Submitted by Adam Taggart via Peak Prosperity,
When we wander over to the third E in this story – the Environment – we note two things: both the increasing demand of exponentially more resources being extracted from the ground and exponentially more waste being put back into various ecosystems.
Because we are trying to assess here whether we can justify ever-increasing amounts of money and debt, for now let's just concern ourselves with the resources we take from the natural world to support our global economy.
Oil is not the only essential resource that is fast becoming more expensive to produce, harder to find, or both. In fact, we see an alarming number of examples depletion of critical resources that almost exactly mirror the oil story.
First we went after the easy and or high quality stuff, then the progressively trickier, deeper and or more dilute stuff.
The bottom line is this: we, as a species, all over the globe, have already mined the richest ores, found the easiest energy sources, and farmed the richest soils that our Environment has to offer.
We have taken several hundreds of millions of years of natural ore body, fossil energy deposition, aquifer accumulation, soil creation, and animal population growth — and largely burned through them in the few years since oil was discovered. It is safe to say that in human terms, once these are gone, man, they’re gone.
So, if we are getting less and less net energy for our efforts, and the other basic resources we need to support exponential economic growth are requiring a lot more energy to extract because they are depleting, then does it make sense to keep piling up exponentially more money and debt? Isn't it just common sense to observe that money and debt have to exist in some sort of relationship and proportion to primary and secondary wealth?
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