Physical Scientists Are So Darned Cute When They Finally Understand Economics - Hit & Run : Reason.com:
"Remember Peak Oil?
What about Peak Everything?
The Limits to Growth myth of impending mineral resource exhaustion was running once again rampant just a decade ago.
The world didn't run out of any critical minerals or metals.
Because as rising demand boosted the prices for minerals like tin, copper, zinc, and iron ore, geologists and entrepreneurs went in search of new sources while manufacturers and consumers economized on the amounts required to make their products.
The current issue of Geochemical Perspectives is devoted to considering "Future Global Mineral Resources."
The good news is that the group of geologists who put together the study have stumbled upon economics and now understand a bit about how demand and supply works.
...We demonstrate that global resources of copper, and probably of most other metals, are much larger than most currently available estimates, especially if increasing efficiencies and higher prices allow lower-grade ores to be mined.
These observations indicate that supplies of important mineral commodities will remain adequate for the foreseeable future.
The good news is that humanity is nowhere near peak everything; the bad news is that we are also nowhere near peak doom.
For more on physical scientists' fruitful encounters with economics, see my 2012 column where I report their astonishing discovery that property rights can save fisheries from depletion."