Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

Go to first entry


 

Archives

<< current
 
E-mail address:
jhertzli AT ix DOT netcom DOT com


My Earthlink/Netcom Site

My Tweets

My other blogs
Small Sample Watch
XBM Graphics


The Former Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse:
Someone who used to be sane (formerly War)
Someone who used to be serious (formerly Plague)
Rally 'round the President (formerly Famine)
Dr. Yes (formerly Death)

Interesting weblogs:
Back Off Government!
Bad Science
Blogblivion
Boing Boing
Debunkers Discussion Forum
Deep Space Bombardment
Depleted Cranium
Dr. Boli’s Celebrated Magazine.
EconLog
Foreign Dispatches
Good Math, Bad Math
Greenie Watch
The Hand Of Munger
Howard Lovy's NanoBot
Hyscience
Liberty's Torch
The Long View
My sister's blog
Neo Warmonger
Next Big Future
Out of Step Jew
Overcoming Bias
The Passing Parade
Peter Watts Newscrawl
Physics Geek
Pictures of Math
Poor Medical Student
Prolifeguy's take
The Raving Theist
RealityCarnival
Respectful Insolence
Sedenion
Seriously Science
Shtetl-Optimized
Slate Star Codex
The Speculist
The Technoptimist
TJIC
Tools of Renewal
XBM Graphics
Zoe Brain

Other interesting web sites:
Aspies For Freedom
Crank Dot Net
Day By Day
Dihydrogen Monoxide - DHMO Homepage
Fourmilab
Jewish Pro-Life Foundation
Libertarians for Life
The Mad Revisionist
Piled Higher and Deeper
Science, Pseudoscience, and Irrationalism
Sustainability of Human Progress


























Yet another weird SF fan
 

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Latest Malthusian Scare …

… is about the impending metal shortage. For example:

There are about 150 kilograms of copper in current use for each person in North America. The researchers then multiplied the copper used per person by total world population, using standard population estimates to project into the future. By the mid-21st century, if everyone in the world used copper at North American rates, every scrap of known copper ore would be mined, the team reports online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
On the other hand, according to The Challenge of Man's Future by Harrison Brown (written back in the days when Malthusians tried looking at all the data):
Eventually the time will come when ordinary rocks such as granite will be looked upon as ores. We have already seen that average granite contains sufficient uranium and thorium to pay, energy-wise, for the processing of the rock and still leave a substantial energy profit. In addition, without unduly increasing the energy expenditure, one can probably extract from the rock a multitude of elements that are essential to an industrial society. One hundred tons of average igneous rock contain, in addition to other useful elements, 8 tons of aluminum, 5 tons of iron, 1200 pouInds of titanium, 180 pounds of manganese, 70 pounds of chromium, 40 pounds of nickel, 30 pounds of vanadium, 20 pounds of copper, 10 pounds of tungsten and 4 pounds of lead.
In other words, the copper needs for an average person in an industrial society can be met by 1500 tons of granite. That's 500 cubic meters or the top centimeter of 50,000 square meters. 50,000 square meters is the land use per person at 20,000 people per square kilometer, which is twice as dense as New York City. We have plenty of room.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

 
Profiles
My Blogger Profile
eXTReMe Tracker X-treme Tracker

Site Meter
The Atom Feed This page is powered by Blogger.