Category Archives: Elements: Critical

Includes rare earth elements. The U.S. is concerned about having enough supplies to make vehicles, renewable energy technologies, and military weapons. Plus maintaining access to and the reliability of entire supply chains for rare earths and other minerals.

Renewables: not enough minerals, energy, time or clean and green

Preface. Electricity generating contraptions like wind and solar can’t replace the 50% of oil used in global manufacturing, because they can’t generate the high heat needed, or run battery or catenary electric trucks as I explained in “When Trucks Top … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Battery - Utility Scale, Elements: Critical, Elements: Platinum Group, Elements: Rare Earth, Peak Resources, Recycle, Solar, Wind | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Ugo Bardi’s The Universal Mining Machine

Preface. Below I’ve excerpted some of Ugo Bardi’s “The Universal Mining Machine” (24 January 2008 europe.theoildrum), but I’ve left a great deal out of this excellent article, I encourage you to read all of it if you have time. The … Continue reading

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Minerals essential for wind, solar, and high-tech, are anything but clean and green

This is a book review of Pitron’s “The rare metals war”.  To produce the metals and minerals to make a transition to wind, solar, nuclear and so on would be incredibly destructive and filthy. A fifth of China’s arable land … Continue reading

Posted in Battery - Utility Scale, Elements: Critical, Elements: Rare Earth, Mining, Peak Resources, Photovoltaic Solar, Recycle, Wind | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

328 Million Americans use 3.2 million pounds of minerals, metals, and fuels in their lifetime

Preface. Even if you go off the grid, society is using up minerals at an exponential rate to maintain the non-negotiable American lifestyle, which in 2006, required 3.7 million pounds of minerals, metals, and fuels in each person’s lifetime, or … Continue reading

Posted in Elements: Critical, Mining, Recycle | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Batteries are made of rare, declining, critical, and imported elements

Preface.  Since oil and other fossils are finite and emit carbon, the plan is to electrify society with batteries.  But doh!  Minerals used in batteries are finite too.  And dependent on fossil-fueled transportation and manufacturing from mining trucks, to smelter, … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Elements: Critical, Elements: Rare Earth, Mining | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Peak Stainless Steel

Steel and nickel aren’t on the critical mineral list, but nickel ought to be, since this study shows that there is a significant risk that stainless steel production will reach its maximum capacity around 2055 because of declining nickel production, … Continue reading

Posted in Elements: Critical, Infrastructure, Mining | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Peak Helium

Preface. Turns out helium is needed for a lot more than party balloons, and like all resources, it is in decline. I learned that Stuff Runs Out early in life when we visited dozens of abandoned gold and silver mining … Continue reading

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High-Tech can’t last: limited essential elements with limited lifespans

There are 17 rare earth elements in the periodic table. About nine of those elements go into every iPhone sold… and if China were suddenly to disappear from a map tomorrow, Apple would lose about 90% of those elements.  Source: … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Cascading Failure, Elements: Critical, Elements: Rare Earth, Microchips and computers, Supply Chains | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth by Keith Veronese

Preface.  Capitalism believes there’s a solution for everything due to Man’s Inventive Brain, but when it comes to getting metals out of the earth, there are some very serious limitations.  In parts per billion, there’s only 4 of platinum, 20 … Continue reading

Posted in Elements: Critical, Elements: Platinum Group, Elements: Precious, Elements: Rare Earth, Infrastructure, Mining, Peak Resources | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Peak Cobalt

Preface. I don’t think electric vehicles are going to happen for reasons specified in these related articles.  I’ve left out all the posts in Peak Everything dealing with important, rare earth, and lithium minerals from this list plus the posts … Continue reading

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