Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, March 6th, 2011 - 79 comments
Peak oil, peak food, peak metals, climate change. By over-exploiting the world, we have enjoyed tremendous improvements in the standard of living. And now the payback is coming. We’re clearly on a downward economic slope. Things have been going backwards for 3 years and the outlook is worse, not better. But it’s not the end of the world.
Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 2nd, 2011 - 42 comments
To get enough oil for global demand requires expensive technologies, and expending more energy. If the price is too low those investments won’t be feasible, meaning not enough production. But too high and the world can’t afford it and we enter global recession. The ‘goldilocks’ in the middle is shrinking, to a knife edge. It’s the same story with food and metals.
Written By: - Date published: 2:12 pm, October 17th, 2010 - 62 comments
In his last column Garth George laments how foods he regularly enjoyed in his childhood (1870s?) are now priced beyond the reach of most New Zealanders. It’s easy to dismiss the complaints of an old man about prices these days but there’s a deeper story: with population growth and resource depletion, there increasingly isn’t enough to go around.
Written By: - Date published: 6:47 am, September 19th, 2009 - 47 comments
We’re probably all now aware of the idea of peak oil. The earth is finite, and we can’t suck an infinite amount of oil out of it. But oil isn’t the only resource which is reaching its peak. Various important metals are running out even faster: Indium, gallium and hafnium are some of the least-known […]