A note on 'running out'
note on 'running out'
main reason why the 'running out of minerals (including oil)'
scenarios in The Limits to Growth (1972) have not materialised is that
they were based on a confusion about categories of resources -
admirably cleared up in Ehrlich, Ehrlich & Holdren 'Ecoscience'
(Freeman 1977). The Meadowses (and the Ehrlichs in their 1st
edn, 1972) had not grasped that mining companies do not bother
to prove - by drilling 2 or
more holes thru lodes - resources corresponding to more
than a couple decades of projected sales. Thus, Proven Reserves
are in general much smaller than Probable Reserves. The latter
can be pretty confident just from seismic mapping but cannot qualify
accelerate consumption of oil as fast as projected in 1972 is not
hugely due to increased efficiency of use; much of the conserved oil
is due to switching to other energy sources, failure of GNPs to
accelerate as projected, and of course some deterrence of consumption
by the OPEC price-hikes just after these pioneering 1972 books.
Finally, I wish people would face up to the
astronomical lodes of primeval (not fossil) gas pointed out by the
formidable Prof Gold in his book The Hot Deep Biosphere - and
perhaps Cornell has kept available his
<http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/tg21/ > . Given
8-10km holes, many centuries' worth of natural gas can almost
certainly be brought up almost anywhere. Lubricants,
no; but fuel - you better believe it.