Good news: here’s why we won’t run out of minerals (including oil)

Summary:  Among the fear barrages of the past 50 years, "running out of resources" has been the most persistent. Here is why we won't run out of minerals. As for other kinds of resources, that is a more complex story for another day. I first ran this excerpt in January 2011. The history of America … Continue reading Good news: here’s why we won’t run out of minerals (including oil)

A warning about water: we’re exhausting our groundwater reservoirs

Summary: A groundbreaking study shows that nearly a third of all underground water basins are stressed and how this year’s monsoons and El Niño are affecting these water supplies. It's more evidence that we need better measurement and analysis of our world, and to take our exploitation of it off "exploit at will" mode. There … Continue reading A warning about water: we’re exhausting our groundwater reservoirs

Looking at natural resources as limits to growth

World in our hands

Summary:  Previous posts about the future of economic growth in America have examined the drivers of growth. Today we look at the most commonly cited barrier to growth: a future scarcity of natural resources. Contents Doom by the year 2000 Predictions of resource scarcity Reality of ample supplies Why have we not run out? For … Continue reading Looking at natural resources as limits to growth

A look at forecasts for peak oil – and the end of civilization

Summary:  A common concern in the comments expresses fear of resource exhaustion, perhaps even leading to collapse of civilization. Here we examine the theory, evaluate the risks, and point to sources of more information. . Such one to a Question Time:  "how do you think the US will cope with the return to a preindustrial … Continue reading A look at forecasts for peak oil – and the end of civilization

Recovering lost knowledge about exhaustion of the Earth’s resources (such as Peak Oil)

Summary:  One of the saddest aspects of the Internet is that it so often fails to make us smarter.  In a mutant version of Gresham's Law, loud amateurs too-often drown out the voices of experts.  Here we an excerpt from a 1975 book that tells us more about Peak Oil than a typical dozen posts … Continue reading Recovering lost knowledge about exhaustion of the Earth’s resources (such as Peak Oil)