Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Peak Everything: Malthus Was Right, Transferrable


I've posted occasionally about peak phosphorus: the gradual mining of one of the three major nutrients required for food growing (the others being nitrogen and potassium). Phosphorus is lost forever as we flush our bodily waste to sea, and as this link suggests, worldwide phosphorus production peaked as long ago as 1988.

The writer Richard Heinberg has written a book entitled "Peak Everything", but till now I'd not come across any stories specifically about peak lithium - the mineral that we rely on to make battery-powered cars perform as we'd like.

According to this BBC report, we have less than a decade before demand for lithium outstrips supply - so perhaps we must forget those dreams of switching to electric vehicles and carrying on as we are.

Times Online


The mistake was made long ago: let numbers decide what is wanted, which squeezes out the aristocratic -- naturally gifted in intelligence -- and replaces them with a system that panders to the lowest common denominator.

This system encourages people to deny reality in favor of pleasant illusions.

So while the earth -- of fixed size and resources -- remains the same, we grow, and now we've reached our peak.

Enjoy your comfy chairs, because the resource wars are coming. Water. Food. Energy. Metals.

And throughout all of this, nature personified is laughing. "You think that I work on a human timeline? You thought if, after ten years, disaster hadn't come, that you had gotten away with it. Now there's seven billion of you. Watch me cut that number like a birthday cake." And in the meantime we were content to commit ecocide, while satisfying our consciences by electing black presidents.

It will suck, but it will finally get us back on course and re-assert natural selection as a means of reducing the herd while making those who do survive better.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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