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Peak Metals, Minerals, Energy, Wealth, Food and Population: Urgent Policy Considerations for a Sustainable Society

Sverdrup, Harald LU ; Koca, Deniz LU and Ragnarsdottir, Kristin Vala (2013) In Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering p.499-533
Abstract
Several strategic metals, elements and energy resources are about to run into scarcity in the near future under the present paradigm of use. A global systems model has been developed (WORLD) to assess the issue of scarcity and its implications for society. We show that scarcity may lead to “peak wealth”, “peak population”, “peak waste” and “peak civilization”, unless urgent counter-measures are systematically undertaken. Materials that underpin modern society may become unavailable for global mass production of goods. The material volumes that can be supplied from fossil reserves will be reduced with respect to today and resources will go up in price. The future resource supply is unsustainable without comprehensive recycling. The creation... (More)
Several strategic metals, elements and energy resources are about to run into scarcity in the near future under the present paradigm of use. A global systems model has been developed (WORLD) to assess the issue of scarcity and its implications for society. We show that scarcity may lead to “peak wealth”, “peak population”, “peak waste” and “peak civilization”, unless urgent counter-measures are systematically undertaken. Materials that underpin modern society may become unavailable for global mass production of goods. The material volumes that can be supplied from fossil reserves will be reduced with respect to today and resources will go up in price. The future resource supply is unsustainable without comprehensive recycling. The creation of wealth from conversion of resources and work, as well as the current extensive borrowing from the future, cause concerns that peaking energy and materials production may lead to “peak wealth” and the end of the golden age we live in. Our policy recommendations are that governments must take this issue seriously and must immediately start preparing legislations to close material cycles, optimize energy use and minimize irreversible material losses. Research efforts need to be based on systems thinking and a concerted effort is needed. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
peak wealth, peak phosphorus, burn-off time, peak resources, integrated modelling, scarcity, Sustainability
in
Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering
issue
5
pages
499 - 533
publisher
David Publishing Company
ISSN
1934-8932
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
26809132-a560-4384-9bf8-9ab40105235d (old id 4812244)
date added to LUP
2014-11-23 21:37:26
date last changed
2018-11-21 19:52:38
@article{26809132-a560-4384-9bf8-9ab40105235d,
  abstract     = {Several strategic metals, elements and energy resources are about to run into scarcity in the near future under the present paradigm of use. A global systems model has been developed (WORLD) to assess the issue of scarcity and its implications for society. We show that scarcity may lead to “peak wealth”, “peak population”, “peak waste” and “peak civilization”, unless urgent counter-measures are systematically undertaken. Materials that underpin modern society may become unavailable for global mass production of goods. The material volumes that can be supplied from fossil reserves will be reduced with respect to today and resources will go up in price. The future resource supply is unsustainable without comprehensive recycling. The creation of wealth from conversion of resources and work, as well as the current extensive borrowing from the future, cause concerns that peaking energy and materials production may lead to “peak wealth” and the end of the golden age we live in. Our policy recommendations are that governments must take this issue seriously and must immediately start preparing legislations to close material cycles, optimize energy use and minimize irreversible material losses. Research efforts need to be based on systems thinking and a concerted effort is needed.},
  author       = {Sverdrup, Harald and Koca, Deniz and Ragnarsdottir, Kristin Vala},
  issn         = {1934-8932},
  keyword      = {peak wealth,peak phosphorus,burn-off time,peak resources,integrated modelling,scarcity,Sustainability},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {499--533},
  publisher    = {David Publishing Company},
  series       = {Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering},
  title        = {Peak Metals, Minerals, Energy, Wealth, Food and Population: Urgent Policy Considerations for a Sustainable Society},
  year         = {2013},
}