Ukraine is a vast and beautiful landscape of arable land, rich in soil nutrients. It is home to an abundance of natural resources buried deep beneath the surface. Ukraine is ranked 4th in the world for highest total dollar value of natural resources, and has 25% of the world’s black soil, which is considered the most fertile soil type. Not only does black soil generate high agricultural yields, it sequesters the most carbon. Russia, on the other hand, has one lone major industry. Fossil fuels.
“Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country.”John McCain
Putin’s horrific slaughter of innocent civilians in this unjust and inhumane war against neighboring Ukraine is an apparent attempt to confiscate Ukraine’s wealth of natural resources, while nations across the globe are racing to transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy.
Ukraine feeds 600 million people each year, most of whom reside in Northern Africa, Southern Asia and China. Ukraine is the world’s largest exporter of sunflower seeds and sunflower oil. It is the number one producer of honey in Europe with approximately 700,000 employed in the honey industry. Ukraine is ranked number 2 in the world for the production of barley, and 3rd in the world for the farming of corn. Ukraine made the list for rye production as well, 5th largest producer in the world, 9th for chicken eggs, and 4th in the world for potatoes.
But Ukraine’s threatened wheat production and export is what is causing so much alarm through Tunisia, Yemen, and Lebanon, and a list of other countries, as the price of bread skyrockets, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Food insecurity creates conflicts between nations as hungry people fight to survive. At COP26, Vijay Prashad, an Indian historian and former professor, eviscerated the West, decrying our indifference to the 2.7 billion people across the globe who were already facing daily food insecurity due to climate change. In the US Army’s Climate Strategy (ACS), it acknowledged that armed conflicts will arise when communities have reduced access to basic necessities, and are undermined by economic and social instability.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) has deemed lithium a “critical mineral resource.” It is one of the key components used in the lithium-ion batteries needed to manufacture EVs. The demand for lithium is expected to leap 130% by 2025 from its 2020 level. Ukraine is sitting on a staggering 500,000 tons of untapped lithium reserves, which is considered one of largest stashes in the world.
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IRON ORE/STEEL PRODUCTION
Ukraine is home to 30 billion tons of commercial grade iron ore, the largest reserves in the world, and one-fifth of the global supply. Iron ore, along with manganese, is used to manufacture steel. Ukraine is ranked number 2 on the list of countries that have explored reserves of manganese ore. Ukraine is the 3rd largest exporter of iron ore and the 11th largest exporter of steel.
Ukraine’s additional vital resources:
- Shale gas
The updated IPCC Report was released on February 28, 2022, four days after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. The report sounded another dire warning, that we must act immediately to reduce carbon emissions by transitioning to a green global economy. Billions of people around the world are already feeling the pain of a warmer planet. Eliminating fossil fuels from our lives and our culture is a daily call to action. Russia is aware that cities and towns around the world are rushing to cut fossil fuels by transitioning to clean energy. From Russia’s perspective, it seems that every social media post, every news headline, every IPCC Report negatively impacts the strength and stability of Russia’s economic health and wealth.
“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC, appearing in the IPCC Report. “It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”
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