Letter Re: Resource Scarcity in the Near Future

Here is an excerpt from an article I read in “Fast Company” that provides some insight to the “Coming Collapse” The full version can be found here http://www.fastcompany.com/subscr/113/open_fast50-essay.html: “Water provides a typical example: By 2030, more than one in three human beings will not have enough to drink, or will run the risk of dying by drinking what they’ve got. Today, the prospect of such scarcity is causing countries to mine so-called fossil water from deep aquifers that were formed millions of years ago. Parts of India are pumping water at twice the recharge rate, causing water tables to fall between one and three meters per year. However, there is not much of an alternative: If India gave up groundwater mining, its grain production would likely fall by 25%, leaving it incapable of feeding itself. Nobody knows precisely how long this can continue, but the answer will be measured in decades, not centuries. Its little wonder that the World Bank says freshwater scarcity may well become one of the major factors limiting development in the years ahead.
Resource scarcity is going to be a front-page business issue as well, affecting industries from transportation to electronics. According to estimates by the International Institute for Environment and Development, at today’s levels of production, there may be only another 28 years’ worth of copper in the ground, another 21 years’ worth of lead, a 17-year supply of silver, and 37 years’ worth of tin. We will certainly get better at extracting, recycling, efficiently using, and finding replacements for these materials, but it is likely that basic industrial inputs will come under increasing pressure in the decades to come. A shortage of industrial-grade silicon, for instance, has recently spooked both the solar-cell industry and Silicon Valley. Moore’s Law never assumed we would run out of sand.
Worse, the most worrisome trends are interrelated and self-compounding. Consider population growth and energy use: Over the past half-century, the consumption of energy worldwide has grown more than 400%, far outstripping overall population growth. The reason is simple: As people move up the economic ladder, they use more “discretionary energy” on everything from heated floors to trips to Vegas. Improving energy efficiency does not begin to address this gap–lighting your home with compact fluorescent bulbs will not make much of a difference if you (or your neighbors) move into a higher-wattage McMansion every year.
Apply this insight at a global scale, and things quickly become alarming. As enormous, rapidly growing and developing countries such as China and India seek to swell their middle classes in the coming decades, their energy demands will increase geometrically, not linearly. China intends to add at least 250 million citizens to its middle class, and create a well-to-do society by 2020, with a per capita income for the whole country that is five times the present one. In the meantime, China continues to burn almost one-third of all the coal mined from planet Earth to meet its annual needs, making Chinese cities among the most polluted and China the world’s second-largest source of CO2 emissions. And that’s today: What happens when all those new Chinese middle-class consumers decide to drive to work? Are they any less entitled to the lifestyle model we’ve exported around the globe?”

Along with many other sources this confirms why ammunition has increased 10% across the board this year, and why silver is slowly, yet steadily rising. Here in Southern California there are increasing incidents of copper piping stolen from the rooftops of businesses. With fewer resources, available crime and desperation will increase. It is just a matter a time before our economy along with the rest of the world collapses in on it’s self.

I have to mention as well that I received your book “Rawles on Retreats and Relocation”. I have read it several times and have found it to be a great resource. I plan to sell my house here in Southern California and set up shop in one of your recommended retreat states. I have a brother who is a crew chief for the A-10 Warthog and a dynamite car mechanic. He plans to live near us when we find our retreat. I am seeking to “exit” my government job and start my own business. I have lost my faith in my Government backing up LEOs, such as the case with Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Copean. – Mike F.