Home » Survival » The Seneca Paradox: If mineral depletion is a problem, how is it that we don’t see its effects?

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase

The Seneca Paradox: If mineral depletion is a problem, how is it that we don’t see its effects?

The Seneca Paradox: If mineral depletion is a problem, how is it that we don’t see its effects?

The recent workshop held in Oxford, “Strategic Minerals in a Low Carbon Future” saw a very interesting debate on resource availability in which two opposite views emerged: one says that the gradual depletion of natural resources is a serious problem, already affecting the economy, the other that depletion is irrelevant or, at best, a marginal problem that can be solved by technological progress. The debate is ongoing, but the apparent lack of relevance of depletion in the current economic situation may be just an illusion generated by the “Seneca Effect.”  It is an insidious kind of effect that hides future risks behind an apparently safe and robust growth. 

The story of the Club of Rome starts with the issue of natural resources, mineral ones in particular. In the 1960s, it had become clear to the Club’s founder, Aurelio Peccei, that the world’s resources were not infinite. The question was how that was to affect humankind. It was the origin of the first and the best-known report to the Club of Rome, “The Limits to Growth,” published in 1972.

The 1972 report already provided answers to the question of the relevance of depletion. It turned out that resource scarcity would limit the growth of the world’s economy and, eventually, lead to a decline. This conclusion was often misunderstood as meaning that humankind would soon “run out” of oil, gas, or some other resource; but that was never stated in the report and it never was the point. The problem is not, and never was, running out of anything. It is that the gradual depletion of mineral ores makes extraction more expensive and that’s a burden on society that we cannot ignore.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase