Tag Archives: rare earth

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

Solar Photovoltaics (PV) limited by raw materials

This paper (excerpts below) shows that there are limits to growth — there simply aren’t enough minerals in the world that can be produced physically and/or at a reasonable cost for the many of the most common kinds of PV … Continue reading

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John Gribbin, Astrophysicist. If we destroy ourselves, a grave injustice to the universe

Below are a few paragraphs from Hirshfeld’s excellent book review of:    John Gribbin. 2011. Alone in the Universe: Why Our Planet Is Unique. Humans are a miracle of blood, bone, and brain, a volatile mixture of compassion and brutality … Continue reading

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