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Are We Running Out of Resources?

Are We Running Out of Resources?

We’ve all heard them before, the claims that the world is running out of resoures. Nowadays the popular resource so many fret about is oil, and nearly everyone accepts that peak oil is just around the corner. But is this true?

According to the Institute of Humane Studies, no it’s not. While there is a finite amount of natural resources on the planet Earth, society is constantly finding new substitutes for diminishing resources, in addition to finding more efficient ways to use the resources we have.

Oil is a good example. Did you know that society has been predicting the end of oil for decades upon decades? In fact, in 1919, it was predicted by legitimate scientists (published in Scientific American) that the Earth only has 20 more years of oil remaining. Obviously, this was not the case. 

There’s a lesson to be learned here. Scientists can be very, very wrong. In addition, scientific analysis and the accuracy of scientific predictions can be influenced by other fields (in this case economic forces).

So, watch the video and tell us what you think. Will we run out of resources for anything ever?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I have long thought that a lot of the media portrays the dreadful “running out of resources” and the “collapse of the world” as we know it quite over-dramatically. I’m glad to finally read of someone who thinks the same. The media has a way of portraying certain material to create world-wide panic and a demand to change our ways and preserve our resources, “or else.” I posted a comment a few weeks ago stating what I thought about devoting our time in this day and age, specifically with our economic crisis and unemployment still at a ridiculous high, to nature and the environment, when we need these things to pull ourselves out of where we are now. In reality, we WON’T run out of these resources, simply because we are too resourceful, pardon the play. We, as humans, scientists, and people, are always finding new ways to do things and new substitutes for things, from oil and electricity, to gasoline and corn, to any number of new ways. In fact, something that not many people realize, is that we actually have quite an abundance of oil here in the United States, over 2 trillion barrels. This is why there is constant crisis over why we are paying so much to drill overseas. The media often distorts actual fact for what fits an agenda, and if you dig deeper, you’ll find the reality: that not everything we hear about on the News and around the world about these things is true.

  2. April 9, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    This seems to be a critique of Liberal media, so with your and everyone else’s permission, I’ll take the liberty to serve as the token Liberal in this discussion.

    I think you and lexicory have inadvertently pointed out something we should consider more closely. I don’t think the media tends to create some sort of paranoia just for the fun of it and to exercise their control over us. After all, you yourself pointed out that, although we probably were on course to have run out of some resources some time ago, we were only spared the despair because of technological innovations–innovations whose necessity, in my opinion, probably would not have been apparent to us if it weren’t for the attention that surrounded the issues they rectified. And, while oil, for example, isn’t a scarce as it may have seemed at one point, innovations in the way of energy production are desperately needed insofar as the issue itself is related to sustainability, public health, and at least some level of economic sovereignty.

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