We are running out of stuff...

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Lost Leopard Spot
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We are running out of stuff...

Post by Lost Leopard Spot » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:18 pm

The Trump has announced steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium. All well and good, maybe (depending on your politics). But what you might not know is that we (the human race) is running out of stuff. It's not likely we'll run out of aluminium, as it's the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust, but iron is getting increasingly difficult to find. We produce 1,700,000,000 tonnes of steel a year. It takes about 45,000,000,000 tonnes of ore to produce that amount. A decade ago that would have been just 14,000,000,000 tonnes. We are rapidly running out of high quality ore. We are also running out of copper (main producer Katanga in the Congo has seen a 145% increase in ore spoil over just ten years for the same unit production of pure copper). Cement is threatened too: we are fast running out of the right kind of sand to make it, and no wonder - do you know we make enough cement each year to construct a wall all the way around the equator that is ten metres high by ten metres deep. Every year.
I live next to a quarry that produces the majority of hardcore that is used in the UK's roads. You'd think hardcore could be any crap wouldn't you, but its specialist stuff when creating a motorway, and it's got less than five year's left of production, with no other site identified in this country to take up the slack.
Rare Earths, increasingly used in electronics, are in such a parlous production phase that people in South America and Africa are becoming millionaires through hand sifting old rubbish sites to cannibalise discarded electronics and recycle the rare earths in them... currently over a quarter of rare earths in your mobile phones come from rubbish heaps in Argentina, South Africa, Nigeria etc.

Just thought I'd brighten up your weekend on our visit to ex-steel city
That's not a leopard!
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