We’re constantly hearing from doomsayers like Paul Ehrlichman who tell us that we’re going to run out of resources, that the planet is going to burn up, and that we’re all going to die.
So, it was refreshing to read “We Will Never Run Out of Resources” by Marian L. Tupy and David Deutsch, published in the Friday, July 21st, Wall Street Journal.
Although the article is currently subscriber-only, these excerpts may motivate you to seek out and read it in full.
The world’s population has increased eightfold since 1800, and standards of living have never been higher. Despite increases in consumption, and contrary to the prophecies of generations of Malthusians, the world hasn’t run out of a single metal or mineral. In fact, resources have generally grown cheaper relative to income….
We’re living in an era of dematerialization [using less material to create things]…. the smartphone has minimized, if not eliminated, the need for paper calendars, maps, dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as for metal or plastic radios, cameras, telephones, stereos, alarm clocks and more.
They conclude their article with this paragraph:
Long before humans have extracted all the useful atoms in the Earth’s crust and oceans, we will develop the technological sophistication to obtain vastly more atoms and energy from asteroids, planets and beyond. In that future, just as has always been the case, the only bottleneck will be the rate at which new knowledge can be created. And nothing prevents us from improving that rate too. Knowledge is the ultimate resource and there are no limits on creating it.
I found this article uplifting, and I hope you will too.
Carl B. Barney
July 24, 2023