The World Is Running Out of Raw Materials for Everything

Have you ever stopped to consider that at a certain point, our consumption of everything from consumer electronics to prescription drugs might be limited by raw materials? I hadn't either, but apparently we're perilously close in some cases to running out of common things like copper, tin, and silver. The above chart breaks down when we'll run out, both by current rate of consumption, and by half the U.S. consumption rate (which seems loaded and random, but is nevertheless interesting).At current rates, we only have 13 years left of indium consumption (used in LCD manufacturing), 42 years of lead (batteries and pipes), and 29 years of silver. (Insert silver-plated, battery-operated LCD joke here.) What the chart doesn't say is how close we are to developing sustainable alternatives to these things, or what impact new technology or improved recycling might have on these numbers. Still, it's a very sobering assessment of the impact we've had on our world.Viz Gizmodo.
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

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