We're all familiar with the idea of peak oil-the point at which our oil production will start declining forever.But that's not the only thing we're running out of. Phosphorous, which is essential for modern agriculture because it's used as a fertilizer, is also a finite (and rapidly dwindling) resource. From Stock and Land:
Phosphorus has underpinned the leaps made in agricultural productivity since World War II, and the world's economies and population levels have become dependent on a continuous supply of the element. ... All the world's phosphate fertilisers come from mined phosphate rock, making it a finite resource.Various analyses suggest "peak phosphorus" - the point at which supply falls behind demand - will occur around 2040, with all currently known reserves potentially exhausted within 50 to 100 years.
It's meat production that's the big drain on phosphorous. And you know who's sitting on the world's phosphorous reserves? China. So if your attitude is "I get to eat as much meat as I want because that's the America way," just know that China's going to have your kids over a barrel unless we start recycling our urine.
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