The valuables of the Earth

The Earth is full of them: minerals, metals, rare earths, coal and more. Manufacturing products  require the use of large amounts of these substances, up to now there has been a good supply. But things may change. A race for resources that may soon be scarce is coming. Big countries like China, India, Brazil are increasing production of industrial goods, and have started the hunt for materials to do it.

Oil is also among the coveted substances, but oil is being run down, we are now heavily into shale oil and tar sands. The oil industry will rather soon be much less than it is today. Lots of oil is still found, but prices are high, the resources are increasingly hard to find. Expensve techniques like fracking, digging up tar sands etc. are being used.

The emptying of the oil fields in the world will have taken place in about two centuries and a bit. It is not all used yet, but we can see the end coming. We used most of it in the course of two centuries! The global warming problem will then take care of itself. This era will undoubtedly be seen by historians as a sad chapter in the book of humanity. We never thought for a moment about what we were doing.

The coming transition will be gradual, it has already started, an era of sustainability is possibly starting now, with new sources and forms of energy, new thinking.

Now the era of  full focus on minerals, metals, earths are opening up. Gold, platinum, zinc, copper, iron, rare earths and all else are in great demand. The powers to be are travelling the world to secure their share of the riches. Nations with these resources are stepping up the mapping and search for what they have. Prices will increase, there will be heavy politics, even fights and wars.

This new era will be the same as the oil era, but the money are perhaps not so big and the diversity is greater. But profit hungry investors will be there as always.

Industrial growth for the next centuries will be fine – and then that will be over too. The ground will again have been emptied, large areas have been damaged – and we will realize once more that we never thought for a moment what we were doing.

It will be futile to try to change this course of events, the forces involved are great, and collectively humanity is clearly lacking in forethought practices, as well as logical development of ideas that are clearly seen. Transition into an oil-less world has already started – see the Transition Network movement.

The battle for minerals will now commence and then heat up, scarcity will build – and in a few centuries we have depleted it all. The devastation of the Earth is a consequence – but by then stark realities will force us into a better world.

The solution is clearly about establishing new values on a global level – sharing, cooperation, developing sustainable local practices – are some of the catchwords we have to put into our world.

This is soft thinking and not very dynamic, even without the element of profit. Yes, but why not? Cooperation among conscious and thinking people can’t be all that bad? Let the new culture grow!

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