* Excerpts: Amazon: Chris Clugston: Scarcity: Humanity’s Final Chapter.
Scarcity: Humanity’s Final Chapter
by Chris Clugston
Scarcity: Humanity’s Final Chapter?; is an overview of Chris Clugston Domestic (US) & Global NNR Scarcity based upon his analysis of the criticality and scarcity associated with each of the 89 analyzed NNRs, using data from USGS, EIA, BEA, BLS, Fed, CBO, FBI, IEA, UN, World Bank, etc; and concludes in general that “absent some combination of immediate and drastic reductions in our global NNR utilization levels, … we will experience escalating international and intranational conflicts during the coming decades over increasingly scarce NNR‘s, which will devolve into global societal collapse, almost certainly by the year 2050.”
Scarcity’s Global NNR Scarcity Analysis (pg.51-59) (pg 41-49) summarizes global criticality and scarcity associated with each of the 89 analyzed NNR’s: (a) An overwhelming majority, 63 of the 89 analyzed NNRs, were considered “scarce” globally in 2008, immediately prior to the Great Recession; (b) A significant number, 28 of the 89 analyzed NNRs have peaked: are “almost certain” to remain scarce permanently going forward; and a sizeable number, 16 of the 89 analyzed NNRs, will “likely” remain scarce permanently; and (c) Global extraction/production levels associated with 39 of the 89 analyzed NNRs, are considered “at risk”.
NNR’s at risk – i.e. years to global exhaustion of reserves – are: (a) Antimony: 8 yrs (used for starter lights ignition batteries in cars and trucks; (b) Bauxite: 40 years (only economically viable feedstock for aluminium); (c) Bismuth: 17 years (non-toxic substitute for lead in solder and plumbing fixtures); (d) Cadmium: 25 years; (e) Chromium: 26 years (stainless steel, jet engines and gas turbines); (f) Coal: 40 years (electricity generation); (g) Cobalt: 26 years (gas turbine blades, jet aircraft engines, batteries); (h) Copper: 27 years; (i) Fluorspar: 23 years (feedstock for fluorine bearing chemicals, aluminium and uranium processing); (j) Graphite (Natural): 23 years; (k) Iron Ore: 15 years (only feedstock for iron and steel); (l) Lead: 17 years; (m) Lithium: 8 years (aircraft parts, mobile phones, batteries for electrical vehicles); (n) Manganese: 17 years (stainless steel, gasoline additive, dry cell batteries); (o) Molybdenum: 20 years (aircraft parts, electrical contacts, industrial motors, tool steels); (p) Natural Gas: 34 years; (q) Nickel: 30 years; (r) Niobium: 15 years (jet and rocket engines, turbines, superconducting magnets); (s) Oil: 39 years; (t) Rhenium: 22 years (petroleum refining, jet engines, gas turbine blades); (u) Silver: 11 years; (v) Thalium: 38 years; (w) Tin: 18 years; (x) Tungsten: 32 years; (y) Uranium: 34 years (primary energy source, weapons); (z) Zinc: 13 years; (aa) Zirconium: 19 years (nuclear power plants, jet engines, gas turbine blades).
Scarcity concludes “Our Next Normal is Catastrophe”: Our AnthroCorpocentric worldview does not recognize that “from a broader ecological perspective, all human economics and politics are irrelevant,” to “paraphrase Thoreau, we are ‘thrashing at the economic and political branches of our predicament, rather than hacking at the ecological root.’”
“Because the underlying cause associated with our transition from prosperity to austerity is ecological (geological), not economic or political, our incessant barrage of economic and political “fixes” are misguided and inconsequential. Our national economies are not “broken”; they are “dying of slow starvation” for lack of sufficient economically viable NNR inputs.
“Our industrial lifestyle paradigm, which is enabled by enormous quantities of finite, non-replenishing, and increasingly scarce NNRs, is unsustainable, i.e. physically impossible – going forward.
“Global humanity‘s steadily deteriorating condition will culminate in self-inflicted global societal collapse, almost certainly by the year 2050. We will not accept gracefully our new normal of ever-increasing, geologically-imposed austerity; nor will we suffer voluntarily the horrifically painful population level reductions and material living standard degradation associated with our inevitable transition to a sustainable, pre-industrial lifestyle paradigm.
“All industrialized and industrializing nations, irrespective of their economic and political orientations, are unsustainable and will collapse in the not-too-distant future as a consequence of their dependence upon increasingly scarce NNRs.
We can voluntarily reduce population and consumption, or NNR scarcity depletion will force it upon us, in our inevitable transition to a sustainable, pre-industrial lifestyle paradigm.
Natural Resources and Human Evolution:
During the past 2+ million years, humanity—Homo sapiens and our hominid predecessors—evolved through three major lifestyle paradigms: hunter-gatherer, agrarian, and industrial.
Each of the three paradigms is readily distinguishable from the other two in terms of its worldview, natural resource utilization behavior, and resulting level of societal wellbeing—i.e., attainable population levels and material living standards.
The Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle Paradigm:
The hunter-gatherer (HG) lifestyle paradigm spanned over 2 million years, from the time that our hominid ancestors first stood erect on the continent of Africa to approximately 8,000 BC. HG societies consisted of small nomadic clans, typically numbering between 50 and 100 individuals, who subsisted primarily on naturally occurring vegetation and wildlife.
The HG lifestyle can best be described as subsistence living for a relatively constant population that probably never exceeded 5 million globally. Hunter-gatherers produced few manmade goods beyond the necessities required for their immediate survival, and they generated no appreciable wealth surplus.
The HG worldview revered Nature as the provider of life and subsistence, a perspective that fostered a passive lifestyle orientation through which hunter-gatherers sought to live—albeit somewhat exploitatively—within the environmental context defined by Nature. The HG resource mix consisted almost entirely of renewable natural resources such as water and naturally occurring edible plant life and wildlife.
The Agrarian Lifestyle Paradigm:
The agrarian lifestyle paradigm commenced in approximately 8,000 BC and lasted until approximately 1700 AD, when England initiated what was to become the industrial revolution.
Agrarian societies existed primarily by raising cultivated crops and domesticated livestock.
The agrarian worldview perceived Nature as something to be augmented through human effort, by domesticating naturally occurring plant and animal species. The agrarian lifestyle orientation was proactive in the sense that it sought to improve upon what Nature provided.
While modest wealth surpluses were sometimes generated by agrarian populations, agrarian existence typically offered little more in the way of material living standards for the vast majority of agrarian populations than did the HG lifestyle—although the global agrarian population did increase significantly, reaching nearly 800 million by 1750 AD.
The agrarian resource mix consisted primarily of RNRs, which were increasingly overexploited by ever-expanding, permanently-settled agrarian populations. As agrarian cultivation and grazing practices became increasingly intensive, renewable natural resource reserves were increasingly depleted and natural habitats were increasingly degraded as well.
The Industrial Lifestyle Paradigm:
The inception of the industrial lifestyle paradigm occurred with England’s industrial revolution in the early 18th century, less than 300 years ago.
Today, over 1.5 billion people—approximately 22% of the world’s 6.9 billion total population—is considered “industrialized”; and nearly three times that many people actively aspire to an industrialized way of life.
Our industrialized world is characterized by an incomprehensibly complex mosaic of interdependent yet independently operating human and non-human entities and infrastructure.
These entities must function continuously, efficiently, and collectively at the local, regional, national, and global levels in order to convert natural resource inputs into the myriad goods and services that enable our modern industrial way of life.
[Note that failures within the industrial mosaic can disrupt, temporarily or permanently, the flow of societal essentials—water, food, energy, shelter, and clothing—to broad segments of our global population.]
Tremendous wealth surpluses are typically generated by industrialized societies; such wealth surpluses are actually required to enable the historically unprecedented material living standards enjoyed by increasingly large segments of ever-expanding industrialized populations.
The industrialized worldview perceives Nature as something to be harnessed through industrial processes and infrastructure, in order to enhance the human condition. It is an exploitive worldview that seeks to use natural resources and habitats as the means to continuously improve human societal wellbeing—that is, to provide continuously improving material living standards for ever-increasing numbers of ever-expanding human populations.
The resource mix associated with today’s industrialized societies is heavily skewed toward nonrenewable natural resources, which, in addition to renewable natural resources and natural habitats, have been increasingly overexploited since the dawn of the industrial revolution.
It is precisely this persistent overexploitation of natural resources and natural habitats—especially NNRs—that has enabled the “success” associated with the industrial lifestyle paradigm—success being defined here as continuous increases in both human population levels and human material living standards.
Nonrenewable Natural Resources—the Enablers of Industrialization:
Our industrial lifestyle paradigm is enabled by nonrenewable natural resources (NNRs)—energy resources, metals, and minerals. Both the support infrastructure within industrialized nations and the raw material inputs into industrialized economies consist almost entirely of NNRs; NNRs are the primary sources of the tremendous wealth surpluses required to perpetuate industrialized societies.
As a case in point, the percentage of NNR inputs into the US economy increased from less than 10% in the year 1800, which corresponds roughly with the inception of the American industrial revolution, to approximately 95% today. Between 1800 and today, America’s total annual NNR utilization level increased from approximately 4 million tons to nearly 7 billion tons—an increase of over 1700 times!
In the absence of enormous and ever-increasing NNR supplies, the 1.2 billion people who currently enjoy an industrialized way of life will cease to do so; and the billions of people aspiring to an industrialized way of life will fail to realize their goal.
Implications of Increasing Global NNR Scarcity:
Increasing NNR Scarcity:
Available supplies associated with an overwhelming majority of NNRs—including bauxite, copper, iron ore, magnesium, manganese, nickel, phosphate rock, potash, rare earth metals, tin, and zinc—have reached their domestic US peak extraction levels, and are in terminal decline.16 Based on the evidence presented above, available supplies associated with a vast majority of NNRs are becoming increasingly scarce globally as well.
Because global NNR supplies are transitioning from “continuously more and more” to “continuously less and less”, our global societal wellbeing levels— our economic activity levels, population levels, and material living standards—are transitioning from “continuously more and more” to “continuously less and less” as well.
Sustainability is Inevitable:
“Business as usual” (industrialism), “stasis” (no growth), “downscaling” (reducing NNR utilization), and “moving toward sustainability” (feel good initiatives) are not options; we will be sustainable…
It is difficult to argue that our incessant quest for global industrialization and the natural resource utilization behavior that enables our quest are inherently evil. We have simply applied our everexpanding knowledge and technology over the past several centuries toward dramatically improving our level of societal wellbeing, through our ever-increasing utilization of NNRs.
However, despite our possibly justifiable naïveté during our meteoric rise to “exceptionalism”, and despite the fact that our predicament was undoubtedly an unintended consequence of our efforts to continuously improve the material living standards enjoyed by our ever-expanding global population; globally available, economically viable supplies associated with the NNRs required to perpetuate our industrial lifestyle paradigm will not be sufficient going forward.
Our Transition to Sustainability:
Humanity’s transition to a sustainable lifestyle paradigm, within which a drastically reduced human population will rely exclusively on renewable natural resources (RNRs)—water, soil (farmland), forests, and other naturally occurring biota—is therefore inevitable. Our choice is not whether we “wish to be sustainable”; our choice involves the process by which we “will become sustainable”.
We can choose to alter fundamentally our existing unsustainable natural resource utilization behavior and transition voluntarily to a sustainable lifestyle paradigm over the next several decades. In the process, we would cooperate globally in utilizing remaining accessible NNRs to orchestrate a relatively gradual—but horrifically painful nonetheless—transition, thereby optimizing our population level and material living standards both during our transition and at sustainability. Or, we can refrain from taking preemptive action and allow Nature to orchestrate our transition to sustainability through societal collapse, thereby experiencing catastrophic reductions in our population level and material living standards.
The Squeeze is On:
It would be convenient if our unraveling were to occur in 1,000 years, or 500 years, or even 50 years. We could then dismiss it as a concern for future generations and go busily about improving our national and global societal wellbeing levels in the meantime. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The Great Recession was a tangible manifestation of our predicament—NNR scarcity was epidemic in 2008, both domestically (US) and globally. Our unraveling is in process. At present, however, only an extremely small minority of the global populace understands that NNR scarcity is the fundamental cause underlying our predicament and its derivative economic and political problems. When the general public becomes aware of this fact and of the fact that NNR scarcity is a permanent, ever-increasing, and unsolvable phenomenon, collapse will ensue in short order.
NNR’s which have peaked and in decline ‘at risk’ – i.e. years to global exhaustion of reserves – are: (a) Antimony: 8 yrs (used for starter lights ignition batteries in cars and trucks; (b) Bauxite: 40 years (only economically viable feedstock for aluminium); (c) Bismuth: 17 years (non-toxic substitute for lead in solder and plumbing fixtures); (d) Cadmium: 25 years; (e) Chromium: 26 years (stainless steel, jet engines and gas turbines); (f) Coal: 40 years (electricity generation); (g) Cobalt: 26 years (gas turbine blades, jet aircraft engines, batteries); (h) Copper: 27 years; (i) Fluorspar: 23 years (feedstock for fluorine bearing chemicals, aluminium and uranium processing); (j) Graphite (Natural): 23 years; (k) Iron Ore: 15 years (only feedstock for iron and steel); (l) Lead: 17 years; (m) Lithium: 8 years (aircraft parts, mobile phones, batteries for electrical vehicles); (n) Manganese: 17 years (stainless steel, gasoline additive, dry cell batteries); (o) Molybdenum: 20 years (aircraft parts, electrical contacts, industrial motors, tool steels); (p) Natural Gas: 34 years; (q) Nickel: 30 years; (r) Niobium: 15 years (jet and rocket engines, turbines, superconducting magnets); (s) Oil: 39 years; (t) Rhenium: 22 years (petroleum refining, jet engines, gas turbine blades); (u) Silver: 11 years; (v) Thalium: 38 years; (w) Tin: 18 years; (x) Tungsten: 32 years; (y) Uranium: 34 years (primary energy source, weapons); (z) Zinc: 13 years; (aa) Zirconium: 19 years (nuclear power plants, jet engines, gas turbine blades).
 Clugston (2012) (p.127): “The AnthroCorpocentric perspective considers the philosophy, processes, and activities by which natural resource inputs to a society‘s economy are converted into goods and services outputs (wealth creation). It also considers the philosophy, processes, and activities by which goods and services (wealth) are allocated among a society‘s population. The fundamental assumption underlying the prevailing AnthroCorpocentric perspective is that notwithstanding periodic temporary shortfalls, natural resource inputs and natural habitat waste absorption capacities will remain sufficient to perpetuate global industrialism indefinitely.‘ – Scarcity, Clugston Chris (pg. 127)
 Bartlett (1993) (1996/09) (1999/01) (2002); Hardin (1999);
 Hardin (1985); Bartlett (2006/09); Guillebaud (2007); Leahy (2003)
 “The ecological perspective considers natural resource inputs and natural habitat waste absorption capacities as the ultimate limiting factors governing a society‘s economic/political processes and activities, its attainable economic output (GDP) level, and its attainable level of societal wellbeing—i.e., the material living standards enjoyed by the society‘s population.” – Scarcity, Clugston C (127)
 Bartlett (2006/09); Clugston (2012): Peak NNR: “NNRs are finite; and as their name implies, NNR reserves are not replenished on a time scale that is relevant to humans. More unfortunately, economically viable supplies associated with the vast majority of NNRs that enable our industrialized way of life are becoming increasingly scarce, both domestically (US) and globally. While there will always be ―plenty of NNR’s in the ground, there will not always be ―plenty of economically viable NNR’s in the ground. In fact, there are ―no longer enough economically viable NNR’s in the ground to enable continuous improvement in human societal wellbeing at historical rates.” – Clugston, C: Scarcity
 Scarcity (p.4)
 Clugston Chris: Scarcity: Humanity‘s Final Chapter: The realities, choices and likely outcomes associated with ever-increasing non-renewable natural resource scarcity, page 4
 On February 11, 2006 Deffeyes claimed world oil production peaked on December 16, 2005
 Deffeyes (2006): “The economists all think that if you show up at the cashier’s cage with enough currency, God will put more oil in ground.”
 Ruppert (2004): p.24: ―We eat oil. It is a little known fact that for every 1 calorie of food energy produced, 10 calories of hydrocarbons are consumed.‘
 Clugston, Chris: Scarcity: Humanity‘s Final Chapter: The realities, choices and likely outcomes associated with ever-increasing non-renewable natural resource scarcity (Booklocker.com Inc 2012). Scarcity is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary assessment of the realities, choices, and likely outcomes associated with ever-increasing non-renewable natural resource (NNR) scarcity. NNRs are the fossil fuels, metals, and non-metallic minerals that enable our industrialized existence.
 Clugston, C: Scarcity: Preface, pg. ix
 Clugston, C: Scarcity: Preface, pg. 103-104
 Clugston, C: Scarcity: Preface, pg. 103-104