I read about this last year, and have seen the odd article every now and then, but thought I’d make a post. It’s not just living animals and plants on this little rock that are endangered. There are not infinite supplies of the raw materials we use to build our technology. For example, the gallium we use in our high-tec electronics probably won’t last more than 20 years.
It’s not just the world’s platinum that is being used up at an alarming rate. The same goes for many other rare metals such as indium, which is being consumed in unprecedented quantities for making LCDs for flat-screen TVs, and the tantalum needed to make compact electronic devices like cellphones. How long will global reserves of uranium last in a new nuclear age? Even reserves of such commonplace elements as zinc, copper, nickel and the phosphorus used in fertiliser will run out in the not-too-distant future. So just what proportion of these materials have we used up so far, and how much is there left to go round?
Have a read of the full article.