January 17, 2006
Chicken Little in a Mine Shaft

Population bomb: burst. Peak oil: purged. Fine! Fine! Laugh while you can, copper-boy:

Copper is used in everything from automobiles to ordnance ... So copper serves as an excellent metallic bellwether for potential future resource scarcity, according to a group of researchers who compiled data on its extraction, use, recycling and discard to estimate whether there is enough copper available to make a developed standard of living available to all the world's people. The short answer is: no.

The short answer is, as usual, misleading. The somewhat longer answer would be "not at present consumption levels."

As long as markets are allowed to work, we will not run out of copper. As copper becomes scarce, its price will rise. As its price rises, its consumption will decrease, reducing demand, and therefore price. If its price stays high, alternatives will be developed which will be cheaper than copper. This will further reduce demand, effectively increasing supply, thereby reducing prices even more.

The ultimate result? Over time, copper prices will fall. Not might, not should, will.

More neo-con pap? A fine example of what watching too much Fox News will do to a person?

Hey man, whatever helps you sleep at night.

Posted by scott at January 17, 2006 04:12 PM

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