In keeping with the theme of looking at international or global issues that will effect us locally in the coming decades, lets consider how much longer some of the most critical minerals we depend on for our current lifestyle are expected to last.
The diagram below will tell you the name of each mineral, what it is used to make, and how long we have left before there is no more. What do they make cell phones, flat screens and batteries out of anyway? Follow the link below for a good explanatory article re this diagram. Click on the image to enlarge it and click again to zoom in and out to view different areas. Source: New Scientist – Earth’s natural wealth: an audit
What will we do when we run out of some of these things in the next few years? What will be the alternatives? Where in the world are they located? Do any of them come from Canada? Many of these minerals are required for electronics but most of our electronics are recycled in the developing countries under horrific conditions. Could it become profitable to recycle them here using responsible methods and reduce the war and pollution they cause elsewhere?
The main point however, as is the main point of this blog, is that you would be wise to consider the fact that we will run out of these things and to plan accordingly. Maybe or maybe not in your lifetime but certainly in your childrens. And remember the problems will start long before we actually run out.