Feeds

You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

We seem to have an infinite supply of bullshit, too

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

We get it, you care about the planet. But don't make alarmist nonsense about resources the basis of your arguments

There's not enough to go around, you know...

All of which brings us to the much larger problem. We do have environmental problems, specifically climate change. We do have resource constraints, it's just that we don't have the ones that everyone wants to talk about.

And we don't have sensible policy discussions about the ones we do have (knowledge most notably), because that wellwater of science is so horribly polluted by these displays of ignorance. There simply isn't any metal or mineral that we're going to run out of in anything approaching a human timescale.

I spent some time running through the reserve, resource and total availability estimates a few months back and got too bored to finally complete it. There simply wasn't anything at all likely to run out within a few thousand years and who in hell wants to try to predict extraction technology or prices beyond that?

And it's for this reason that all that planning that people are trying to do about the imminent exhaustion of mineral reserves is just so pointless. There's not going to be a shortage of minerals, yet our entire politics on the subject is based upon the assumption that we will.

Thus we get told we must recycle more; limit human civilisation; the poor cannot be allowed to become rich for there's no resources – hell, there are those who insist that we can't even have, as above, green energy because there's not enough metals to make the solar cells from. This is all total horse-puckey.

Even going back to the Club of Rome and Limits to Growth we see the same problem. They assumed that mineral resources were 10 times mineral reserves. It's a central assumption too and it's how they reached the idea that we're about to run out of everything. But there is no relationship at all between the two.

Worse, the expense of confirming reserves means that we only tend to do it for resources that we're going to want to use in the next 30-50 years. Meaning that if you do make their assumption, that resources are 10x reserves, and reserves are usually only a 30-year supply, then your assumption itself is what leads you to the conclusion that there's only 300 years' worth left.

All of which should really rather scare us all. For it really is the way the world is run today – on the basis of conclusions reached from faulty assumptions. And if you're not worried that the world is ruled by the misinformed who want to plan your life on the basis of their misunderstandings, then what would it take to scare you? ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.