Mining and Minerals

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There's really only one rule when you're dealing with a finite resource: make sure you don't run out before you're ready.

This is where we are with all of the natural resources in the world. This is the case for minerals like cobalt and uranium, fuel sources like coal, gas, and oil. There is a fixed amount. One day, we are going to run out. The question is when.

In the case of oil, for example, we have about 50 years of proven reserves at the current rate of consumption. That means that we only know for certain that there are roughly 1.65 trillion barrels of oil and we use about 35 billion a year. Divide one by the other and you get fifty years remaining.

Of course, that's an estimate. We may increase our consumption over time (which has generally been the case.) We also might find new oil fields that we didn't know about before.

But the point is clear: our job today is start planning for running out of everything which we currently rely on. That means finding alternative sources and materials, reducing our needs, and extending the lifespan of manufactured items.

This work is essential, but not urgent. We have time but we must use that time wisely. Because when plentiful materials become scarce, there will be chaos. We must prepare today.

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