Oh, and about commodity prices: rises on the order of what we’ve seen lately aren’t at all unusual, even during periods now considered to have been characterized by low and stable inflation. Here’s the IMF commodity price index...Meanwhile, here's a UN press release about this report from a couple of days back:
Just not something to get frantic about.
Global consumption of natural resources could almost triple to 140 billion tons a year by 2050 unless nations take drastic steps, the United Nations warned Thursday.Count me with the UNEP.
A UN environment panel said the world cannot sustain the tearaway rate of use of minerals, ores and fossil and plant fuels. It called on governments to "decouple" economic growth from natural resource consumption.
With the world population expected to hit 9.3 billion by 2050 and developing nations becoming more prosperous, the report warned "the prospect of much higher resource consumption levels is far beyond what is likely sustainable."
A UN Environment Programme (UNEP) panel said the world is already running out of cheap and quality sources of some essential materials such as oil, copper and gold, which in turn need rising volumes of fuel and water to produce.
It said governments must find ways to do more with less, at a faster rate than economic growth -- the notion of "decoupling".
"We must realize that prosperity and well-being do not depend on consuming ever-greater quantities of resources," said the report.
"Decoupling is not about stopping growth. It's about doing more with less. Global resource consumption is exploding. It's not a trend that is in any way sustainable."