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Global Resources News examines the conflict over commodities and resources such as oil, water, land and minerals. We cover the competing interests of trade, local society and environmental concerns.

Our coverage is based on well-documented data about these issues, drawing on authoritative sources, describing these conflicts over commodities in a neutral tone.

We hope you will use this information to assess risks about the conflicts over commodities and use that assessment to guide your decisions in the fields of oil, gas, shale, land, food and other commodities.

US Bombs ISIS; Iraqi Citizens Flee The Militants

Mount Sinjar, near Mosul and Kirkuk
Aug. 8, 2014 - US warplanes have bombed ISIS locations in Iraq near the Kurdish city of Erbil and that the US has air-dropped food and other relief items to Iraqi citizens who had fled the militants.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has forced tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens from their homes near the border of the Kurdish semiautonomous region.

Among those fleeing are Christians from Qaraqosh (sometimes called Bakhdida), which is 13 miles southeast of Mosul.

Previous action of ISIS in Syria has illustrated its growing success. ISIS is an al-Qaeda splinter group that wants to establish a Sunni caliphate, starting in Syria and Iraq but expanding as it is able.

ISIS earlier this year captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and Baiji, one of the largest refineries in Iraq.

For more on the origin of the fight, read our Syria background information page.

News about Commodities, Conflict and Sustainability

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Renewables to Top Gas: IEA
Renewable energy will surpass
natural gas in developed countries

Air Quality Improvements Uneven
Some air quality measures have improved, but many still suffer from pollution.

Pipeline Spills Becoming More Costly
While the number of onshore pipeline spills has dropped, the damage climbs.

Iraq Charts Oil Future Amidst Challenges
Iraq plans to increase production of oil. Pipeline blockages confront it now.

Spotlight: Middle East Conflict

Influx of Syrian refugees stretches Jordan's water resources - The Washington Post

Syrian refugees use 35 liters per day, six times as much water as Jordanians an official says.

The Ecology of Economics

Open Data Tracks Environmental Work
Read the full story at
With $700 billion planned for climate change investments, a way is needed to monitor the environment and related projects. Mapping, satellite imagery and open data are being used to provide information, this PBS report says.

See other summaries in our archive

InfoChannels: Key Facts about Key Issues

Conflict over Oil

Map of oil producing countries that export to the United States and their political, peace and stability status rankings.
The US gets 60% of its imported oil from countries
which are not free nor stable. Click on map for more details.
The world economy pumped 87 million barrels of oil a day in 2011, up from 84 mlllion in 2007. With emerging economies demanding more petroleum to fuel their growth, oil producers are turning to more difficult conditions and hostile territories for their exploration and production.

The increasing difficulties in maintaining high production rates is the key metric in this conflict. Although the earth may contain billions of barrels of oil or similar hydrocarbons, it is only the amount that can be extracted in a timely fashion that is use to economies and societies. There have been many examples of this extraction rate going into decline after a high point, a phenomenon called "Peak Oil." The United States experience Peak Oil in the early 1970's. As other countries, and ultimately the world as a whole, go into Peak Oil phases, competition is expected to become more intense.

The map to the right shows the political status of countries which export oil to the United States. The green countries are assessed as 'free' by the think tank Freedom House. The yellow countries are 'partly free' and the purple are 'not free.' The United States gets 60 percent of its foreign oil from countries which are neither free, peaceful nor stable. Click on the map to enlarge it and for a table and its accompanying story.

Extreme Weather

Extreme weather includes drought, which deprives plants of water necessary for life, and tornadoes which destroy homes. Climate Change is among the factors driving extreme weather.
The first years of the 21st Century have seen unusual hurricanes, tornado swarms, floods and droughts descending upon natural areas, croplands and cities.

Some say it is a largely a manifestation of man-made climate change; others attribute it to natural variability and periodic trends of the earth. And there is the argument that it is some of both.

Whatever the cause, extreme weather is causing thousands of deaths and destroying billions of dollars of property and crops. Coastlines are impacted by sea level rise, even at the rate of a few millimeters a year.

This channel helps you stay informed about the issues and ramifications of extreme weather.