Ok, so we all know by now that the world is running out of cheap oil, water, rare earths and so on. Oh, and food.
But what about the other things we’re running short of? The Cinderella resources, like helium (imagine $100 per balloon??), and chocolate (now I’ve got your attention!), and even tequila…
To read more, click here.
(Oh, and if you haven’t got time to read the full article:
- Helium is used to produce loads of high-tech stuff, from fibre optics to LCD screens
- Chocolate prices have apparently doubled in the last six years, and it still isn’t worth it for the cocoa farmers
- Medical isotopes — so leading-edge treatments will be even more rare, and more expensive, than they are today. (To be fair this is probably more of an issue in the USA and the rest of Europe, rather than the UK where treatments are slightly less leading-edge.)
- Tequila: some of the agave cactus used to make tequila has been damaged by disease. Others are being burned by farmers so that they can grow crops for biofuels instead. And agave is pretty picky about where it will grow.
- Phosphorous — no phosphorous no fertiliser. Researchers in three continents agree that we are quickly approaching peak phosphorous. China is hoarding the stuff, and the Swedes are researching ways to extract it from urine.
- Water. More people, more pollution in the environment, less easily-available clean drinking water. Texas oilman T.Boone Pickens has already invested more than $100m in acquiring the ‘rights’ to pump the Ogallala Aquifer (which holds more than a quadrillion gallons of the stuff). He then plans to sell this ‘blue gold’ to “Dallas or some other major U.S. city desperately running out of water”.