Posted: Apr 12, 2018 4:07 pm
by Thommo
Not really, if everyone on Earth wants a desktop PC, a TV, an internet connection and so on and so forth then marginal gains in converting base resources into those products pretty much just scales to the number of people. Industry is actually pretty efficient on those fronts (not so great when it comes to avoiding pollution, not exploiting labour or division of the profits of course, but those aren't strictly relevant to resource depletion).

So you simply need enough silicon, enough gold, enough aluminium, enough plastics and so on for all those devices. Plus enough power generation to run them and so on and so forth. Bottom line is there isn't actually enough of a lot of those materials (that can realistically be extracted). Even if we started recycling pretty much everything now, we'd still have a massive problem. And we aren't going to, and it's not because of business, it's because of ordinary people.

It's a bummer and I really, really hope I'm wrong. I'm not going to be responsible for putting a child into that world though. And yes, that's just a me decision, I don't expect anyone to follow my thoughts, it's totally up to everyone to do what they think is right and good luck to them.

ETA: I had a look around for some info on when various resources, in various classes are forecast to run out (and that's not going to be the right term, it's when further extraction yields negligible benefit for the cost, and is subject to new discoveries) and found this one: ... fographic/

And also this rather more (excessively) optimistic view of the future:

And a lot of nightmare fuel along the way: ... umans.html ... -100-years ... 00&f=false ... l-be-wrong