Proposal for a Comprehensive Analysis of Global Nonrenewable Natural Resource Scarcity

Below the fold is a proposal written by Chris Clugston relating to developing a better analysis of our non-renewable resources, that he would like our assistance on, in three ways:

  1. Finding an organization that would be willing to conduct such a study.
  2. Finding organizations that would be willing to fund such a study.
  3. Providing feedback on the proposal itself. Should it be modified in any way?

Today, we are featuring two different posts on closely related topics. (1) This post, which relates to a proposal for an analysis which would cover a wide range of minerals, and (2) A report by Rembrandt about a group in Europe which seems to be doing at least some things fairly closely related to what Chris is discussing in his proposal, but probably on a more limited basis.

Proposal for a Comprehensive Analysis of Global Nonrenewable Natural Resource Scarcity

Nonrenewable natural resources (NNRs)—energy resources, metals, and minerals—are the lifeblood of industrialized civilization; they are the enablers of the “way of life” that we in the “developed” world have come to take for granted, and to which billions in the “developing world” aspire. As a case in point, approximately 95% of the material flows into the US economy each year are NNRs. In the absence of continuously available supplies of enormous quantities of NNRs, industrialized societies would cease to exist.


Because NNR supplies are finite—NNR reserves are not replenished by Nature—NNR supplies will become increasingly scarce, given persistent extraction, as reserves are depleted toward exhaustion. Such has been the case in the US, and compelling evidence supports the contention that NNRs are becoming increasingly scarce on a global level as well. (See -; and Appendix A below.)

Since global NNR scarcity is occurring now, and since global NNR scarcity will undermine, if not preclude, the population levels and material living standards associated with today’s industrialized and industrializing nations, it is critical that we understand the extent to which global NNR scarcity exists today and the extent to which it is likely to exist in the immediate future.

A comprehensive and objective analysis of global NNR scarcity spanning the period from 1950 to 2050 must be conducted, as the fundamental prerequisite to informed planning and policy development at the local, national, and global levels. The analysis must incorporate the best available data, analytical tools, and expertise.


1. Identify factors, trends, and milestones regarding global NNR demand, supply, and utilization that have impacted or will impact NNR scarcity during the 1950-2050 time period. Specifics per NNR include demand and supply factors that determine global NNR utilization levels:

  • Socio-economic factors, trends, and milestones that determine NNR demand, e.g., population levels, per capita goods and services consumption levels (material living standards), economic stability, new technologies, new NNR applications, NNR substitution, conservation initiatives, and productivity increases.
  • Geological factors, trends, and milestones that determine NNR supply, e.g., discovery levels, “reserve growth” levels, extraction (production) levels, and recycling levels.
  • Geopolitical factors, trends, and milestones that determine NNR supply, e.g., political stability, NNR husbanding, and NNR exploration and production (E&P) investment.

2. Assess the “adequacy” associated with available NNR supplies going forward. Specific considerations per NNR include:

  • Will NNR supplies be sufficient to meet NNR demand through the year 2050?
    • If “no”, when is an NNR supply shortfall (demand exceeds supply) likely to occur?
    • If “yes”, will NNR supplies be sufficiently affordable in terms of financial costs, energy costs, and other natural resource costs to perpetuate an industrialized lifestyle paradigm?
  • What is the likely status of each NNR in the year 2050?
    • Abundant: NNR supply is likely to comfortably exceed demand beyond 2050.
    • Scarce: NNR supply is likely to be struggling to keep pace with demand by 2050.
    • Insufficient: NNR demand is likely to exceed supply by 2050; an NNR supply shortfall is likely to occur by 2050.

3. Assess the implications associated with global NNR scarcity on the future of industrialized human existence. Specific considerations include:

  • What are the likely impacts of NNR scarcity on industrialized and industrializing nations during the analysis period, and beyond?
  • What preemptive actions can be taken to mitigate the lifestyle disruptions—population level reductions and material living standard degradation—associated with NNR scarcity?


Conduct a 101 year (1950-2050) global NNR scarcity analysis associated with each energy resource, metal, and mineral for which the USGS and/or other reputable organizations maintain global demand, supply, utilization, and pricing data. (See - - and - - for the approximately 90 NNRs monitored by the USGS; add coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium.)

Use actual NNR data for the 1950 to 2009 period; develop “best available” forecasts for the 2010 to 2050 period. Consider three future scenarios: conservative, probable, and optimistic. Create, as the core of the analysis, a set of NNR profiles, each of which will contain historical and projected NNR data for a specific NNR over the 101 year period:

Global Nonrenewable Natural Resource (NNR) Profile

NNR Profile Element Historical Data
Future Projections
NNR Reserve Level    
Beginning Proven NNR Reserve Level    
Annual NNR Supply-side Reserve Adjustments    
New NNR Discoveries    
“Proved Up” NNRs from Previous Discoveries    
Newly Recycled NNRs    
Administrative NNR Reserve Revisions    
Total Annual NNR Supply-side Reserve Adjustments    
Annual NNR Demand-side Reserve Adjustments    
Primary NNR Utilization    
Primary NNR Extraction    
Primary NNR Inventory Change    
Total Primary NNR Utilization    
Recycled NNR Utilization    
Total Annual NNR Demand-side Reserve Adjustments    
Ending Proven NNR Reserve Level    
NNR Reserve Quality    
Geological Reserve Quality    
Geopolitical Reserve Quality    
NNR Price    

Definitions: See Appendix B for NNR Profile Element Definitions

Appendix A: Major Metals Scarcity

Following is a summary table from a work-in-process being conducted in conjunction with Dr. David Roper from Virginia Tech University. It contains projected global peak extraction (production) years and global peak supply years for 19 major metals (plus phosphate rock) based upon Verhulst curve fitting.

The results are disturbing—sufficiently disturbing that the exercise must be expanded to include all NNRs for which reliable data exist and reworked to include the best available NNR demand, supply, and utilization projections going forward.

In the most optimistic future NNR supply scenario, which includes estimated recycled NNR quantities in addition to estimated NNR quantities remaining to be extracted, global supplies associated with 14 of the 20 NNRs are projected to peak by the year 2050. In the most conservative scenario, which employs estimated NNR “reserves” as the measure of NNR quantities remaining to be extracted, global extraction (production) levels associated with 19 of the 20 NNRs are projected to peak by the year 2035.

Peak Global Extraction (Production) Level and Supply Level Estimates for Major Metals

Metal (Plus Phosphate Rock) [Metric Tons]
Peak-to-Date Year Estimated “Ultimate” Global Peak Year
US Peak Extraction To Date Global Peak Extraction To Date Est. Peak Extraction (Using USGS Reserves Data) Est. Peak Extraction
(Using USGS Reserve Base Data)
Est. Peak Supply (Recycling Included)
Bauxite 1981 2008
(205M MT)
(900M MT)
(1,400M MT)
(4,100M MT)
Cadmium 1969 1988
(22K MT)
1988 2002
(26K MT)
Chromium 1959 2007
(6.6M MT)
(7.7M MT)
(8.5M MT)
(20M MT)
Cobalt 1958 2008
(71.8K MT)
(68K MT)
(70K MT)
(130K MT)
Copper 1998 2008
(15.7M MT)
(37M MT)
Gold 1998 2001
(2.6K MT)
(2.1K MT)
(2.3K MT)
(4.2K MT)
Iron Ore 1951 2008
(2.2B MT)
(2.5B MT)
(3.9B MT)
(8.7B MT)
Lead 1970 2008
(3.8M MT)
(3.4M MT)
(16.8M MT)
Lithium 1954 2008
(27.4K MT)
(86K MT)
(57K MT)
(195K MT)
Manganese 1918 2008
(14M MT)
(18M MT)
(73M MT)
(51M MT)
Mercury 1943 1971 1971
Molybdenum 1980 2008
(212K MT)
(175K MT)
(180K MT)
(290K MT)
Nickel 1997 2007
(1.7M MT)
(1.75M MT)
(1.85M MT)
(7.5M MT)
PGM 2002 2006
(513 MT)
(440 MT)
(440 MT)
(790 MT)
Phosphate Rock 1980 2008
(167M MT)
(147M MT)
(158M MT)
Silver 1916 2008
(20.9K MT)
(15K MT)
(16K MT)
(28.5K MT)
Tin 1945 2008
(333K MT)
(333K MT)
(730K MT)
(675K MT)
Titanium 1964 2007
(10M MT)
(7.9M MT)
(9M MT)
(20M MT)
Tungsten 1955 2004
(66.6K MT)
(44K MT)
(53K MT)
(155K MT)
Zinc 1969 2008
(11.3M MT)
(9M MT)
(10.3M MT)
(13.1M MT)

Sources: USGS data - and; and Dr. David Roper’s Mineral Depletion page -

Appendix B: NNR Profile Element Definitions

  • Proven NNR Reserve Level includes below ground (yet-to-be extracted) proven NNR reserves, recycled but unused NNR inventories/stocks, and previously extracted primary NNR inventories/stocks.
  • New NNR Discoveries measure new “finds” of previously unknown NNR deposits that can be classified as “proven reserves”.
  • “Proved Up” NNRs from Previous Discoveries measure “reserve growth” attributable to technology improvements that enable the reclassification of “uneconomical” or “inaccessible” resources to “economical” or “accessible”; and to subsequent successful exploration in previously discovered fields/deposits.
  • Newly Recycled NNRs consist of new scrap and old scrap processed during the year.
  • Administrative NNR Reserve Revisions are updated proven reserve estimates based on new data or new geological analyses, and are incremental to new NNR discoveries, “prove ups” associated with previous NNR discoveries, and NNR recycling.
  • Primary NNR Utilization is the quantity of newly extracted (current and previous years) NNRs utilized (consumed) during the year.
  • Primary NNR Extraction is the total newly extracted NNRs (virgin ore) extracted from mines, wells, or other deposits during the year.
  • Primary NNR Inventory Change is the change in the stocks of yet-to-be utilized NNRs extracted during previous years. NNR inventories can be owned by private, commercial, or government entities.
  • Recycled NNR Utilization is the quantity of recycled NNRs utilized (consumed) during the year.
  • Geological Reserve Quality is a measure of the average “geological goodness” associated with an NNR reserve at a given point in time. Specific geological reserve quality measures can vary per NNR, but must be constant per NNR over time in order to permit time series comparisons. [Geological reserve quality is the “average” quality of the NNR deposits that comprise the reserve at a given time. Geological factors that determine NNR deposit quality include: size (ultimately recoverable resource), concentration (ore grade), accessibility, proximity to the earth’s surface, and proximity to infrastructure.]
  • Geopolitical Reserve Quality: is a measure of the average “geopolitical goodness” associated with an NNR reserve at a given point in time. [Geopolitical reserve quality is the “average” quality of the NNR deposits that comprise the reserve at a given time. Geopolitical factors that determine NNR quality include: political stability and economic stability.]
  • NNR Price is the average annual global NNR price expressed in constant USD.

An admirable goal. I imagine that there are plenty of 'interested parties' who would pay for this research to be conducted, but that might severely undermine the impartiality of the results. You would expect that governments would be more than willing to pay for this analysis, especially given the potential gravity of the results and commensurate costs of handling the problem poorly.

That said, most of the big commodity companies probably have all this information in house - it is in their interests to know the facts, even if their public persona is a carefully constructed false message.

And, to stretch the conspiracy further, what is the odds that most western governments have this information already but are carefully managing the public perception of the problem? If they do, then any attempt to shed light on the situation might be suppressed...

I am currently working with the USGS data and will be setting up a "Minerals Export Databrowser" based on those data. The first plot type will be the simple production/consumption, import/export familiar from the Energy Export Databrowser.

I would be interested in hearing about any international datasets containing similar data or any other plot types or analyses that would be of interest in such a tool.

-- Jon

Jon -- Does the Survey data cover only Federal leases or does it now include any of the commercial data sets?


Here's the pertinent information from the USGS page:

The USGS collects data on a monthly, quarterly, semiannual, and annual basis from more than 18,000 minerals-related producer and consumer establishments that cooperate with the USGS. These companies voluntarily complete about 40,000 canvass forms that survey production, consumption, recycling, stocks, shipments, and other essential information. Data are also gathered from site visits, memberships on domestic and international minerals-related committees, and coordination with other government organizations and trade associations.

They don't mention how many establishments don't cooperate.

This is one of those cases where I have to trust that the USGS is doing as good a job as they can. From my perspective, the consistency and historical longevity of this dataset is unlikely to be matched by other possible sources. But I'm all ears if anyone has suggestions -- especially for international data.

-- Jon

This dataset is not a panacea, however. Here is one of the notes accompanying the Lithium data:

For the years 1929, 1931, 1932, and 1955 to the most recent, production data were withheld to avoid disclosure of individual company confidential data.

Secrecy is still the order of the day for corporate information.

-- Jon

Jon -- The Survey doesn't need anyone's cooperation to access the US production data base. All the data is available online from a number of private companies (Search "Drilling Info" of these companies). Just pay a subscription fee (I'm sure the yearly fee is much less then the Survey spends on copy paper in a month). For many decades all the oil/NG producing states (except for Kentucky) have required detailed stats on every well producing in the country in addition to every dry hole drilled. You want to know how much oil was produced in Texas on 15 December 1971? It will takes about 4 mouse clicks to pull it up in less than 10 seconds. There is zero mysteries to the production history of oil/NG is the US. In addition to the production data millions of pieces of original data exists in publicly available "libraries". The Feds collect a similar data base from all operators on federal leases...a legal requirement. And if you want to save yourself some time search the archives of the publications of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Society of Petroleum Engineers as well as regional geological societies. Also search the publications of all the state agencies like the Bureau of Economic geology in Texas. They have master and PhD students studying oil/Ng all the time. You'll find many tens of thousands of detailed reports of fields in the US. Geologist just love to brag about the efforts. You'll find reports probably covering, at various points in time, exactly what you're try to put together. I doubt that any industry in the US has anything close to the amount of publicly available data on its inner workings as the energy industry. You'll could spend at least several months working full time just to inventory the data available.

Perhaps folks haven't thought about it but these data bases have been THE source of info the industry has used for many decades to explore in the US. Even an ExxonMobil depends upon these data sources to conduct their business. ExxonMobil thinks they might want to drill a well in Chambers County ,Texas. How do they know someone else hasn't already drilled a well there? ExxonMobil doesn't spot wells on their maps as they are drilled. Again, private companies maintains this data base and sells maps to anyone with a checkbook.

As far as info for the rest of the world I'm not aware of any data base that comes close to what we have. In fact, I can see no way one could even consider doing a global study based upon actual production history. Go to the Fed's MMS site and you can pull up exactly how much oil/NG has been produced from every field on every federal lease...and that's free. In the KSA it's a crime punishable by prison if a citizen supplies such info. And the international oil companies aren't going to help you either. In addition to not giving their competitors sensitive info they are often prevented by the concession agreement to make such info public.

Bottom line: the only credible way to estimate the production profile of the entire world IMHO is to study the efforts of so many hard working folks at TOD. And I'm not kissing up to these folks. I've seen nothing to compare to the collective efforts of TOD that comes anywhere close to guestimating where we are on the global decline curve.

What you say suggests that we should have the greatest set of data imaginable, yet if you look at what the UK or Norway supplies, it essentially makes the USA look second-rate with regards to openness of data. For example, yearly production data of every one of the UK fields is readily available. This is a great lab data set to do interesting analysis with.

Whether this is due to complacency or fear on the part of anybody (academic geologist, government geologists, etc) willing to do it, I cannot tell.

If I was king: The first step would be to get yearly data on every one of the more than 35,000 fields, including all the small fields. The small fields won't make a fundamental dent in the ultimate production, but they tell a lot about the nature of the distribution.

Web -- You're uncharacteristically a little off track here. First, I don't think I suggested anything. Just stated the publicly available facts. Name any field, or even any well, in Texas or La and I'll send you a monthly production schedule for any year you pick (we only subscribe to those two states). Doesn't matter if there 200 wells in the field or just one. I use the Drilling Info data base. All on an Excel spreadsheets so you handle the numbers as you wish. Our subscription runs around $15,000/yr. Additionally there are annual reports put out by most oil/NG producing states that not only give the production for each field but breaks down new wells, secondary recovery projects, etc. Available at Houston public library for free. Texas and La. offer similar reports to the public at a very nominal fee. The Texas Bureau of Economic Geology at the Un. of Texas has a web site where you can view hundreds of reports on fields and production studies done by them. Most are less then $10. Drop your credit card on them and they'll load you down with enough data to keep you hunkered down all winter.

For offshore Federal leases there's another publicly available data base called OWL. You can pull up individual monthly well production on every well ever produced in Federal waters.

I don't know anything about UK or Norway data base availability but I can promise you no one has a better publicly available data base the US. The only odd glitch is Kentucky. For some unexplainable reason they've never required operators to report their production volumes. OTOH, they represent just a small percentage of US cum.

And as I mentioned, if you research all oil/NG publicly available publications you can find many detailed field reports as well as well as various production compilations. There are no secrets regarding US oil/NG production. The only exception would be Texas and La. where an operator can request that proprietary data for a new well (that they are required by law to submit) be held confidential for 1 to 2 years. But all production data is available regardless.

If the boys at the USGS want to make the public think they are doing something special as far as researching US oil/NG production history that's OK. I'm sure it's an ongoing struggle there to justify their salaries especially in light of some the absurd projections they make. The gov't is not the vangard responsble for tracking US oil/NG production. never has been. Never will be. It's the oil companies. And not because they care about the public dissemination of the info. This data base truly has been the life blood of the industry. Without access the US oil industry would be a very faint shadow of what it is today.

That was just my impression. I am glad to hear that you are optimistic that one can get the data. Again, my number one priority is to place the production history of the >35,00 online in a public repository. I was under the impression that this was hard to get, especially if one looks at how nicely the UK and Norway makes their data available..
For 150 years worth of data, if I spent 1 cent for every yearly data point, this would come out roughly $30,000. If I spent $1 per data point, that would cost me $3 million. How much will this cost?

More importantly for me is the following question: "Even if I do purchase the data, am I at liberty to reformat it and give it away to others?" That is what "open source" truly means.

-- Jon

Good point. I would suggest if we only use the data in a purely statistical way and don't ascribe any personal or ownership info to it, should not be a problem. Case in point -- cell phone records are being used to gauge human travel with few legal issues.

Actually Jon/Web that's what I've often done for a living for much of my career. I'll pull production stats together to help pitch my ideas. Make big flashy brochures and pass them out like peanuts. Put my prospect on my server and email them out detailed production stats and all. Buy a booth at a trade show and show the world. Write a report and have it published in the OIL&GAS Journal.

All fair with the data base owners. Where they'll jump your butt hard is if you go out and start selling their data base to others. The owners know we all cheat a little: pull data for a buddy that doesn't own a subscription. Sorta like driving 3 mph over the speed limit. Still illegal but they don't go after you for it.
I can only assume the USGS and every other gov't agency involved in our energy security rat race has access to the data bases. The cost of the data bases is completely insignificant to the cost of the manpower needed to analyze them. Paying $25,000 or so for the data base is one thing. Paying millions of $'s per year for the staff is a whole nuther game.

As a way of looking at the situation consider how we suffer at TOD with trying to figure out what the exporters are producing in a current month let alone what they've produced over the life times of their fields. But you never see any speculations regarding how much the US is producing today and has produced over time. Dozens of free sites out there right now where you can go pick up that info.

Since global NNR scarcity is occurring now, and since global NNR scarcity will undermine, if not preclude, the population levels and material living standards associated with today’s industrialized and industrializing nations, it is critical that we understand the extent to which global NNR scarcity exists today and the extent to which it is likely to exist in the immediate future.

Fast forward to 2020... we now have unequivocal proof that our global industrial civilization is not sustainable for the 9 billion humans currently on it. So what are we going to do about it? Release the plague? Oh never mind, the 5% of the population controlling the remaining resources are just going to keep them for themselves anyways and the rest are just going to have to do without.

Every Sperm is Sacred {Monty Python's Meaning of Life}

So what are we going to do about it? Release the plague?

One child policy for 2 generations.

The only way one child policy would work is if the bottom 85% of the population of the world stepped up and disassembled the top 5% ruling elite and take control of their future, manage the decline for the best possible, most humane outcome.

Those with wealth will not allow that to happen. Even highly ethical, moral people, if their wealth is at risk will demand that the establishment impose violent control over the majority in order to "preserve their wealth".

Wealth is a claim on the future. No wealth, no future.

Growth is now directly tied to demand destruction and this ratio will increase from here on out. We all know what demand destruction really means.

We all know what demand destruction really means.

Umm,Let's see? Since the highest demand for resources is from the wealthy, if you destroy them then you reduce demand? Sorta like the French Revolution? Oh that's not what you bad.

One child policy for 2 generations.

Ok, how do you propose actually implementing that on a global scale?
That means an awful lot of sacred sperm down the drain, doesn't it?

Could we come up with a plan to provide significant financial incentives to young males who get vasectomies. Can we get the Federal government use tax dollars to fund family planning clinics? Provide free birth control to teenage girls? How do we get the rest of the developing world on board. Do you think the Pope could set an example to the leaders of all the major religions by selling off some of his assets to buy condoms and distribute them in Africa?

I say that none of that will be done. So I think it is more likely that the plague will probably find a way to release itself.


It's not just religions that have an interest in higher populations. Industry wants a large pool of cheap workers, governments want tax payers and soldiers.

What is really surprising to me is how many Americans that can understand the threats inherent in population growth cannot begin to entertain the notion that for the exact same reasons endless economic growth is equally or even more threatening.

As I have pointed out elsewhere, you wouldn't have to wait two generations for population to decline if you could successful reach the goal of one child per couple but not till after the couple is over thirty.

I agree that famine and plague are much more likely to be the mechanisms of population reduction.

Hi Dohboi,

It's not just religions that have an interest in higher populations. Industry wants a large pool of cheap workers, governments want tax payers and soldiers.

This really is a problem - it is easy to identify groups of people who have a vested interest in population growth (for all kinds of reasons) and yet, it is much harder to identify groups of people who have a vested interest in decreasing population growth. Aside from the fact that every person on the planet should understand that the long term survival of our species is dependant upon a greatly reduced global population of humans.

Even many environmental protection organizations are reluctant to make strong statements about this issue - how many major organizations loudly proclaim the need to cut the global human population in half?

They not only want a large pool of cheap workers, they want a significant pool of unemployed so the cheap workers are scared shitless.

A plague is actually a terrible idea. Population will just rebound afterwards.
We could tax children. Instead of a $3500 deduction we have a $3500 penalty.
People would probably turn their kids into orphanages like they did in the 19th century. That should keep the Pope/Catholic clergy happy.

Everybody wins!

A plague is actually a terrible idea. Population will just rebound afterwards.

Good point! We need something more permanent that the population can't rebound from. I'm sure we could come up with something.

That should keep the Pope/Catholic clergy pedophiles happy.

I'm sure it would.

maj -- Unfortunately that practice is a little more current. In 1999 my daughter was left on the steps of a post office in Juijiang, China. That's the common practice in China: abandon the babies at the front doors of public buildings. Illegal, technically, but just like our speed limits infractions are ignored...for a while. The monetary fine approach won't work with the poor in China: no money to pay. But they get to them in other ways: difficult to function in China without a "permit": can't rent a home, take a job, etc. The neighborhood watch keeps an eye out for babies. They don't harass pregnant women as a rule. But if the baby isn't dumped at an orphanage(or worse...I'll skip that option) in a day or two then the penalty phase begins. I'll also skip the primary function of the orphanages too.

Reducing the world's population by gov't mandate can look rather clean on paper. The reality is a tad different.

Dear Rockman.... I am living in the Philippines on the island of Mindinao. I have seen this first hand... seen my first real.... no kidding... starving baby... uncovered the plot by the family to "let the baby go" (kill the baby by drowning). The baby is alive and doing well 6 months on... seen a 10y/o girl clutching her birth certificate in the market where her mother left her and a 2y/o boy at the bus station abandoned by the family that could not feen him.... this stuff crushes me... but I would rather live with great emotion then otherwise.... I appreciate your compassion....
Regards... TG80 sends

TG80 thanks for sharing the human aspect. Being not alive is not hard - at least I don't remember all the eons before I was born one way or the other. Living can be very hard as more and more in the first world are learning and the 3rd world knows all too well. Dying can be very hard too. To not have a child now is the greatest kindness one can do for the child they might have had.

Rough memories for sure TG. My only defense is a world class ability to compartmentalize. And then forget, as best as possible, those ugly little compartments.

Heads up everyone, keep your eye on the ball.

Depletion of resources/our way of living is the engine of the train. The engine is going over Hubbert's peak. The cars following (we all) are going with it. Engine is not guaranteed to stay on the track going down.

All alarms were designed for the trip up. Usefulness on the way down is not guaranteed.

If going up the peak was about getting/having more, will going down mean the opposite?

All safety measures were designed for the trip up. Feel free to jump from the train should that appear to be the safest course of action for you. Disclaimer: it is not possible for everyone who wants to jump to jump; nor will jumping ensure you a different experience. Individual results will vary.

At the end of the trip, population will be adjusted. No plan necessary.

China started their 1 child per family policy in 1979
Here are the results - note that their population today is almost twice what it was in 1960.
looks to me like the population slowed only slightly.

Why not more? One thing I have read is that with increased prosperity and families smaller old people are living longer. With more time the population should start to decrease. But one child per family is probably not enough worldwide to save us from some depopulating event, whether by human action or action by the rest of nature. We are way to late for this and for most actions we could have taken to extend BAU. In fact we may have waited too late to preserve our species.

Note in this article below their is a decrease in the number of expected humans in China but as per the chart above the actual number of humans in China has continued to increase

Effects on population growth and fertility rate

Since the introduction of the one-child policy, the fertility rate in China has fallen from over three births per woman in 1980 (already a sharp reduction from more than five births per woman in the early 1970s) to approximately 1.8 births in 2008.[25] (The colloquial term "births per woman" is usually formalized as the Total Fertility Rate (TFR), a technical term in demographic analysis meaning the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if she were to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates through her lifetime.)

In total, the Chinese government estimates that it has three to four hundred million fewer people in 2008, with the one-child policy, than it would have had otherwise.[26][27] Chinese authorities thus consider the policy as a great success in helping to implement China's current economic growth. The reduction in the fertility rate and thus population growth has reduced the severity of problems that come with overpopulation, like epidemics, slums, overwhelmed social services (such as health, education, law enforcement), and strain on the ecosystem from abuse of fertile land and production of high volumes of waste. Even with the one-child policy in place, however, "China still has one million more births than deaths every five weeks."[27

Also note from this link
Birth rate: 13.71 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 7.03 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

0-14 years: 20.1% (male 142,085,665/female 125,300,391) (2008 est.)
15-64 years: 71.9% (male 491,513,378/female 465,020,030) (2008 est.)
65-over: 8% (male 50,652,480/female 55,472,661) (2008 est.)

The disproportionate number of males in the 15-64 age speaks of killing of girl babies, but also means there are going to be a lot of dissatisfied young men around - army material....

oxy -- And if you didn't see my earlier post the Chinese have slang for all those boys that will never have wives: "barren branches". And they are specifically targeted for military recruitment.

But I wonder if the Chinese may become more laxed in pop control as prosperity increases. Today buying a car is a big social step in China. What next: Mcmansions and 2+ kids?

Rockman, missed your post on the boys. Barren branches is about right. But I believe that the only reason China is looking like it is prosperous after the crash of 08 is because the gov't is pumping money into the economy. The count anything that leaves their factories as sold goods even if it only leaves to sit in a warehouse. Or so I have read. No, I think the world's economy is on very shaky ground. When we crash so do they.

A very pertinent topic. This might be good time to rename the blog "The Oil-Mineral-Metal Drum" or simply "The Resource Drum"...

Given that ALL mineral extraction, refining, and reduction process streams rely on and assume fossil carbon, one could paint a pretty gloomy picture, using the methods you suggest.

The basic procedure of heating oxide minerals with coke to make metal plus CO2 (even aluminum production relies on this reaction at the anode) has not changed in centuries, but needs to be re-thought in a wind + solar economy.

A more realistic picture would emerge if you used a free-energy calculation. For each element, take the average crustal abundance, average chemical environment, and estimate a delta G of formation plus dilution.

For example, Aluminum is third most abundant element in the crust, so its delta-G would not be much greater than that of its contribution to calcium-feldspar. Iron is fourth in abundance, and its delta-G is about that of fayalite. The energy required to produce metals from these silicate minerals is not much more than needed for the oxides, and because they are so abundant and widespread, the energy saved on extraction and transportation would make up for it as the oxides become scarce.

It is demonstrated that affluent nations have low birth rate. All European countries have a ratio below 1 and thus decline. To stem the tide immigrants are accepted to keep the industry growing, etc.

Sociologist have shown that the Chinese population stops growing in 2022. But the Indian one will not since there are about 650 Million poor and they need children to make a living. I. Gandi in the 1970s more or less enforced castration (a man got a portable small radio as compensation) but the Western countries opposed this on the grounds of human rights violation. Now India has the largest population of all countries, 1.3 Billions and growing. The affluent middle class has only 1 or max 2 children but this is offset by the enormous lower class birth rate.

There is actually a difference between castration and a vasectomy. Might want to use the right term for what happened in India.

It's been shown that microfinance projects to poor women and access to basic health care and birth control will reduce population rates. In Bangladesh with the establishment of the Grameen bank that loans 95% of its funds to women in poverty, the fertility rate has fallen from 6.6 in 1975 to 3.1 in 2000. No coercion necessary.

I wonder-has any body ever run the fairly simple experiment of simply providing free no questions asked birth control in a place not dominated by an entrenched religious hierarchy?

This would have to be continued for at least a year or two for the results to mean anything. preferably longer for the people to get used to the idea and start participating perhaps.

My personal opinion is that the pope's pronouncements of sex and birth control are honored mostly in the breach once Catholics are reasonably prosperous and I strongly suspect that education and prosperity will prove to be just as effective in lowering birth rates in other cultures if the poverty cycle can be broken.

I live smack dab in the middle of a place where there are more churches than any other kind of building except houses once you get out of town.Every last one of them is lead by a fire and brimston fundamentalist preacher dead set against dancing , let alone premarital sex.Beer is considered to be as dangerous as herion (most people in this area have only a vague idea of what herion is) and we are all either going to heaven or to hell to burn forever according to the gospel as they read it.

I just talked to my sister who is extraordinarily good at extracting information fron the hundreds of people she interviews each month in trying to place them in temporary to permanent jobs thru her employment agency.

She has worked out techniques that get people talking without asking illegal questions along the lines of how far are you willing to consider commuting to get a job that pays nine dollars per hour?Would you consider a temporary minimum wage job if it were really close by?

So people get to talking about thier cars you see.How old , how reliable, how many mpg.

A question about the hours best suited to the applicants needs usually gets them going about thier kids and what time they need to be free to look after them.

Since she takes a sincere interest in her clients and like a good doctor spends more than the absolute minumum time with them she learns a heck of a lot about them and is also by local standards very successful as the operator of a small "small business".But she never writes down the volunteered extra legal data.

So she says that out of the last five hundred or so young (meaning in thier twenties or younger) women she has talked to, most of whom are poorly educated and in fairly hard circumstances financially, only a "very small handful " have three children and virtually none of the ones with with only one or two at present will ever have a third child.This is despite the fact that most of thses women were raised as fumdamentalist Christians and that a very large percentage of them are regular church goers today.

So maybe it's time for those who are sure large families are thr result of religion to back off and think about the birth rate in the American bible belt and in Ireland and Poland and Italy , three of the popes strongholds.

No time to back off, Mackie.

Fundamentalists fight birth control and abortion services making their political lackeys interfere in personal choices in an officially secular country.

The best thing about fundamentalists is their hilarious hypocrisy.

A recent poll showed that 'values-voters' in South Carolina were the group most supportive
of adulterer-Governor Mark Sanford with less than 33% saying he should resign (less than the average of 45%). And there's Sen. John Ensign who diddled an employee's wife or Senator Vitter, who is addicted to prostitutes, etc.

Similar with the pedophile Papists.

Dante put hypocrites in the 8th Circle of Hell
below heretics-6 and homosexuals-7.

Hi Mac,

So maybe it's time for those who are sure large families are thr result of religion to back off and think about the birth rate in the American bible belt and in Ireland and Poland and Italy , three of the popes strongholds.

You seem to be a pretty hard-nosed realist in most matters - but I sense a soft spot for religion. May I offer a few thoughts for your consideration:

- The world population is growing and much of that is in countries with strong religious traditions. Most projections based upon current trends will add a couple billion more humans (although unpleasant factors may result in a different reality)

- Religions have great political power and tend to prevent your proposed experiment "simply providing free no questions asked birth control" from ever seening the light of day. The catholic lobby that just intervened in the health reform effort is an example. The fact that many catholics ignore the pope's ruling on birth control is a minor issue compared to the influence they have in preventing any kind of aggressive family planning measures. Preventing teenage pregnancies is not helped by the attitudes of the church.

- Religions claim the moral high ground and their preachers lecture about good-evil, right-wrong and such. What is moral about remaining silent regarding human population overshoot? How many preachers stand up on Sunday morning and talk about the need for aggressive family planning to bring down the number of humans on the planet? Maybe a few, but they would be rare indeed.

I will change my opinion about religion when I see religious leaders taking an aggressive stand regarding population, consumption, environmental damage, etc. These are the moral issues of today - not what kind of position one might secure in "the next life" after leaving this planet behind like yesterday's newspaper.

Hi Dave ,I try to be realistic at all times .

We could all get our panites in a bunch along with the hard core vegetarians and give up fish and eggs and cheese but that would not solve the problem of overshoot. Niether would giving up eating red meat-although doing so would buy a little time.

Most of the people who are so down on religions are abysmally ignorant of the role they have played in shaping our world in that having decided religion per se is a BAD THING they see one side and one side only of the issue like a doofus pacifist too dumb to realize that his very existence is dependent upon Orwells and his "Rough men who stand ready to do violence on thier behalf " so that other men can sleep peacefully in thier beds.(I know this quote is mangled.)

I try to stick to facts as I percieve them to be.If you care to go to a site such as the cia site that lists such data in compact form so that it is easy to find you will find that I have my facts straight very close to 100 percent of the time. And if I'm not sure I say so.

Religion is a fact. It is built into our psychology by evolution and you can check this against as many first rank biologists and anthropologists work as you please.

We have plenty of perfectly solid evidence that tens of millions of catholics, whole countries full of them as a matter of fact, pay no fxxxxxg (pun intended) attention whatsover to thier pope when it comes down to thier sex lives and the size of thier families.

Now if I caught you out this bad about the factual situation in regard to some general issue I would let you know that your reasoning has a big flaw in it.

I am perfectly well aware that some cultures that are religiously oriented tend to have lots of kids.Religion and big families have a lot of survival value in Darwinian terms under ordinary conditions.They continue to have lots of survival value in terms of the individual, the extended family and the tribe or community.

In just about every case as soon as the poverty cycle is broken the birth rate drops like a stone.So you would think a bunch of such hard nosed people, such rational and well educated people, as the typical regilar here would perhaps rub thier eyes, drop thier Mr Mcgoo habit for a minute ot two and take a balanced look at the subject.Poverty correlates far better with birth rates than religion.

Surely MOST of us are smart enough to understand that.

Religion( and the numerous axxholes who earn a living out of it) is here to stay, just like the lawyers lobby, the military aristocracy, the blue blood snobs, the rich , like rats and misquitos and flies. Religion is part if nature, take away one form of it and it will be replaced by another.

I try to look at it from both the positive and negative point of view.Let us suppose that we had no cultural background in the West based on Christianity overlaid over Roman law and that over laid over Greek philosophy.You and I might be slaves.Our national sport might be sacrificing virgins at the turning of the seasons.There is considerable doubt in my mind as to whether there would be institutions such as social security , or an ethical system based at least in theory on do unto others as.....which is the foundation for say me leaving you alone anfd you doing likewise for me rather than runnung slave raids.

But I guess in the end my real point is that you might as well expect lions to eat strawbeeries and sleep with the lambs (fron Twain's Adam and Eve stories) as for people to give up religion.

Perhaps it has not occured to most people that absent some sort of religious glue to hold a people or society together , that people or society finds another glue-nationalism, or communism, or maybe just the worship of money and consumerism.

You might as well expect the pope to give up his power and property as to expect the partners at gold in sacks to close up, donate thier money to the boy scouts and open homeless shelters.People who waste thier time ranting about religion are pxxing into the wind of reality.

I will defend anybody or any group that seems to be subject to attacks based on ignorance or malice.

Remmember the advice Goldwater gave in respect to gay people ? It went something to the effect of
"they're here and they aren't going anywhere. get used to it."

Mother nature gives not the smallest hoot or damn whether we survive.I read a lot here written by people supposedly concerned about the future of the whole world and they make all sorts of grandiose statements about fast die offs ans similar foolishness-if and when the time comes virtually every last one of them will be gad to throw themselves on the CHRISTIAN mercy of some old redneck ignorant Baptist farmer and beg for an apple or a crust of bread or a bowl of beans if they can find such a farmer.

And those old ignorant redneck fundamentalists are more likely to survive than anybody else-because each and every little church out there is as close as we have to a medevial village of self supporting people in this day and time.

I'm a darwinist myself being scientifcally literate but if and when tshtf I ain't expecting for much help from other darwinists.

Ps excuse my typing I'm sort of busy helping my Mom thru the last few ays of her stay in this world-being raised up as a christian I can't see allowing my parents to die alone in a nursing home looked after by overworked strangers as if they were livestock,which has been the case with ALL my liberal froends parents who got to the point they couldn't look after themselves. But none of them feel guilty cause they vote right and so somebody else can take care of thier old folks while they do something more important.


I have a deep respect for your views and agree with most of what you usually say.
I even accept the beneficial role of communal cohesion brought about by a common religious belief and that this adds survival advantages to the tribe.

However with regards this particular comment we part company:

Most of the people who are so down on religions are abysmally ignorant of the role they have played in shaping our world in that having decided religion per se is a BAD THING they see one side and one side only of the issue like a doofus pacifist too dumb to realize that his very existence is dependent upon Orwells and his "Rough men who stand ready to do violence on thier behalf " so that other men can sleep peacefully in thier beds.(I know this quote is mangled.)

If I may, I would like to say that most of the people that I know who are "so down" on religions, hold that position not because they are abysmally ignorant of the role religions have played in shaping our world but precisely the opposite.

They are all too aware of exactly what role religions have played throughout history and still continue to play today.

I don't want to get into an argument about this topic so I'll just leave it at, "we obviously disagree".

Hi FMaygar,

Yes the role of religion has not always been a happy one-far from it.Preachers and priests start a lot of wars.

Niether is the role of fire or agriculture or any other cultural artifact associated with our rise to the top of the heap always a happy role.

We must judge each of these things accoriding not only to thier historical record but also thier recent effects..The Quakers were the driving force in the early stages of the abolition movement in this counrty for instance.

The ethics of the modern liberal establishment might not exist in a recognizable form if not lifted in very large part from the teachings of the Christian church.

The democratic party might not be in control of the federal govt right now if not for the fact that black churches and bleck religious leaders are very good at getting out the vote-and I might point out the irony of the fact(living all my life in the south in close contact with lots of black people, working menial jobs right along with them on occasion I know whereof i speak) that nearly all of them are fundamentalists of the sort folks enjoy bitching about in this forum.

Think about that .BIll Clinton might never have been the president without that church organized voting bloc.

Right now the leaders of some churches are pushing programs you and I see as obstructionist.But others are pushing people to work towards a better world as you and I see it..My personal guess is that the amount of good work being done by those pushing things we agree on, such as literacy , is at least equal to the effects we don't like.

And pretty soon the pope will have to figure out where his flock is headed and rewrite his dogma and run to get out in front and yell follow me .We don't live in the middle ages any more.

And if religion as we know it right now were to be extinguished in some way-say if a totalitarian govt wipes out all CURRENT forms of religion for a few generations - just what do you suppose will take it's place?

You don't suppose there would ever be statues and posters and busts all over the place of a Stalin or a Hussien or anything along such ridiculous lines perhaps? Or a new Bible known as the Little Red Book?

At any rate as a realist I don't think there is time enough to do anything about the religious question before tshtf.

There is a time lag in the cultural curve and some body has to bring up the rear.

The role of religion in prosperous societies is fading out fast despite the stuff you hear to the contrary.Membership is up it is true in a lot of evangelical churches but if you actually ever attend a service in a couple of these churches you will be suprised to lean that while miniskirts are rare above the knee dresses aren't,that women are considered quite the equals of men, that the prayers for peace and brotherhood are quite sincere , and that half the congretation will stop for lunch out on thier way home or to the mall.

Further more while there are still quite a few bible thumpers in the back woods who deny evolution the majority by far of pastors never mention the subject, as they have learned better-because thier congregations are intent on sendng thier kids away to some place like Wake Forest or George town or failing that kind of lofty goal , at least the local community college, where so far as I know every single biology class intended to transfer to a four year institution is based on Darwinian evolution.

Then if we stop to look at the arguments of the climate change skeptics we will see very quickly that they have accepted the basic frameworks of the physical sciences such as chemistry , geology, paleontology, etc , as they CITE the existence of ice ages, to make thier case, as opposed to citing a four thousand year old earth.

One generation of education is enough to do in the bad aspects of religion that upset the erviromentalists .The old folks will soon be gone.The best policy might very well be to allow them to depart in peace.

Politicians may pay lip service to the pope but I seem to recall the leaders of Italy-the HOME of the pope- including some randy old roosters as well as a couple of burlesque girls.

Lip service is all he will get these days.

Hello OFM,

re: "helping my Mom thru the last few days of her stay in this world"

Just a note of empathy and support. I'm glad you are there for your Mom. I'll be thinking of you.

Thank you Aniya.Momma died surrounded by her children and family at home last shortly after I made that post.

Since then we have had oor first major snowstorm in many years .I sure do wish she could have had another few days to enjoy it.

I wonder how much the peaking of US production is because of imports from elsewhere being cheaper than domestic mining and refinement.

Very little in my opinion. At one time the cheap imports were restricted. This led to some red hot political battles with such slogans as "Burn America First", "Strength Through Exhaustion" and from another political battle ""Let the B***** Freeze in the Dark". The world changed when the Railroad Commission of Texas was forced to go to 100% production with no spare capacity.

1.Finding an organization that would be willing to conduct such a study.

A few months ago, Aniya posted an essay here that suggested that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was the best organization for this task because they were orginally created by congress for just this purpose. She authored a petition for this purpose:

To date, there are less than 700 signatures (but many good comments)

The folks who comment on TOD generally did not support this petition for a variety of reasons (most thinking the NAS is unable to be truly impartial) - I still think it was a good idea.

I think today's essay would provide excellent input to guide the NAS in a study of this nature.

LOL! There are exactly 666 signatures. I think there can be no doubt this is the work of the devil

Devil's work

Well, if you could persuade someone to sign, it would uneven the number.

Hi Aniya,

I signed it myself a while back but despite the fact that I am generally able to exert some persuasive force on my friends and family, for some unexplained reason this particular petition seems to resist all such attempts. Therefore I can only attribute this failure to work of the devil ;-)

Hi FMagyar,

Thank you. I'm glad to know we have your enthusiastic support.

I wonder, when you have a chance, if you might inquire from your friends and family, exactly what it is about said petition that is so off-putting?

This would be a tremendous help.

Anyway, at least we might learn something.

Any one ever heard of this guy?

"Eventually, he teamed with a cadre of men with equally open minds -- all dedicated to a single-minded purpose of setting the U.S. economy back on a path of permanent prosperity. With Wilken at the helm, they discovered a natural law of economics, based upon arithmetic and physics, that had escaped generations of supposedly-learned economists. They proved that raw materials income governed national income unless the latter was expanded by debt. His data also made it clear that expansion of trade beyond income destabilized the internal U.S. economy and edged U.S. wages towards an international common denominator that can not sustain the American standard of living"

I don't recall hearing of Wilken or the others. My memory of WWII is that it was paid for by borrowing - even school children were encouraged to buy 10 cent stamps to fill a book for a $25 war bond, movie star bond rallies, taxes, limiting consumption of luxuries and ultimately inflating the money supply which negated the value of the war bonds. It is certainly true that natural resources brought wealth to Texas and my home town of Amarillo. Permanent prosperity has been elusive.

Another book along the same lines.

Read the lone review to get an idea.

An early analysis. President's Material Policy Commission 1952. There was concern for such issues after WWII.

just a bit of info on population

1. There is no need for a one child policy. As standard of living improves - birth rates go down. Wnat to control population growth - support improved standards of living in the third world
2. When infant mortality declines so do birth rates, ivest in the reduction of infant mortality and you can control population growth

3. Handing out birth control does not work - NGO's have spent billions on free counseling and free BC - but population still continues to grow in poor countries. Why? Because in the absence of pensions, social security, medicare - the aged in poor countries must rely on their adult kids to support them. Given that one out of three kids they have will die in infancy, they need to have a bunch of kids to assure two or so will be around when they reach old age. They have no incentive to take birth control - free or not. Better to hand out free vaccine against mumps measles and whooping cough - that will reduce infant mortality and eliminate the incentive to have tons of kids. Incidentally - that is the position of the Catholic Church - improve standards of living as a means to control population growth.

4. Women who are educated and have the power to make choices choose to have less kids.

When people get into the forced reduction of children they forget small details like human rights and liberty - which do matter. You cannot disparage the moral beliefs of people either. But there is no reason to do any of that - because commitments to improving the standard of living for people in poor nations - something anyone can agree is ethical - will cause population to decline. Note - Brazil which does not use government coercion or infanticide to limit family size - has a lower birth rate than China. Due to declines in infant mortality, improvements in standard of living.

When people get into the forced reduction of children they forget small details like human rights and liberty - which do matter.

Deacon-Senator Tom Coburn, a typical religious conservative, sterilized a woman
against her will and charged Medicaid.

A sterilization Coburn performed on a 20-year-old woman, Angela Plummer, in 1990 became what was called "the most incendiary issue" of his Senate campaign.[47][48] Coburn performed the sterilization on the woman during an emergency surgery to treat a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, removing her intact fallopian tube as well as the one damaged by the surgery. The woman sued Coburn, alleging that he did not have consent to sterilize her, while Coburn claimed he had her oral consent. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed with no finding of liability on Coburn's part.

You cannot disparage the moral beliefs of people either.

Okay, but can we disparage the moral beliefs of hypocrites?

Okay, but can we disparage the moral beliefs of hypocrites?

I believe we have a moral obligation to do so.

Hi cecelia,

Women who are educated and have the power to make choices choose to have less kids

From my reading (example - Brown's Plan B) your quoted statement appears to be correct. However, that does mean that all countries with a good record of educating women experience declining populations.

The simple fact is that global population is increasing and many countries with educated women also have positive growth rates - and it is very easy to verify this. First of all, please look at the math behind "growth rates" Note that any number above zero implies population increase (like in the educated US)

And note that even if the "rate" of "growth rate" has declined that does not imply that global human population is declining - just growing a little slower. This link is projecting 9.3 billion by 2050.

Next, it is informative to look at an actual growth rate map of the world:

Note that very few countries have a negative growth rate. Also note that China has a lower Growth Rate than Brazil. There are lots of numbers people like to use when talking about population issues - but growth rate is really the important one.

position of the Catholic Church - improve standards of living as a means to control population growth.

I have a fair amount of experience with the catholic church and I never heard about them advocating controlling population growth? Is this a stated position from Rome? Given that Brazil and Mexico have growth rates of 1.2% and 1.13% (according to the above link) it does not seem like this policy is working that well. It also occurs to me that the catholic church has been around for quite some time to deal with this issue - with no apparent success.

The best correlation is when women have equal political and economic rights, birth rates decline.
These are exceptions (the birth rate is going up slightly in segments of Scandinavian societies), but as a general rule it almost always applies.
Obviously, the less religion, the higher societal health, as all studies have proven.


The best correlation is when women have equal political and economic rights, birth rates decline

I'm convinced that your above quote is basically correct. However, that is really not the point that I keep trying to make - my point is that declining birth rates do not automatically imply declining population - although the rate-of-change of population "growth rate" may slow down. It is the growth rate that really determines if our population is decreasing or not. And more importantly, is the recognition that the carrying capacity of the planet is "X" billion, not the 9 or 10 billion being projected in the next 50 years. I'm not sure what "X" is - but, I would SWAG around 2 to 4 billion - others say much less - but, I'm very sure it is not much over 4 billion over the long run.

For growth rate discussion please see

They define "growth rate" = crude birth rate - crude death rate + net immigration rate

As an example if we use a recent US population figure of 307 million and a growth rate of approximately 1% then in 50 years we have approx 500 million people in the US. You can see the population and growth rate figures at You will also note that the birth rate is 14.18 per K. which is below the world average of 19.95 per - world average and other data can be seen at:


Here are the birth rate - growth rate numbers mentioned in some of the discussion above (from flag counter):

US 14.18 - .975%
Ireland 14.33 - 1.12%
Mexico 20.04 - 1.13%
Brazil 18.72 - 1.2%
France 12.73 - .55%
Poland 10.01 - -0.47% (neg)
China 13.71 - .66%

Note that it takes a negative number (like Poland) to get a declining population.

For comparison the CIA website puts Niger at the top of the birth rate list with approx 50 births and 3.68% growth rate. At the bottom of the birth rate list they show Hong Kong with 7.37 births and still a growth rate of .5%

More data of this type can be seen at

Regarding world religions - good deeds aside, I believe that they do more harm than good when viewed from a planetary perspective and the overall quality of life and survival of humans. But, this is a much longer discussion and not well suited for this thread.

Cecelia, the standard of living CANNOT improve enough to get the result of less births. We are already on the downside of Peak Everything.

The unborn have a right IMO to not be born into a world that cannot support them. That right is never acknowledged by anyone as the unborn don't get rights until they are born. But we should consider them as if they existed and think about their rights for a decent life since they are going to have that right once they are born. But in the state the world is in they will never have that right fulfilled. More and more children will be sold, forced into work slavery or sex slavery. Doesn't that right count? What about the rights of the other species on the planet? What about the survival of the human species? Rights of one have to always be balanced against the rights of others. We do not stand alone on this earth.

There are some activties in the EU, e.g. from the Commission ( ). Furthermore last year some German reports appeared.
Unfortunately all only consider a "static" depletion and don't consider a supply peak.
However it is probably much more difficult to determine the productio peak of a metal than of oil: Due to the "oil addiction" of world economy (i.e. difficulty to substitute oil) the oil demand is a rather predictable (continuosusly rising as far as the economy is growing), whereas for most metals there is a broad array of (future) substitution possibilities or overall consumption changes. This can be clearly seen in the USGS end-use-statistics
or )
So the "above ground" interferences to the future metal production are much larger than for oil.
A rule of thumb might be:
peak timing = half of the remaining static lifetime
But this might turn out to be *very* inaccurate.

The German studies also identified metals that cannot be substituted or that are facing monopolies.
(e.g. )
But as far as I remember they are all in German, so I am not sure if you can make use of them.

Thanks, Chris,

For this post.

re: What group can do this?

The US National Academy of Sciences appears to be the most impartial organization to recruit for your idea, because of the way the membership is selected, and because of the study process, designed specifically to yield objective and impartial results.

You can read more about the NAS here:

The National Academies enlist the nation’s foremost scientists, engineers, health professionals, and other experts to address the scientific and technical aspects of some of society’s most pressing problems. Each year, more than 6,000 of these experts are selected to serve on hundreds of study committees that are convened to answer specific sets of questions. All serve without pay.

Federal agencies are the primary financial sponsors of the Academies’ work. Additional studies are funded by state agencies, foundations, other private sponsors, and the National Academies endowment. The Academies provide independent advice; the external sponsors have no control over the conduct of a study once the statement of task and budget are finalized. Study committees gather information from many sources in public meetings but they deliberate in private in order to avoid political, special interest, and sponsor influence.

re: To the poster who suggests "So what?", our petition calls for a study of impacts and policy options.

Please see:

re: How to get this done?

The NAS may be directed by *any* federal agency, and/or Congress, and/or the President.

There are many ways to have this study put in place.

We would welcome collaboration. Please email us at understandingpeak (at) or see my user profile.

re: What good will it do?

This will give individuals, communities, entities and all literate people a solid result to base their plans on. Right now, we do not have this. Even local governments cannot take constructive action, because there is no recognized and neutral scientific body to guide them.

The NAS is our best hope, as we see it. It's their job - to advise the Nation.

What politicians and others may not yet understand is that it's in their best interest to have an objective and clearly stated message of just what we face with "peak oil."