1 and 2
1. Tell students: Write a list of 10 things you use/consume
2. Ask students: What could you live without? Why? Would
you want to?
Get into groups of 3 and categorize your combined answers in order of importance
to answer these questions. (5 – 7 minutes)
3. After student conferences: The teacher gives
students information to help them evaluate their answer to
the second question in the Engagement section of this lesson
by helping them define ‘resource’. Pose the question:
What is a resource? Create a definition with students:
5. Follow up with this question: What do we need for basic
Have students share their group answers and list them on an
overhead or on the board.
7. The teacher will now help them categorize their answers
into three types of resources. Most answers will probably
fall under the first one. Start by explaining and writing
down the three types of resources necessary for human survival:
A natural resources necessary for human survival
B economic resources that humans have attached a value to (sometimes referred
to as “exotic” resources)
C post-industrial resources that value information which we’ve attached
a value to and the means to obtain it.
8. Follow by giving examples of these resources: USE their answers!
* Survival Resources: water, food, trees, other plants for cloth-making, oil,
gas, coal, stone = all found on land. Human energy to work.
Economic/Exotic Resources: metals (ex: gold and silver),
gems (ex: diamonds), uranium, = all found on land
Post-industrial resources: information, computer networks,
advanced technologies in communications, science, and military
End with the following statement: Survival is dependant
upon resource access!
on the topic by giving each student a copy of the “Resource wars” article
to read and digest. (5 minutes quiet reading)
11. Have students read aloud as a class reading. When done
pose the following questions:
Q = What is the dominant message of the reading?
A= Too many natural resources are the cause of wars in the
= What does the following quote in the article mean?: “Nature’s
bounty attracts groups that may claim they are driven by
grievance, but [which] initiate violence not to overthrow
a government but to gain and maintain control of lucrative
A = That greed is the real reason wars are fought, but hidden
behind other agendas like religion, politics, etc? (This
explains why often times government overthrows do not improve
conditions in the country for the inhabitants).
12. End article discussion and transition to:
Remember Imperialism? It was greed that defined imperialism: imperial nations
tried to control less developed nations in order to control their resources.
This led to the quest for land control and therefore resources. But, oftentimes,
war did not occur. That was because advanced technology (ships and other
transportation vehicles, machines, weapons, medicine, etc.) aided some of
these imperial nations to take over a country easily. (Optional: a quick
the quest for resource control has not changed but we have
economic system of exchange and production
that is meant to ensure that all humans have what is necessary
to survive on this planet. This is not happening though – WHY?
basic resources for human survival, resources that include
labor. To be a successful nation that survives
you must ensure that you have the right resources to live
off of but also resources for bartering economically to ensure
economic stability. As a result resource control becomes
a political tool that can aide or hurt a country’s
well being. Resource control also becomes a tool of the international
market where we are more concerned with getting things cheaply
at the cost of human labor rights violations.
the following two examples cited in the reading.
using the threat of sabotage to extort hundreds of millions
of dollars from oil companies prospecting
B. The Congo’s continuing civil war subsisting on the proceeds of elephant
tusks and coltan, a vital mineral in the manufacture of mobile phones.
-In their notes have students choose one and address the
following question and statement:
a.Tell how this war is directly related to their own
b.I don’t need to know what is going on elsewhere
in the world because it does not affect me! Defend
Transition to concept of War (Lesson 2)
on an overhead: I don’t need to know what is
going on elsewhere in the world because it does not affect
me! Let’s explore by learning more about wars, and
the two global wars of the 20th century: World War I and
World War II.
"Resource wars" Ignite
Around the World
Reality Macedonia on-line magazine
By Fred Pearce
A favorite prediction of environmentalism has bitten the dust - too many natural
resources, rather than too few, are the cause of an increasing numbers of wars
in the 21st century.
Many greens had predicted that the new century would see a rash of wars in
countries where natural resources such as timber, water, minerals and fertile
soils are running out. But far from it, says the 2002 State of the World report
from the prestigious Washington-based think-tank, the Worldwatch
In fact, says the report's co-author Michael Renner, there are "numerous
places in the developing world where abundant natural resources help fuel conflicts." More
than a quarter of current conflicts are either being fought over, or are funded
by, some lucrative natural resource. Examples cited by the Worldwatch Institute
mines in Sierra Leone and Angola making the two African
nations ripe for plunder by warlords
- Profits from sapphires, rubies and timber arming the
Khmer Rouge in their interminable jungle war
- Guerillas using the threat of sabotage to extort hundreds
of millions of dollars from oil companies
prospecting in Colombia
- Opium funding 20 years of war in Afghanistan
- The Congo's continuing civil war subsisting on the proceeds
of elephant tusks and coltan, a vital mineral
in the manufacture
of mobile phones
With the end of the cold war, superpowers no longer fund
civil wars for their own geopolitical ends, says
Renner. Their place has been taken by the market
- in the form of the plunder and sale of natural resources.
" Nature's bounty attracts groups that may claim they are driven by grievance,
but [which] initiate violence not to overthrow a government but to gain and maintain
control of lucrative resources," says Renner. Such resource wars are being
fought because of "greed rather than need."
According to David Keen at the London School of Economics: "We tend to
regard conflict as simply a breakdown in a particular system, rather than as
the emergence of another, alternative system of profit and power," i.e.
a "conflict economy" with the looting of natural resources
at its heart.
Renner warns that warlords in such conflicts have no interest in winning
the war, because its continuance is more profitable. And he says too many
governments are happy to turn a blind eye as their own corporations reap
the benefits in cheap no-questions-asked raw materials.
Renner argues the issue of resource conflicts should be added to the agenda
of the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in
Johannesburg in August 2002.