There is not a single example of a nonrenewable resource that has run out. Nobody ran out of stone in the stone age, iron in the iron age, or bronze in the bronze age. That's not why these ages peter out, it's rather because we move on to something else ..whereas renewable resources tend to run out, like whales, passenger pigeons, and white pines.
Telling that the perceived non-scarcity of renewable goods is a factor in their extinction. If humanity can't manage 'resource deflation'...
Hmm. A couple of quick things. First, we didn't stop using stone during the bronze age or bronze during the iron age. The ages don't "peter out". What actually happens is that the cost of obsidian rises to the point at which other, more expensive substitutes become viable. The substitutes have different properties which, over time, are exploited to do things differently than they were done before.
Oil is both an energy source and a storage medium for energy and there's no ready substitute for both roles. That's what makes it so ideal for personal transportation: cheap, portable, source, and storage medium. As its cost rises in order to exploit the substitutes we'll need to address two problems simultaneously: energy storage and energy production, both thorny.
Yes, what an interesting insight indeed: it has never happened, so it will never happen?
True, the past does not equal the future.
But in this case, it's the way I'd bet!
Post a Comment