Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rare Earth Metals Discovered in the Pacific

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

I'm linking to the article below for several reasons.  First, it highlights the stranglehold the Chinese have on the rare earth metals market - they produce 97% of those metals - and these discoveries demonstrate the importance of breaking that stranglehold.  Second, the current Chinese monopoly on rare earth metals needs to be viewed in the context of that coutnry's explosive growth path and the willigness of Chinese leadership to outsource economic development globally.  The Chinese buy into the Ford Shale Gas Play in south Texas is one example of such outsourcing already linked on this blog.  If you take a look around the world you will see the Chinese government buying a stake in a myriad of economic opportunities globally.  Those of us interested in increased efficiency and sustainability must study and understand the motivations of the Chinese, and the billions of upon billions of people that live in that counrty..

Another reason for the link is to draw attention to what will, undoubtedly be a a growing industry in the near future.  Rare earth metals are crucial to manufacturers of modern electronics and diversifying sources of those metals will be a priorty.  Accordingly, many billions will be invested in locating, mining, refining, transporting and utilizing these resources.  Those who wish to positively influence the process must do so early.

Finally, the article reminds us that exploring for, extracting, refining, transporting and utlizing natural resources in an efficient and sustainable manner represents an enormous economic opportunty.  Treating these rare earth metals as feedstock for the global electronics manufacturing industry - and leveraging shale gas as a bridge source to more sustainable energy options - represent two of the many prongs of economic development unfolding on a worldwide scale with which every advocate of sustainable development must grapple.  Rethinking how we plan, design, construct, operate and maintain facilities and related infrastructure empowers us to do it better.  Extracting, utlizing and recycling - to the extent possible - shale gas, rare earth metals and other resources energizes our global economy and improves the lives of billions.

In the coming weeks Collaborative Construction will outline a vision for engaging communities impacted by boom times in a conversation regarding the planning of economic expansion and contraction with an eye towards building sustainable infrastructure duing the boom capable of supporting the community when inevitable contractions occur.  These ides will be devloped here and in the Collaborative Construction newsletter.  Stay tuned.

Rare Earth Metals Discovered in Pacific 

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

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