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The No Breakfast Fallacy: Why the Club of Rome was wrong about us running out of minerals and metals

It’s a standard part of the modern story, that we’re about to run out of resources. There’s only so much available, metals and minerals are soon to be in short supply. This is incorrect and this book walks through the reasons why it is incorrect.

For example, we are told that we are likely to run out of mineral reserves in a generation or so. This is correct but entirely unimportant. For every generation runs out of mineral reserves: the reason being that mineral reserves is the name we give to those minerals we’re going to use in the coming generation. We are no more going to run out of mineral reserves than we are going to run out of breakfast because we eat what is in the refrigerator.

The book notes and explains Worstall getting the China rare earths scare correct, in advance (yes, explaining in 2010 why the problem would not be a problem, when all others were headless chickens on the subject). Discusses the purblind ignorance on display from the New Scientist and various environmentalists on mineral reserves and points to the one fatal assumption that the Club of Rome made in their report, Limits to Growth. The assumption that cooked their conclusion into their report, whatever else they did. Jeremy Grantham’s mistake about the minerals for fertilisers running out is also explained. Further, when we should recycle and when we shouldn’t is laid out in a form that even a member of a Green Party should be able to understand.

Written in Worstall’s usual light style, no prior technical knowledge is needed.

That there might be environmental problems out there is entirely true. That there might even be environmental problems with mineral use could also be true. But the idea that we’re about to run out of them, or even face any possible shortages on anything like a human related timescale, simply isn’t.

And this book proves it.

Author: Tim Worstall

Binding: Kindle Edition

Number of pages: 57

Product group: eBooks

Publication Date: 2015-05-28

Pages: 57

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.