Earth Overshoot Day: An Anthropocene Fable

Guest post by David Middleton

I think future historians will be amazed at how the Anthropocene was filled with more myths and fables than the combined cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and wherever Thor came from…

Earth Overshoot Dayr

By August 2, 2017, we will have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the whole year.

We use more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate through overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can sequester.

“At some point, we risk going from having rare resources to having resource shortages”


My personal Overshoot Day probably falls in early January… Now, I’ll use their calculator… And the result is:

Earth Overshoot Dayw
Damn!  My Earth Overshoot Day is in late January!  I need to drive more!

On the bright side, most of my overshoot is a HUGE carbon footprint:

Earth Overshoot Dayx
I wonder if I can get extra overshoot credit due to the fact that I’ve been part of discovering a lot more oil & natural gas than I’ve personally consumed?  

Now that I’ve had fun ridiculing this particular Anthropocene fable, here’s Bjorn Lomborg’s most excellent debunking of it…

One Planet Is Enough

Published on August 2, 2017 Featured in: Green Business

Bjorn Lomborg, President at Copenhagen Consensus Center

We often hear the story of humans voraciously exploiting the world’s resources and living way beyond Earth’s means. On “Earth Overshoot Day”, campaigners such as the Global Footprint Network claim that, by August 2, we have already exhausted this year’s supply of natural resources and Earth is now sliding into “ecological debt” for the rest of 2017.

For more than a decade, the World Wildlife Fund and other conservation organizations have performed complicated calculations to determine our total “ecological footprint” on the planet. In their narrative, population growth and higher standards of living mean that we are now using 1.7 planets and are depleting resources so quickly that by 2030, we would need two planets to sustain us. If everyone were to suddenly rise to American living standards, we would need almost five planets. The message is unequivocal – WWF tells us we face a looming “ecological credit crunch”, risking “a large-scale ecosystem collapse.”

But this scare is almost completely fallacious. The ecological footprint tries to assess all our usage of area and compare it with how much is available. At heart, this is a useful exercise, and like any measure that tries to aggregate many different aspects of human behavior, it tends to simplify its inputs.


In total, all of the somewhat problematically defined areas sum to 67% of the world’s biologically productive area. There seems to be little problem here – one earth is clearly enough.

What makes the ecological footprint exceed the available land is CO₂ emissions. Clearly it is not obvious how to translate CO₂ into land area. So the ecological footprint decided to get around this by defining the area of emissions as the area of forest needed to soak up the extra CO2. This single factor makes up 101% of the planetary land area and is the only reason why we suddenly need more than one planet.

In essence, we are being told that we ought to cut CO₂ to zero, and to plant trees to achieve that, meaning that we’d have to plant forests today on all of the planet’s available area. Since we’re already using 67% that’s why they can tell us that we’re running out of planet. But that message is clearly unreasonable.


We clearly use less than one planet, and looking into the future with better agricultural and renewable technology, the use is likely going to diminish. Instead of panicking over prophecies of unsustainable footprints, we should focus on the matters at hand: pulling millions more out of poverty while funding the sort of innovation that will eliminate future risks of pollution and make our land more productive. That way, we will ensure that one Earth keeps being enough for all of us.


Dr. Lomborg’s logical approach to environmental issues is always refreshing.  I always keep copy of The Skeptical Environmentalist handy.


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August 3, 2017 12:07 pm

Does the Planet have a return policy? Is it as good as Costco’s?

Reply to  BallBounces
August 3, 2017 12:11 pm

I tried to return my ex-wife, but even her family didn’t want her.

Reply to  MarkW
August 3, 2017 12:23 pm

I had to put my wife on lay-away.

Ill Tempered Klavier
Reply to  MarkW
August 3, 2017 1:54 pm

I tried to dump two husbands, but the landfill was closed 😉

Reply to  MarkW
August 3, 2017 4:09 pm

I tried to return my ex-wife but her former husband was in prison and it wasn’t one of those “co-ed” facilities so I had to keep her.
Later she did enormous psychological damage to my dog. I think I should have made her a ward of the state.

August 3, 2017 12:18 pm

Show me the reward points policy fine print.

August 3, 2017 12:19 pm

It becomes a self for filling prophecy if you cut the world off from energy, run the farmers, ranchers, loggers and minors off the land., and herd everyone into cities. Which is exactly what the UN’s agenda 21 is all about. A Calgary radio host had some professor on her show today who was advocating just that. These left wing genocidal lunatics need to be done away with.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 3, 2017 12:20 pm

Anyone want to guess what Al Gore’s Earth Overshoot Day is?

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 3, 2017 12:24 pm

That occurred years ago!

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 3, 2017 12:45 pm

“rain bombs”……in case you missed it….google Gore and rain bombs

Reply to  Latitude
August 3, 2017 1:21 pm

Rain Bombs, exploding Glaciers, Microbes….Oh my
As must watch.

Reply to  Latitude
August 3, 2017 2:57 pm

why is any sane person still paying attention to this crap?……….

Reply to  Latitude
August 3, 2017 3:52 pm

It’s the first time I have seen a clip of Al Baby’s recent pronouncements.
But rain bombs, and ticks? Seriously???!!!
Whilst the green lunatics may take this nonsense seriously, no sane minded individual would do any more than laugh at this after his first effort.
The public ain’t daft. Nothing has happened, is happening, or is going to happen. So it just becomes incoherent babbling of a political failure.
What they don’t realise is the incredible fortune this parasite is amassing from perpetuating the AGW scam.
Perhaps there will be an account he should settle one day. But I don’t think we should hold our breath. The B’stard will slip below the radar as soon as the balloon goes up on the whole AGW fiasco.

Reply to  Latitude
August 3, 2017 4:06 pm

Since we are discussing Former Vice President Gore (how sweet that sounds), my wife and I watched about the first 15 minutes of the CNN “Town Hall” meeting the other night. Seems to have mainly been a vehicle for Anderson Cooper to occasionally forget the “former” bit, and for Mr Gore to plug his new film.
There was a question from the floor by a lady from Wyoming talking about the plight of coal miners in her home state. Mr Gore talked about how automation had eliminated so many miners’ jobs, totally missing the point that the Wyoming coal mines are pretty new, and were already pretty automated. Totally missed the opportunity to talk about how dirty coal had been superseded by evil fracked natural gas.
A bit later, the mayor of Tangier Island, Maryland, had a question. For those who don’t know about it, Tangier Island is a poster child for sea-level rise. However, the mayor pointed out he’d lived and crabbed there for decades, and owned a restaurant on the water, and hadn’t seen any SLR in that time. Al quickly asked how much land Tangier Island had lost in the last 30 years. The mayor said 2.7 square miles. All looked really smug (more than usual), and said the scientists were all in agreement, so what did the mayor think had caused the loss of land. The mayor answered wave action and erosion. Now, that threw the FVPotUS off stride, and he repeated that the scientists are all in agreement, and he told a joke about a flood in Tennessee, and basically ignored the mayor’s first-hand eye-witness point about SLR. We turned it off after that. Won’t be going to see the film, either.
Treating hard-working people who see things with their own eyes that way just may be why they didn’t vote for HRC.

John in Oz
Reply to  Latitude
August 3, 2017 6:33 pm

Never be tempted to invite Al to a party (unless you want it to end early with everyone looking for their anti-depressants.

Reply to  Latitude
August 3, 2017 11:41 pm

WTF he’s freakin nuts!!!comment image

Mike Nelson
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 3, 2017 4:35 pm

Well since he uses about 24x the US average and assuming our guest author is average at 13.9, that would give Al a score of 333.6 which by my reckoning puts Gore’s overshoot at about 2:15:32AM on January 2nd.
You just have to love the irony in that : )

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 3, 2017 11:26 pm

Is that when he’s plane slides off into space orbit never to return, or burns up on re-entry

August 3, 2017 12:24 pm

Man I would love to see Al Gore’s Earth Overshoot count.

Reply to  RWhite
August 3, 2017 2:03 pm

Well, sadly, he is exempt because:
He is left wing
His is unbelievably rich
He is a saint

Reply to  dustybloke
August 3, 2017 2:22 pm

And he is a white male. No, wait … Uh, never mind.

Reply to  dustybloke
August 3, 2017 4:18 pm

Al isn’t male. He’s metrosexual We must stay current on these things…

D Smith
Reply to  RWhite
August 3, 2017 4:30 pm

I calculated it and the result was January 23, 16.2 earths, but I am sure that is low by several orders of magnitude.

Joel Snider
August 3, 2017 12:25 pm

The day any of these elites ever experience a shortage of anything… well, my guess is that day will never come, but if it did, I have no doubt they would demand said-resources be provided them at no personal expense.

Reply to  Joel Snider
August 3, 2017 3:56 pm

Joel Snider
I think the mere demonstration of this parasites incredible wealth indicates his contempt for both the public and AGW.
Were he serious about his claim he would be like Evan Almighty, building an Ark in the face of ridicule.

August 3, 2017 12:30 pm

Oh the ‘Overshoot Day’ is just a fracking idi0t1ck meme shared by bimbo journalists. Men and women alike, of course. It is a boring, mathematically ridiculous, and annual complaint of loonies which don’t know their statistics from their socks.

Reply to  Hugs
August 3, 2017 2:28 pm

Cannot agree more . . . .

Mark B.
Reply to  Hugs
August 4, 2017 5:30 am

Just as accurate as the Doomsday Clock. We’ve been minutes from global catastrophe for 70 years.

August 3, 2017 12:33 pm

David, 13.9 Earths – call me impressed!
If I reverse calculate, you need to reduce your footprint down to 7% of what it is now to live on just one earth. So you need to erase your ENTIRE carbon footprint at 78% and any use of crop land whatsoever. So basically you’ll have no children, a small wooden shack, a few fish, maybe a couple of goats that can graze – but no way to cook your food!!!

Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2017 12:40 pm

Are the dogs edible? That might be a…Check!

Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2017 12:57 pm

LOL – I just did the survey, selecting the minimum for all questions, vegetarian, single (no kids), very small house, including NO running water and NO electricity. Food – all locally sourced. ZERO transportation, no buses, planes, no ride sharing, etc…….and I STILL use 0.9 earths.
What a joke!

Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2017 6:34 pm

Duncan? We do not eat Dogs. Dogs are our friends.
We do not eat cats. Cats taste like … well, cats. It isn’t good. You can’t even braise a cat and make it taste good. There are no redeeming culinary qualities to cats and cats don’t bark. Very LARGE cats can be useful, but they’re difficult to train and so, unpredictable. It takes a lot of dedication to share personal space with a large cat. They also smell bad.
I have very little to say about goats that might be positive. I would most certainly eat a goat before I ate a cat. Dogs are right out.

Reply to  David Middleton
August 4, 2017 12:12 pm

Bart, it was a (bad?) joke, as I think you were too. Love dogs.

Reply to  Duncan
August 3, 2017 2:38 pm

13.9 sounds a whole lot more accurate then 13 or 14. 13.92 would have been better. Or maybe 13.924.
But then again 62.324% of all statistics are made up.

Reply to  rbabcock
August 4, 2017 1:06 am


August 3, 2017 12:38 pm

They fail to see how much food is wasted because it doesn’t fit the criteria that the wholesale buyer’s sell to the market’s that sell to the consumers. The store’s want bananas that are between a certain size and anything bigger or smaller is rejected as waste that is composted to become fertilizer for the next crop. This happens with every food grown that is contracted by a distributor. Government’s regulate food crops so much that it causes price distortions above what they should cost and creates more waste because consumers don’t want to spend the higher prices, so food rots on the shelves because it’s not sold fast enough. The same applies to expiration dated food that can’t be sold once that date is past, nor given away to feed the poor, even when it’s still good well past the expiration date. So no, the Earth is not near reaching having over use of resources to feed the growing population.

August 3, 2017 12:51 pm

Eat your pets and the save the Planet!!
The truth about cats’ and dogs’ environmental impact
Researcher finds that feeding pets creates the equivalent of 64 million tons of carbon dioxide a year.

Reply to  Pete Stobbs
August 3, 2017 6:12 pm

barbecue a climate scientist and save the planet
don’t have to eat em – do it for the entertainment.

Reply to  Pete Stobbs
August 3, 2017 6:44 pm

But it’s carbon neutral Pete.
I we were just discussing carbon dioxide, we’d very quickly discover that more CO2 is released by opening beer and soda every year than could ever be released by burning fossil fuel.
But the argument is Beer and soda are carbon neutral so they don’t count.

August 3, 2017 12:58 pm

Doomsday clock is running too fast after all? Let’s help outcomment image

August 3, 2017 1:00 pm

Holy crap! I’m so far behind in my backlog of extra earths from last year that I’ll never seem to catch up. And, every year I only seem to get deeper in debt.
cue the music: …16 tons, and what do you get?…

Ill Tempered Klavier
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 3, 2017 1:59 pm

…..Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go.
I owe my soul to Al the fat bore.

Reply to  Ill Tempered Klavier
August 3, 2017 2:41 pm


D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Ill Tempered Klavier
August 3, 2017 2:56 pm

Slight edit
…Saint Peter don’t you call me and don’t be sore,
I owe my soul to Al the fat bore.

Philip of Taos
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 3, 2017 2:52 pm

More Al Gore thats dumber then sh!t

Reply to  Philip of Taos
August 3, 2017 6:50 pm

Honestly Phil, that’s not fair to shit. Al is dumber than a box of rocks. Shit has rocks beat hollow on the scale of intelligence.

Philip of Taos
Reply to  Philip of Taos
August 4, 2017 5:50 pm

Point taken Barteby yuor correct.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia.
August 3, 2017 1:19 pm

Must find more planets and consume them…oh wait wasn’t that a film?

Dr Deanster
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia.
August 3, 2017 1:36 pm

The original …. Lifeforce. …. space age vampires. Loved that movie.

Michael C. Roberts
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia.
August 3, 2017 2:40 pm

Or a Star Trek episode: ‘The Doomsday Machine’ – One of my all-time favorite episodes!


Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
August 3, 2017 8:31 pm

Have you watched the series again since they went back and enhanced everything digitally?
I was most of the way through watching the reruns before finding out they had been enhanced.
I had thought I just had a bad memory or that it was because televisions back then basically sucked.

August 3, 2017 1:27 pm

If everyone lived like Al Gorge, we would need several more universes.

August 3, 2017 1:29 pm

It’s all those earth eating wereworms destroying our planet.

Reply to  vukcevic
August 3, 2017 2:43 pm


August 3, 2017 1:37 pm

What is so puzzling is that thinks this sort of silliness helps rather than hurts their cause.

Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2017 2:46 pm

I prefer the quote, “Blissfully unencumbered by the ravages of higher intelligence.”
Time Bandits

Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2017 9:41 pm

I am not so sure they are stupid in the classical sense, as in having low IQ’s. I have a hypothesis that it is easier for people with above average intelligence to be functioning delusionals. All humans run primarily on auto pilot, with the subconscious handling about 95% of everything we do, and that subconscious includes our amygdala. No matter how smart our frontal lobes are, the primitive part of our brains still runs on pleasure and fear; fight or flight, and has a big impact on our behaviour. For example, regardless of IQ, people go through the same thing when they break up from a long term relationship. Intelligent, well-educated women are just as likely to key your car as Thelma from the trailer park, if you do them wrong. Really smart men are just as likely to park outside their ex-girl friends house at 3 am as is your average bubba.
Intelligent people love to pretend that they have mastered their primitive side with reason and logic, but they haven’t. Instead, many of them have built a complex worldview in which their fears go through a rationalizing process that takes above average intelligence just to create.
Academia has a long history of being caught up in whacky world views that could only be maintained with above average intelligence. With AGW, it takes intelligent people, capable of understanding high level mathematics and complex systems, to rationalize away all the things that go against their world view. There world view, by the way, is largely created in their primitive brain, which is generally afraid and feeling very guilty. But they believe they are too intelligent to be driven by their fear center, so the danger MUST be very legitimate. And they can prove it. They have taken everything they know about climate and determined that the only explanation for late 20th Century warming was increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. And since they are very intelligent and know more than most people, they must be correct. Case closed.
The whole AGW crisis is being run by very intelligent people completely unaware that they are largely being guided by their over-active amygdala. They believe that they are too intelligent to have an over active amygdala, so their fear manifests as complex scientific-sounding paranoia.
Certainly, not all intelligent people rationalize their fears like this. Many have the wisdom to know that they can be wrong. They have the wisdom to know that their primitive brain is always trying to look for danger, and that in reality, it often isn’t their. We have a name for these type of intelligent people. We call them skeptics.
I have never floated this hypothesis before and I am open to other thoughts on the matter. For all I know, there are books describing this very thing. Anyone?

Reply to  jclarke341
August 4, 2017 3:48 pm

It’s Hard to Be Humble

Reply to  jclarke341
August 4, 2017 4:05 pm

Like many have pointed out the ideologies of AGW and Climate Change have become like a new religion. Pear pressure effects children that join street gangs as much as academics try to fit in with their ilk and a common belif in academia is AGW and CC being taught. Someone brought up in a religion tends to become offensive if tbeir beliefs are questioned. IQ is not a measure of intellect it just defines one’s capacity of problems solving based upon what they know of the questions asked. Many view Albert Einstein as having a high IQ and yet he was more of an Idiot Savant because he knew very little outside of his education and passion for it.

Reply to  David Middleton
August 4, 2017 12:05 pm

Ooh! Time Bandits!!

Reply to  ristvan
August 3, 2017 1:54 pm

You missed the “Donate” button at the bottom of the page. Donations start at $25 up to $1000. You can even make a monthly ‘gift’ for “year round support”, automatically deducted.
This donation goes towards “build(ing) a new Ecological Footprint Calculator” that any IT guy could do with simple Web searches on readily available information.

Reply to  Duncan
August 3, 2017 1:58 pm

I missed it;
You can even make donations of “stocks and bonds’. Or “gifts of life insurance” when you die. Bunch of F’n WHORE’s!!!!

Ill Tempered Klavier
Reply to  Duncan
August 3, 2017 2:02 pm

Easy Duncan, us whores don’t take kindly to being slandered like that.

Reply to  Duncan
August 3, 2017 2:12 pm

Klavier, agreed, usually not my style. There are ‘donations’ and then there the lowest common denominator begging for money in any which way possible as they have. Just goes against common decency, at least in my books.

Reply to  Duncan
August 3, 2017 2:30 pm

Do they also take donations of food stamps?

Reply to  Duncan
August 3, 2017 5:17 pm

They’ll take Visa’s, Mastercard, Paypal, bank transfers, checks, stocks and bonds, gifts through your will, charitable gift annuities, gifts of life insurance, pooled income funds, and charitable trusts.
Food from your children’s mouth, why not, as long as you ‘gift’ it. They even have phone numbers with extensions so you don’t mess it up, call Judith Sissener at 510-839-8879, ext. 308

Michael S. Kelly
August 3, 2017 1:50 pm

In terms of actual resources, such as the elements, it’s rather easy to figure out how much of each is available to us. The deepest mine is about 3.9 km. Assuming that’s the deepest possible, and that we mine only the land area of the world, how much of what could we extract from that. Well, the total mass is 1.6E18 tonnes. The fourth most abundant element in the crust is iron, at about 50,000 ppm. There is, then, about 8E16 tonnes of iron “available.” We produce about 1.2E9 tonnes a year, so we’re good for another 67 million years – unless we recycle, and then it’s more.
Even something like gold, at 0.004 ppm, would provide our current 3,100 tonne/year production for another 2 million years. The scarcest element of all, rhenium, will be available at current production levels for about 24 million years.
I think the species will be gone long before it runs out of stuff.

The Reverend Badger
Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2017 2:18 pm

Can I just have a small 10m diameter but 3.9km deep shaft in order to install my gravity powered electricity generator please?

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
August 3, 2017 2:02 pm

Michael, we really don’t need to spend additional energy to recycle unless we want to save money in processing to reuse the materials (cheaper than starting from scratch). Until we start massively exporting materials off-planet (not happening anytime soon) all the iron and other materials we will ever have is already here on Earth and it’s not going anywhere.
BTW more is raining down every day from the sky, well not really a heavy rain, more like a light misting 🙂

Reply to  rocketscientist
August 3, 2017 8:27 pm

Seems more likely we will be retrieving stuff, on a net basis, from space than exporting it to there.

Gary Pearse
August 3, 2017 1:55 pm

The much recycled and pitifully weak gruel of the Malthusians who never tire of being wrong. They have a linearly thought out base of zero sum rigidity. After over 200years of reiterations having fallen flat, one might think they’d have figured out why. How flat? Well in 1972, The (caveman) ‘Club’ of Rome predicted by 2000 there would be mass starvation, metals would be used up, the usual. Actually, by 2000 the population had more than doubled and fewer people in total were in poverty and fewer hungry! Oh and reserves of metals and minerals are higher than ever, and the forests of earth have expanded 14% in coverage of earth in a single decade. Reasons? Finite resources seems pretty logical.
1) Everything we have mined over the eons is still here! We reuse metals and minerals constantly. Eg: Gold traded across the Sahara from the Gold Coast (Ghana) a thousand years ago is in your teeth, jewellery, electronics, alloys, etc. today. Your beer is being drunk for the umpteenth time out of the same bottle and can materials….mining has become largely a topping up activity in the supply of materials.
2) The first computer I had a go at filled a fair sized air conditioned room in the science building at uni in 1962(~). It didn’t have a fraction of the computability of a hand held calculator selling for a couple o’bucks – let alone a cell phone of the same size today. Miniaturization of everything, using lesser and lesser per unit.
3) Substitution is one of the most important factors: aluminum and glass fiber for copper, plastic/composites/carbon fiber/ nanomaterials and on and on. The largest passenger jet has plastic/composite wings and half the fuselage (ahem – fossil fuels don’t you know!)
So, look you Malts, you don’t have to worry, nor are you being asked to do anything. It’s all courtesy of human ingenuity. Oh, did your great grandfather ever sell that horse manure scraper he bought for his planned de-crapping business to exhume NYC from 3-storey piles of horse tailings.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 3, 2017 3:53 pm

Mr Pearse,
The scientists who did the actual work for “Limits to Growth”, the Club of Rome study, were very careful in the first 100 pages or so to make sure that every reader knew that they weren’t “predicting” anything, but, rather, “projecting” possible future outcomes. However, in the “Afterword”, written by the Club of Rome high mucky-mucks, everything became a prediction IIRC. It was the first Summary for Policy Makers, and set the xample for future scientific endeavours and their Summaries.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 3, 2017 8:25 pm

The point remains…they were the opposite of correct, in spite of having hundreds of years of Malthusian thinking being proved spectacularly wrong.
These were idiotic notions from the start, and everyone knew it but the ones making the sky-is-falling projections or predictions or whatever you want to call their wrongnesses.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 4, 2017 12:10 pm

The tragedy of proctocraniosis.

Bill Illis
August 3, 2017 2:04 pm

Just wondering how we can be running out of resources when everything is still here on Earth.
Give or take a few space ships or a few Uranium atoms, every element and atom that was here before 1750, is still here.
Like Gold, all the material is just getting recycled. Oil and natural gas, well someday we will be taking Hydrogen and Carbon and manufacturing our own methane and gasolines.
How many atoms are there in the first 100 metres of the crust. We will never run out of the first 100 metres of crust.

Reply to  Bill Illis
August 3, 2017 2:25 pm

BI, while all what you observe is technically possible, it isn’t presently practical on current global scales. Two simple examples. Could we recycle lithium from LiB? Yes, but the cost is a hundredfold what new mining of lithium from spodumene or lithium carbonate from brine costs formthe foreseeable future.
Coild we synthesize hydrocarbons from CO2 and water without photosynthesis using nuclear electricity? Yes, but at a cost a thousandfold using fossil fuels. If oil gets scarce, then the price rises and converting natural gas or coal to liquid hydrocarbons at ~$180-$200 is already technically feasible. That is why I find Bjorn Lomborg’s comments so refreshing. There is in human decisions always an direct economic/opportunity cost tradeoff. “Run out” is never the right metric. The right metric is finding the best tradeoff to move foreward..

Reply to  ristvan
August 3, 2017 7:13 pm

“Could we recycle lithium from LiB? Yes, but the cost is a hundredfold what new mining of lithium from spodumene or lithium carbonate from brine costs formthe foreseeable future.”
Rud, let’s consider this? There’s been no effort made to recycle so the cost of recycling remains high.
The issue is not what the cost is; its what the cost might reasonably be expected to be.

Reply to  Bill Illis
August 3, 2017 2:47 pm

Mass of humans: ~450 billion kilograms
Mass of earth: 6×10^24 kg
Me/Mh = 1.3×10^13 kg
Mass of crust: ~2.5×10^22 kg
Mc/Mh = 5.6×10^10 kg
Granted, only a small amount of that mass per person is available for our use, but I could squeak by on just a tiny fraction of my share of the crust. Even allocating me an exorbitant three metric tons of material per year for the ~20 years remaining of my life would amount to 1/120,000 of my share. That much should be extractable economically.

August 3, 2017 2:12 pm

Meanwhile …
US and Russia step up fight to supply Europe’s gas
(behind pay wall, so here are couple of excerpts)
“Fresh US sanctions against Russia signed into law by Mr Trump on Wednesday over alleged meddling in the US presidential election could directly target energy export pipelines that Washington fears will increase Moscow’s influence over Europe’s gas supplies.
Sanctions are also complicating the battle, particularly if they hit Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, which is under construction. That has rattled Russian politicians who are keen to talk up their ability as a cheap supplier of gas to Europe. “The attempts to derail Nord Stream 2 are part of unfair competition practices by potential suppliers of LNG, which is more expensive compared with natural gas delivered by pipelines,” Russia’s energy minister said.
Nord Stream 2 is part of Gazprom’s response to that forecasted jump in demand. It has inked an agreement with European energy majors including Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall to finance half the €9.5bn to build the pipeline, which will add 55bn cubic meters of annual capacity to its European flows, delivered under the Baltic Sea.”

Curious George
August 3, 2017 2:39 pm

I don’t believe that recycling lithium batteries is 100 times more expensive than mining lithium from primary ores. Even if it were so, there must be technological advances waiting.

Reply to  Curious George
August 3, 2017 3:23 pm

Technological advance is intrinsically linked to cheap plentiful energy, so probably not.

Reply to  Curious George
August 3, 2017 3:35 pm

The lithium ion batteries lose performance because of high temperatures and cycling until it won’t take a charge. By raising the voltage to a higher number than the dead battery has the charger can allow the charger to charge the battery again. So if the new battery had 20 volts you need 20 volts to charge it, because the charger is only recognizing the lower high voltage of the bad battery when it’s hooked up. So you are needing to jump the battery with the higher volts. It was make to provide when new. Basically the battery is still good and tbe charger is made to reduce the charge going into it by how much the battery has degraded that the electronics recognises and only charges to that amount. By directly jumping the battery with an equal voltage new battery to recondition the old battery to the higher voltage of the new battery and it will start charging normally again and degrade as you cycle charging. Also, it is not recommend to boost the old battery all the way to the labeled voltage, just close to it. This is all a bit hazardous and shouldn’t be attempted by unqualified people. You may think you can just do it. But you are messing with something that can explode if done wrong. With lithium ion vehicle batteries it is more dangerous than your common cellphone battery. The point is that those big batteries are not as bad as the manufacturers as saying they are and are pushing a myth to get more money from their consumers to replace them.

Reply to  johchi7
August 3, 2017 3:56 pm

I should also point out that because these are series of cells that some do go bad and effects the whole battery. That the cases are sealed inside the larger sealed case that makes up the whole of the battery, individual cells should be treated individually when reconditioning these big batteries.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Curious George
August 3, 2017 10:55 pm

Lithium battery chemicals all in cost $3-6k/ tonne to make depending on the miner/producer and other available inputs.
Future producers will cost more because the best brines and hard rock mines have been put in production or are within a couple of years of production. These have been known for 75 yrs and more and are at or near surface resources. The price in the market is ~$22000/t for lithium hydroxide mono hydrate, the main one. Lithium compounds are among the most soluble. They WILL be eminently recyclable once industry reaches mature output. Indeed, lithium ‘ion’ should tell you they work because they dissolve into an electrolyte from the cathode when charged and flow back into the cathode when they are discharged.
Disclosure, I’m a principal inventor of the lowest cost lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate hydrometallurgical process for a major hard rock lithium deposit.

Philip of Taos
August 3, 2017 2:57 pm

We need another 13.9 planets or more Free market Capitalism for everyone. Has any of there asinine predictions or proclamations ever have any basis in fact or common sense?

son of mulder
August 3, 2017 3:17 pm

Does it include geothermal energy production?

son of mulder
Reply to  son of mulder
August 3, 2017 3:22 pm

Which is 47 Terawatts according to Wikipedia

son of mulder
Reply to  son of mulder
August 3, 2017 3:36 pm

Which in less than 3 hours produces more than our global energy annual usage.

August 3, 2017 3:36 pm

Who the heck is the “Global Footprint Network” and from where do they obtain their funding? Oh… sorry. Silly question. Never mind. But I think I have a new target for my personal footprint. ;->

Reply to  PaulH
August 3, 2017 4:03 pm

Pick a cause to exploit and ignorant people will throw money at it. Scruples are very absent in the population these days…well forever in history…but you get my drift.

Reply to  johchi7
August 3, 2017 7:39 pm

Scruples? I’d venture intelligence might be a better word.

August 3, 2017 3:42 pm

Like everything ManBearPig does.

Brian R
August 3, 2017 4:03 pm

So my overshoot day is March 18th. Can’t believe they call my 1,000 sqft condo “LARGE”. Given almost every slider I moved was very far to the left of the scale I can’t imagine how squalid my shoebox of a home would have to be to get a “good” score.

August 3, 2017 4:32 pm

Klaatu visit pending.

CD in Wisconsin
August 3, 2017 5:17 pm

“At some point, we risk going from having rare resources to having resource shortages”…
Where have I heard resource shortage scare stories like this before? Oh yes, the book “Population Bomb” back in 1968.
The book, if I recall correctly, is now notorious for being laughably wrong with it predictions of widespread misery from resource shortages and overpopulation by the turn of the 21st century. I have little doubt however that Paul Ehrlich and his wife were privately laughing all the way to the bank with the number of copies of the book they sold.
As long as their are naive gullible people out their whom one can take advantage of to cash in, there will always be people out their looking for ways to do it.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
August 3, 2017 5:26 pm

naive gullible people out there, not out their.
Next year will be the 50th anniversary of “The Population Bomb”. Should be interesting to see how the book is treated on the anniversary, if it is observed at all.

John in Oz
August 3, 2017 6:37 pm

If we reduce CO2 what are trees going to eat?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  John in Oz
August 3, 2017 8:58 pm


August 3, 2017 7:36 pm
August 3, 2017 7:47 pm

Just another phishing operation. Nonsensical. Use a fake eMail address and credentials if you want to play.

August 3, 2017 8:13 pm

I am so over living in the Devoidofact period of the Adjustocene era!

Reply to  Menicholas
August 3, 2017 8:25 pm

Devoidofact. Love it.

August 3, 2017 8:25 pm

Have we ever run out of anything? Anything? Am I missing something? Gold? Platinum? Lithium? Water? Dirt? Air? Anything?

tony mcleod
Reply to  gregole
August 3, 2017 9:54 pm

Exactly what one bacteria said another when their petrie dish was only half full.

Reply to  gregole
August 3, 2017 10:52 pm

Common sense and bullshit detectors?

August 3, 2017 10:57 pm

If Alaska had the population density of New York City, all 7 billion people on earth can fit in it and there will still be vacant land larger than Texas and the rest of the world will be uninhabited. The planet is too big, we need more people! Come to Alaska where global warming is welcome!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_750/alg-trucker-jpg.jpg

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
August 4, 2017 6:03 am

“Dr. Strangelove August 3, 2017 at 10:57 pm
If Alaska had the population density of New York City, all 7 billion people on earth can fit in it…”
All 7bil people can stand on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England.True, it would be cosy but it *COULD* be done.

August 4, 2017 12:24 am

This nonsense is all from Mathis Wackernagel and his idiotic “ecological footprint”. See my post entitled “Ecological Footprints—A Good Idea Gone Bad” for details of this goat-rope.

August 5, 2017 12:02 am

So, as I understand it, from now on, no food (fasting until the end of the year and drinking no more), more beer, more agricultural production (yes, plants do not grow up, therefor no more harvests) no more energy, no more heating / cooling, no more gasoline, no more production of goods, including raw materials (iron, copper, oil, coal, gas, zinc, copper, etc.), no more movements of goods and people, except in bullock carts, no more Internet, no more newspapers, no more fierce articles from an environmental organization as radical than stupid. Paradise, what … I understand everything, right?

August 5, 2017 12:04 am

Oups : no more beer, no more agricultural production … ..

August 5, 2017 12:10 am

From this day onwards the measurements will indicate a more rapid increase in atmospheric CO2, a sudden increase in global temperature and a decrease in the pH of the oceans (which is not an acidification but a decrease in alkalinity) . This should have been observed in previous years. However, this has not been observed, and so what the Global Footprint Network tells is a nonsense. Quod erat demonstrandum

Patrick MJD
August 5, 2017 6:28 am

Answered honestly, 4.6 earths for my “footprint”. Rediculous! Griff, care to take the test?

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