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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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A Mirage of Abundance

Mirage. Image source

“Truth is like poetry.
And most people fucking hate poetry.”

Adam McKay, The Big Short

— We will never run out of minerals, or petroleum for that matter. There is an ample amount of these resources in Earth’s crust, actually more than we could ever extract.

— Phew! Are we saved then?

— Well, this was the truth part. Now it’s time for some poetry.

Inorder to have a better understanding of our world and to have at least a chance at gaining an insight into our future, we must understand some simple facts pertaining to the basis of our modern high tech civilization. How, and thanks to what technology, can we feed 8 billion people? How can 1 billion of us live so decently, surrounded by all the bells and whistles this civilization has to offer? Is this going to last forever? Can it last forever…?

Let’s start with a basic fact of life: we live off of what we pull out of the ground. Literally. From potatoes to microchips, everything we touch, eat, use and burn comes from under the ground. Plants take up nutrients like nitrates, potassium and phosphorus from the soil and turn them into edible food. Drilling rigs bore holes thousands of feet deep to bring up oil and natural gas to the surface. Excavators tear up the ground and haul rocks to a truck, which carries them into a refinery or a smelter. There they magically turn into clean metal sheets and slabs, Portland cement, glass or silicon monocrystals. Machines, equipment, building materials, consumer goods are then get built and manufactured from these raw materials.

Everything we touch, eat, wear, use then throw away has its origins under our feet. No exceptions.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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