We began our research project in Geographic Information Science by brainstorming a list of some important development parameters we might want to map out, according to the following criteria:
GINI CoefficientThe GINI Coefficient is a key development indicator of a country's level of socio-economic inequality. It is calculated by a standard formula based on the percentage of economic Gross National Product (GNP) for either consumption or production for each of five quintiles of economic well being for a population. It is a measurement of the wealth held by the highest to the lowest income groups. The closer the quintile measures are to each other, the more equity is built into a society's economic structure: the more skewed the concentration of wealth distribution is towards the wealthiest 20% of a country and away from the poorest 20%, the higher the GINI calculation will be. Some GINI's are presented as a decimal from 0 (high equality, no difference among quintiles) to a highly unequal maximum on 1. The World Development Indicators for our world range however from a low of 19 to a high of 63. GINI numbers have been rising dramatically over the post cold war period.
Proven Oil Reserves
This unit of measurement was in billions of barrels.
Proven Natural Gas Reserves
This unit of measurement was in trillions of cubic feet.
Magnitude of ConflictA comprehensive accounting of all forms of major armed conflicts in the world from the period 1970 to 1999. Conflicts include Civil Interstate (C), Ethnic-interstate (E), International event interstate (I). The conflicts are further categorized as Violence (V), the use of violence without instrumental goals, War (W) between exclusive groups, and Independence struggles (N) to remove a foreign domination. The rationale and methodology for assessing the societal and systemic impact of conflict, (the Magnitude) is measured on a scale of 1-10 and reflects many factors. It includes state capabilities, interactive intensity (the means and goals of the conflict), the area and scope of death and destruction, the population displacement, and episode duration. These numbers are part of the Correlates of War Project. (See: Sources)
Magnitude IndexThe Magnitude Index is a formula that we devised (Kumar, Brooks, 2002) to show another layer of information, and in order to gather what we feel is a more accurate picture of the data that we are trying to display using GIS technologies. This index reflects important information for countries that experienced multiple conflicts during the study period (1970-1999). We took the Magnitude of Conflict information (see above), and added individual numbers for additional conflicts together for a sum total of each conflict's magnitude by country. This would help us alleviate for misrepresented data for countries that had numerous conflicts, with low intensity, thus giving the impression that they were relatively more stable areas.
Below are links to our files. We ask that you take permission from either of us before using these files. Note: To open the data in arcview go to "Our Files." Right Click on each file and then select "Save target as." You can then save each file in a new folder, perhaps on your desktop. Then open the FInal Project (final.apr) in arcview after you have downloaded each file. That is the most recent one.
We have expanded our study of key global spatial correlations shown in our previous GIS research posted above. We feel that analyzing our global data at a regional level can offer some interesting possibilities for seeing relationships between energy, conflict, and development. Our hypothesis is: there are clear linkages, likely correlative relationships among the three variables, and perhaps, even causal relationships between them. To this end, we performed the following modifications and additions to our previous work.
Flow Chart of Steps in Data Management for the Regional Analysis
Regional Analysis Summaries (click here for regional map in a sinusoidal projection)
CENTRAL ASIA (click here for map)
Representing 11 countries, one of the least populated regions of the world. It is among the poorest regional economies, without even enough wealth to go around to make for inequality. Yet the region is second highest in the world for both oil and natural gas reserves and among the lowest in energy consumption. After the Middle East, Central Asia has more oil than the next closest region (South America) by an order of magnitude. In vernacular terms: Wow! and Why? -- So much poverty amidst such wealth of energy reserves. This area is also the hottest political spot (after Israel-Palestine) in the post Cold War global geopolitical restructuring. It is the region with the third greatest amount of conflict over the last 20 years. Any correlation between superpower interest in this region and these vast energy reserves? Any linkage between the high poverty in the region and the roots of violent protest movements trained in the region?
EAST ASIA (click here for map)
Representing 7 countries, the second most populated region of the world (1.5 billion). The region is characterized by average equality and ranks in the middle of the world's economies. There is very little energy reserve, yet this region is the third largest consumer of energy after North America and Europe. However, the region has been one of the most conflict-free over the last 20 years. In vernacular terms: lots of people, not a lot of oil, but uses a lot of energy (note: this economy runs largely on coal). There is an equitable distribution of an average economy and not much conflict.
EUROPE (click here for map)
Representing 37 countries, with an average relative regional population (~600 million). Europe has very little energy reserves yet consumes the most after North America. The region has average equality and the world's third strongest economy. It imports energy. Despite the Balkans, a fairly peaceful place over the last two decades. There is no strategic issue in Europe from the supply side of energy. However, there would be a natural alliance with North America (the other large low reserve relative to consumption region) for energy demand-side strategic geopolitics. This turns out to be the case. This might even explain the endurance of NATO, more than a decade after the breakdown of the East-West global structure.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA (click here for map)
Representing 21 countries with a fairly low proportion of the world's total population (~350 million), roughly the equivalent of North America in total numbers. While consuming little, the region has the largest oil reserves in the world, with more than twice that of the next closest region (Central Asia) and nearly 13 times the reserves of North America. The region has the third lowest economic ranking. In the vernacular: Wow! - So much oil and such poorly ranked economies. What's going on? Many of these countries don't report on Gini so, perhaps this vast wealth is ending up in concentrated hands.
NORTH AMERICA (click here for map)
The three countries of the region are quickly running out of oil, while there is still a lot of natural gas. The region is in the early stages of industrial and transportation energy technological conversions to fuel cells run on natural gas. The strongest economy with the highest energy demand and a low reserve; this region must import from Central Asia and the Middle East to run its high energy demand economy. This is central to understanding contemporary geopolitical strategic alliances in the West with the non-democratic governments in these oil-producing countries and the social/religious movements for change in these regions. The most peaceful region in the world on its home turf, the most militarily involved on the global turf over the last twenty years. In addition, this region is characterized by a rapid increase in the polarization of the distribution of wealth.
NORTH ASIA (click here for map)
This is one country, geographically large -- Russia as outlined by our regional analysis. Because it is only one country, our analysis based on averages skews the results for this region of ~156 million. Russia has significant oil reserves and this region has the world's highest reserves of natural gas. It has average consumption of energy. There has been and continues to be conflict in the region and, interestingly enough, the same high degree of inequality as in North America.
OCEANIA AND POLES (click here for map)
With a population of 23 million, Oceania is a nice place to live and the poles are not. Neither region is significant in contemporary energy geopolitics and neither region is one of conflict. SOUTH AMERICA With 26 countries in a population of ~ 434 million, the third largest oil reserves in the world (about 3 times more than North America) and significant natural gas, as well. Regionally the economies rank near the world's middle. This has been a fairly conflictive region over the last two decades.
SOUTH AND SOUTH EAST ASIA (click here for map)
With 15 countries, the world's most populous region with nearly 2 billion, this region has few energy reserves and the fourth largest regional consumption of energy. Characterized by expanding economies of high inequality, this region has the second largest amount of poverty after Sub-Saharan Africa. The region has experienced only moderate conflict in the last two decades. Should be very important on the geopolitical stage in the energy demand side. Coal reserves need to be researched.
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (click here for map)
With 39 countries and ~ 607 million people, the region does not have much energy overall and does not consume much. Therefore, Africa is not significant in the global geopolitical picture of energy. It has had massive and chronic crises of development, and conflict --these are public heath issues of water and mosquito borne diseases and AIDS, and a lot of non-energy related conflict in the post cold-war period. The world, the UN, the superpowers, have been reluctant to intervene
While the world is complex and geopolitical forces are multiple, the summary statistics for energy, conflict, and economies, when reviewed through a spatial distribution lens tell a compelling story. Based on the analysis above, from the picture that Arc View has helped to reveal the top geopolitical stories and themes in today's newspapers have a consistent and internal logic based on strategic energy interests. The stories make sense when we look at where the strong economies are, where the oil is, where it isn't, and where its used. However, this may not have a sustainable logic. If the patterns revealed in this analysis hold true, the world should pay attention and use some wisdom in planning its future - or, instead of a world much better for all, it could be worse.
The Department of Energy - http://www.eren.doe.gov
THE GINI COEFICIENT:
The World Bank Development Research Group - World Development Indicators 2001 -http://www.worldbank.org Data derived from: Primary in-country household survey data, government statistical agencies, World Bank country departments, and the Luxembourg Income Study database.
Major Episodes of Political Violence 1946-1999 Compiled by Monty G. Marshall Director, Center for Systemic Peace, October 1, 2000 - http://members.aol.com/cspmgm/cspframe.htm
Sources for the New Data
Commercial Energy Consumption for the year 1997 in million tons of oil equivalent. Source: World Development Report 2000/2001, World Bank, 2000.
Rankings of Economies based on GNI (Gross National Income, formerly known as Gross National Product) for the year 1999, calculated according to the World Bank Atlas method. World Bank Atlas, Economic Indicators, 2001.