Sunday, May 10, 2009

How long will it last?

Here's a graphic that should give anyone -- not just any 'thinking person' as some pompous self- described 'intellectuals' like to say -- reason for concern and motivate action on their part. Minerals and materials critical for the smooth functioning of modern society as it exists will be depleted in a just a few generations. Our grandchildrens' grandchildren will be compelled to survive in a very different kind of world with minerals and materials drastically different from our own -- either new materials they have discovered or developed, or materials used by our primitive ancestors. The choice seems to be either revert to a kind of pre-modern existence or innovate our way into the future.

We could wait for future generations to exercise their creativity. On the other hand, a few key materials like Indium, Silver, Lead antimony will vanish in our own lifetimes, particularly if the rest of the world develops the gargantuan appetite of Americans. So maybe there is no time to waste -- we need to start innovating now: both to reduce/eliminate the use of certain materials and develop new ones. Of course, nothing happens outside of context -- we need to change our aspirations, goals and vision for society.

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