The US needs to regenerate and re-grow its economy and restart the process of generating new wealth.
Gus Gunn, of the British Geological Survey, has identified three main factors behind the steep rise in commodity demand and prices:
Urbanization that is accompanied by a rise in the standard of living. By 2025, nearly 2.5 billion Asians will live in cities, accounting for almost 54 percent of the world’s urban population. India and China alone will account for more than 62 percent of Asian urban population growth and 40 percent of global urban population growth from 2005 to 2025
Population increase, since 1950, the world’s population has gone from 2.5 billion people to seven billion. No less than 75 million people a year are added to this number, the world’s population is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050 and reach 10.1 billion by the end of the century - according to the United Nations
Development of new technologies whose components and gadgets are based on an ever broader base of elements. Your television contains 35 different minerals, your computer 30, your cell phone contains 42, more silver is used in electronics manufacturing than in making jewelry
Minerals unique properties contribute to supplying us with food, shelter, infrastructure, transportation, communications, health care, manufacturing, new technologies and defense.
Import reliance of minerals is of particular relevance to the United States and serious concerns have been raised, since at least the early 1980’s, that the necessary critical and strategic mineral resources will not be available to meet soaring demand for current and emerging products and technologies.
Our enormously productive economy… demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption… We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing rate.” Victor Lebow, 1955
America depends upon overseas suppliers for over 80 percent of its most important critical minerals.
“The United States is the world’s third largest Copper producer, yet a 2010 MIT study by Elisa Alonso notes that the risk of Copper disruption is significantly greater than for other major metals, and is at or near an historical high.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense lists Copper as a metal that has, “[Already] caused some kind of weapon production delay for the DoD.” *Copper is also the primary metal for other strategic and critical metals highlighted in this report. Significant amounts of Molybdenum, Rhenium (nearly 75% of world’s production), Tellurium and Selenium (95% of world’s production) come from Copper mining and refining. Copper shortages will trigger companion shortages in these metals as well. We highlight this to further demonstrate the shortsightedness of targeting metals based entirely on stand-alone percentages.”
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