September 5, 2015

15 Things the World is NOT Running Out Of

Grammar issues of this video title aside, allow me to retort below.

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Helium - If it's used in TV screens, it's not gone.  So there's no shortage being created. It's an inert gas.  It does not react with other chemicals, so that does not cause it's quantities to decrease.  If it escapes from our helium balloons where does it go?  The upper atmosphere.  Also - not gone.  Helium is not escaping into space. Conclusion - we're not running out. We're simply using it more now and faster than we can find it in our relatively closed world system.

Sardines - Wait, did he say cooling oceans?  Global cooling in progress?  And as far as over-fishing, well global populations are cyclical;
In 1948, this question was posed to ocean biologist Ed Rickett, who was investigating the most famous sardine crash in history, which began in 1946. He responded, “They’re in cans!” Today’s scientists don’t think the answer is so simple, as sardine populations are known for following a boom-and-bust cycle. However, they don’t deny that rampant fishing played a significant role in the mid-century crash, and have found that cool water temperatures triggered a natural decline in the 1940s, which was greatly exacerbated by overfishing. It would take four decades for the population to recover from that crash.

By the late 1980s, sardines had enjoyed a spectacular comeback. For two decades, populations remained stable, with normal cycles of decline and increase. Sardine biomass (a measurement of total adult sardine stock, used by the Pacific Fishery Management Council in calculating catch limits) peaked in 2006-2007. It then began dropping gradually, about 8 to 14 percent every year — until 2011. A mild La NiƱa weather system developed in late 2010 through early 2011, and returned from late 2011 into 2012, lowering ocean temperatures and creating ocean conditions reminiscent of those the 1940s. In a single year, sardine biomass decreased by 30 percent, from 680,004 metric tons at the beginning of 2011 to 473,374 metric tons at the beginning of 2012.
But fear not.
Is the pacific sardine sill in peril? Are regional and international agencies doing enough to stabilize populations? How big of an impact does fishing have on boom-and-bust cycles of forage fish? There is a general consensus that water temperature patterns drive the cycle, and fishing can exacerbate low points. However, the significance of industrial fishing and the best practices for sustainability remain subjects of great disagreement.
Wine - the video itself states the problem.  Demand is growing faster than supply.  The solution is clear; stop growing spinach (or grapefruit, or olives) and grow grapes instead.  Supply will follow demand as demand raised prices.  This will solve itself. Just because production has fallen doesn't mean it will stay lower.

Gold - This has always been a limited supply commodity.  You know what solves that? $1800 per ounce gold prices. Gold is not a necessary metal for much.  We want gold, we don't need it and if we run out of new supplies, we still have all those buried uncles with their wedding rings to dig up (just kidding, I'm simply talking about re-purposing existing gold necklaces or whatever, based on who is willing to pay for it).

Lethal Injection Drugs - Easy to solve.  Firing Squads. Next.

Goat Cheese - Sounds like a British problem.  As long as there are goats, we can make more goats, and therefore more goat cheese.  Meanwhile a higher price might drive the demand for other cheeses like Havarti or Venezuelan Beaver Cheese.

Bourbon - Because of the 20 year development process, time will fix this one, in 20 years or so.

Medicine - Medicine is not in short supply, it's too expensive.  Why is it expensive? Because governments make it too difficult to compete unless you are a mega-corporation, with ties to lawmakers.  This one is also easy to fix, get rid of the oligopoly of companies by making entrance into the industry less daunting.  Cut the red tape.

Doctors & Surgeons - Okay doctors and surgeons are not disappearing.  They are not growing in numbers to keep pace with the needs of society.  Why not?  Because the cost of getting a medical degree is formidable.  When you combine that with the inevitable price-capping on medical fees that will accompany the Affordable Care Act, and the doctor-patient ratio will continue to worsen. Again, it's supply and demand.  You need to encourage medical degrees by not capping what a successful graduate can make.  More people will pursue those degrees and the growing supply will restrain the fees being charged.  So how do you encourage more doctors to exist? Saying goodbye to Obamacare might be a good first step. Them figuring out how to manage the education costs (a whole other essay is need for that), would be a good second step.

Bacon - This one concerns me because I love bacon. But this is a result of some historical diseases and a drought.  China still has a lot of pigs, and U.S. supplies will rebound.  Trust me. Pigs are not a finite resource because as you may have heard, they breed.

Coffee - This is also a big concern should it materialize but coffee prices have not reached the peaks of a few years ago, and again, coffee is a renewable resource, so quantities will inevitably recover.

Tequila - the stuff is nasty and pain-inducing.  We can't see the end of it soon enough as far as I'm concerned.

Chocolate - Prices will fix this just like many other items on this list.  Supplies will recover.

Phosphorous - Okay as phosphorous gets used a lot but the good news is all we are doing is moving it around.
Phosphorus, the 11th most common element on earth, is fundamental to all living things. It is essential for the creation of DNA, cell membranes, and for bone and teeth formation in humans. It is vital for food production since it is one of three nutrients (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus) used in commercial fertilizer. Phosphorus cannot be manufactured or destroyed, and there is no substitute or synthetic version of it available. There has been an ongoing debate about whether or not we are running out of phosphorus. Are we approaching peak phosphorus? In other words, are we using it up faster than we can economically extract it?

In fact, phosphorus is a renewable resource and there is plenty of it left on earth. Animals and humans excrete almost 100 percent of the phosphorus they consume in food.
Water - Again - a closed system.  Water is not moving out into space.  It's not all ending up in the ocean and not evaporating and coming back down in the form of freshwater rain or snow and replenishing our rivers.  This is just stupid scare-mongering.  And I say stupid because it's not even good as scare-mongering. 
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