Occasionally, I still run into folks that are always worried about running out of resources. This is a very old idea, that in my opinion, has been debunked. This article does an excellent job of explaining why man has NEVER run out of resources and most likely, never will.
Here's a paragraph to wet your whistle with.
The best part of the entire article, is the one that follows:The specter that Malthus described was summarized as population increases geometrically, food increases arithmetically. Based on that logic, starvation and suffering were seen as inevitable. Malthus, in other words, was saying that England's economic growth was not sustainable. It was that profoundly pessimistic theory that resulted in economics being described as "the dismal science." England, of course, has gone on to experience over 200 years of historically unprecedented economic growth...
Obviously, Malthus's predictions did not come to pass. Why not? Malthus's error, in a nutshell, was failing to appreciate the impact of an increasing stock of knowledge and the resulting technological revolution. The sustainability crusade is wrong for essentially the same reasons Malthus was wrong...
When in the history of civilization have we actually exhausted or totally depleted any significant resource? The answer is never. What makes us believe we will in the future? Somehow we buy into the notion that something that has never happened in history is going to doom us in the near future. It is another reflection of the inflated self-importance and myopia of the current generation.
I'll leave some out so you can enjoy the entire article in order by clicking below.The Stone Age did not end because of a stone shortage. It ended because an expanding supply of knowledge created superior alternatives to stones. That dynamic represents a central theme in the history of civilization. Iron ore was around before and during the Stone Age, but the information needed to make it useful did not exist at the time. Petroleum was not even a resource until we knew how to access it and refine it. We also invented new ways to use it, especially for transportation purposes. Sand was not a resource until we learned how to turn it into glass and concrete. As the late Julian Simon observed, "Resources in their raw form are useful and valuable only when found, understood, gathered together and harnessed for human needs. The basic ingredient in the process, along with the raw elements, is human knowledge."
In the 19th century lanterns were the main source of illumination and whale oil was the main fuel for lanterns. If that had continued we might have driven some whale species to extinction. Why didn't that happen? (It certainly wasn't because Greenpeace was harassing whaling vessels.) We invented ways to convert coal to kerosene and later, petroleum to kerosene. Kerosene was about a tenth as costly as whale oil and smelled better. Then lanterns as a light source were made obsolete by Edison's invention of the incandescent light bulb.