27 May, 2007
With all the political and media hysteria about climate change, might we be overlooking an even bigger challenge? Some of us have already woken up to the danger of declining energy reserves (keywords: peak oil, peak gas and even peak oil – see an earlier post), but neither the media, nor the political world has any real interest in the issue.
There is one exception this weekend with the British journal New Scientist publishing a brilliant article called Earth Audit. Author David Cohen calculated that lots of minerals essential for new technologies such as LCD TV screens, fuel cells or efficient solar panels could run out very fast. Some of the technological solutions to tackle our energy security and climate change problems would therefore be hard to implement.
Could it be that after the age of abundancy we are entering a era of “new scarcity”? And what will be the implications in a world that will grow in the next 30 years from 6 to 9 billion people? Isn’t this an even scarier “inconventient truth”?
Read also the Wall Street Journal’s Informed Reader blog for more on this New Scientist article.