and competing demands, it is hard for us to manage these problems. Let us hope we learn how to deal with them better in the future.

[1] http://news.yahoo.com/thirsty-south-asias-river-rifts-threaten-water-wars-102232333.html

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Military History, Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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