Thursday, 5 September 2013

Fake it Till You Take it All

The Cupboard is Getting Barer

"The amount of raw materials needed to sustain the economies of developed countries is significantly greater than presently used indicators suggest ..."

"Humanity is using raw materials at a level never seen before with far-reaching environmental impacts on biodiversity, land use, climate and water," says lead author Tommy Wiedmann, Associate Professor of Sustainability Research at the UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

"Now more than ever, developed countries are relying on international trade to acquire their natural resources, but our research shows this dependence far exceeds the actual physical quantity of traded goods"

"In 2008, the total amount of raw materials extracted globally was 70 billion metric tons – 10 billion tons of which were physically traded. However, the results show that three times as many resources (41% or 29 billion tons) were used just to enable the processing and export of these materials."

Read more at Constantine Alexander's blog.


  1. When I was a kid, "The Population Bomb" was forced reading in my school. It was meant to scare the hell out of us, saying the world will die from over-population by the 1990s. Well, it didn't happen. And so media hype burns out the neurons that give a shit.

    Population is a huge problem, we need aliens to come here and thin out the herd. Maybe those things we arrogantly classify as not-alive (prions and viruses) will do the thinning. I can't see laws getting passed to do it or changes in human tendencies changing in the near future.

    But, I agree that we should not despair of voicing our concerns, just I'd like to hear more real solutions and less media hype -- but I doubt that will happen. Damn, I am cynical this morning -- today is my 4th 12-hour (privileged) shift of trying to get people to stop poisoning themselves and their children -- but they will continue to ignore me and I must smile and oblige their dumb behavior or lose my job -- much like grocery clerks, dump site managers, truck drivers, and everyone else in the food chain.

  2. LOL, I used to work in a hospital (as a cleaner/domestic) and we always used to say that the hospital would be great - if it weren't for the patients!

    The Population Bomb, yes, well of course it was a little bit exaggerated for effect, they were trying to stir some action from dozy morons after all. But the fact is that the human population is far exceeding Earth's long-term carrying capacity. The damage is being done long before we could ever get to the insane "standing room only" scenarios that opponents of the book like to put up as straw men.

    I agree, sad, but human self-love and Human Supremacism is far too strong to permit anything sensible and 'humane' to be done before we hit the buffers.

    Oh well, "interesting times" and all that, eh?

    Btw, did you read my comment in response to yours on the Papal Fraud and Forgery post?