The one, the only

Sister Site

« A lady novelist confesses | Main | Doc strolls from the Western Biological Laboratory and crosses the street to Lee Chong's grocery for two quarts of beer. »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mac MacGillicuddy

I await all input. Mack

Jennifer

I often wondered when the Earth would collapse since we were taking all of the metal and rock out of it and putting it on top of it... If you take a box of books and one by one take a book out and put it on top, won't the box eventually collapse since you have removed all inside support? Or maybe the Earth is made of Rubbermaid...

patrick24777

Greetings from Europe:

You´re a real nutter!

Rana

I think there are probably two angles to the question - one is that the earth isn't exactly short of iron, the source of the metal in most of the objects you describe, Mack. There is a lot of it out there, available cheaply enough that we can let it rust in first-world dumps and used car lots across the nation. The molten core of the earth, if I remember correctly, is iron. So most of the metal we use - iron and steel (derived from iron) - is not scarce at all.

Now, things like gold and copper are less common, but, again, I don't think we're in a crisis point yet, but rather one in which the economic scarcity of these metals is driving up their price.

It's also not like metal gets used up in the process of refining it, the way oil gets used up when we burn it, and it can often be melted and re-shaped into something new. As I said, it ends up in dumps when we're done with it; and in many countries that's just the beginning of its new life as another object.

The other is that I'm not convinced we're using as much metal you might think - stone, brick, cement, and our lovely petrochemical friend plastic make up much of the difference. Compare a stereo of today with one from thirty years ago, for example, or a 1950s car with one of the gas-sipping hybrids available now. My Dyson is almost entirely made of plastic, unlike the metal titan my mother used.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Data Analysis

  • Data Analysis
My Photo

The Tip Jar


  • Please help keep this blog running strong with your donation or subscription
  • Contact by Snail Mail
    Lance Mannion
    PO Box 732
    New Paltz, NY 12561
    USA



Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Be Smart, Buy Books


    Movies, Music, Books, Kindles, and more

    Categories

    November 2014

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
                1
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    16 17 18 19 20 21 22
    23 24 25 26 27 28 29
    30            

    For All Your Laundry Needs

    Blog powered by Typepad

    In Case of Typepad Emergency Break Glass