Use Of Natural Resources Triples

As the evidence for runaway climate change keeps on mounting, humans are consuming more resources than they ever have before.

A new United Nations report has found that since 1970 we have more than tripled the amount of natural materials that we extract from the earth every single year.

As the Huffington Post reports,

In 1970, about 22 billion tons of primary materials were extracted from the Earth. These included metals, fossil fuels like coal, and other natural resources, such as timber and cereals. In 2010, that number had ballooned to 70 billion tons.

If this rate of consumption continues over the next few decades, the UN report concludes that human civilization will need to extract as much as 180 billion tons of material annually by 2050 to preserve the status quo.

Given the ongoing reality of climate change and the disruptions its causing in global agriculture - maintaining that level of consumption is borderline impossible.

In other words - we need to change our ways soon or face a disaster like modern civilization has never seen before.


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 45 weeks ago

Do they break out those numbers by nations?

The Glenn Beck Review's picture
The Glenn Beck ... 7 years 45 weeks ago

Hillary, Trump and Johnson are hydrofrackers. If Thom were to put his words where his ideology is, he'd be #JillNotHill. Like Bernie or bust, it's a pledge movement.

lilly1875's picture
lilly1875 7 years 45 weeks ago

The only way for the biosphere to survive requires a drastic reduction in the extreme overpopulation of humans.

tomcalwriter1's picture
tomcalwriter1 7 years 45 weeks ago

Thom, I love your newsletter. But why aren't you going after HRC and DNC rigging of the nomination? Not only that, but four anti-Clinton or people who may have had sensitive information related to her and her campaign have been murdered in the last three weeks, and mainstream media is virtually ignoring it.

ezwriter's picture
ezwriter 7 years 45 weeks ago

The geoengineering program may be responsible for both 'climate change/global warming and the hot weather. For more info and proof of this insidious program see  They have the documents and patent numbers proving that we are under attack and being sprayed like bugs! Wake up people!!!

littm10's picture
littm10 7 years 45 weeks ago

You are absolutely correct. For an incisive discussion of this issue rea Alan Waisman (or Weisman)s book Countdown.

j.jonik 7 years 45 weeks ago

This program, Aug 8, '16, disappeared from Philadelphia's Ch 35 RT MiND TV 7:00 schedule...without any announcement from the station.

What's to know?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 45 weeks ago

The Green Party needs to infiltrate the Democratic party the same way the billionaire/fascists took over the Republic Party, and thus turning it into the Teapublic Party. However unlike the Koch's with their easily fooled no information Teabaggers, the Green Party doesn't need to hoodwink citizens with propaganda. Exposure to climate science and related facts presents no room or reason for dissension.

Voting for the Democratic Party is a must....we'll never get anywhere until we unseat the Koch's Teabaggers....that from a full blooded Democratic Socialist.

IM Jussayin 7 years 45 weeks ago


I couldn't agree more. If the progressive movement hopes to go anywhere, they need to learn how to walk before they try to run. Go spend some time on Truthout or Nation of Change and you'll be amazed at the vitriol wasted on the Democrats, when the energy would be better spent actually working toward a goal, like trying to get Green candidates elected to Congress or even state legislatures. Thank you for your post. It gives me hope.

ikeberltersen's picture
ikeberltersen 7 years 45 weeks ago

This rate of plunder is unsustainable. Industrial capitalism is like a malignant tumor, with uncontrollable growth that eventually destroys the organism that sustains it.

douglas m 7 years 45 weeks ago

Majority of population growth is in third world countries. So, remind me again how you get the uneducated to stop breading ike a plague. Certain religions are the same way. So do you force them, educate them, what is the answer. Do you not think it will just be ignored until disease and famine just ravages everything. If our past performances are anything to go on, greed will continue, ignorance might change some, but mostly people will always feel its their right to breed as much as they want. Didnt work very well for the Chinese. You cant control it, but you know eventually the elite will release a disease after they all take the cure to save themselves. I just hope and pray its quick when it happens. Then again wouldnt it be nice if we just got all on the same page before we step right into it. Push stupidity to the edge and see what it does, not smart.

elinor roosevelt 7 years 45 weeks ago

With the increase of precious resources being extracted from our planet plus the use of these resources polluting the atmosphere that has triggered global warming. After knowing this for many years I fear that many of my like-minded friends & acqaintances feel that our planet will overheat to the detrimant of all plants and animals. They (us & animals) will die from exposure from warming of our atmosphere, the ocean's rise & the eventual methane gas increase. The fossil fuel companies won't stop their drilling, digging & fracking which is the major reason for global warming & melting glaciers.

I have hope myself that if everyone who is educated about this dilemma could unite & bring a massive decline on fossil fuel extractions and make more electric cars & line our highways with solar voltaics we could stop this warming trend. I am for a total stop too but reality tells me we'd have a better chance at reducing their extractions. There would have to be millions of us working on this one issue which, I feel, is the biggest issue going. I know we need to stop the war machine our country has become also and get a total moratorium on nuclear weapons. My God, these are very scary times we live in.

elinor roosevelt 7 years 45 weeks ago

Looking from past elections, the Green Party never wins big enough for President, Congressman or the Senate. I think we need to create a Progressive Party not necessarily that name but one that will fill out with all those who would've voted for Bernie Sanders and could not brings themselves to vote Hillary in and therefore a possible Trump Presidency. I worked for Bernie and continue to talk with others who I worked with about this. Many are going to the Green Party or becoming an Independent like myself after 45 yrs. a Democrat. We are splitting up and this isn't good unless we can come back together and organize a new party following the ideals that Democrats use to stand for.

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 7 years 45 weeks ago

Looks like it's time to create a new model and make the old one obsolete as Bucky Fuller said .

Another way is possible moving from a power a possessions economic model we could move to a Use and Access economic model . Using the stuff of life but not owning it individually and letting everyone have access to the stuff that creates happiness in society's .We could reduce our economy not grow it .

We have an absurd idea of everyone owning there own copy of everything here in the West while two thirds of the planet are mostly in poverty and have access to very little of the basics in life like clean water ,health care ,electricity and education.How can we grow the economy so everyone has there own copy of everything like us in the West .

This is not going to happen people we have only limited resources .We have used more resources in the last 40 years than the last 40 000 and we are not slowing down .We are taught this is progress in our schools and by our media and academia but this is progress to our own demise .

Sharing the stuff of life with everyone so less stuff is manufactured and this means much less to landfill .The stuff has to be made to very high specifications so it lasts .Example using Hemp fabric or paper makes much more sense .Cutting down zero trees that after all supply us with so much for life to work.

We will see sense eventually life has never been about gathering stuff and owning stuff and survival of the fittest and seperation from each other it can never work that way .

We have to put in place new guiding principles that work for humanity the planet and all of life that guide our evolutionary path .


LeeHMB's picture
LeeHMB 7 years 45 weeks ago

Dan Brown seems to quote (sources unknown to me) in Inferno suggesting a couple of interesting things.

1) 1920 population was 2 billion

2) today population is 7 billion

3) over population will completely choke out the human race in 100 years

4) Denial is a huge coping mechanism

Queenbeethatsme's picture
Queenbeethatsme 7 years 45 weeks ago

I think these articles about climate change are all over the place.

We can't have data from the IPCC projecting the end of mankind by 2050 if we don't change our ways then have projections for the decades in 2130 predicting gloomy futures.

We cannot have articles pointing to positive feedback loops and imminent demise also declaring it takes thousands of years to repair even moderate damage. (Who would survive to steward and by what means?)

We cannot have projections of millions of tons of resources especially extracted based on a model ensconced in a future where humans have already killed themselves especially off.

We can't even discuss resources e extractions when the material used to run the extracting machines is limited and near its end..

All of this seems,like gloom and doom theory couched in optimistic denial.

They are diametrically opposed. Either we are here or it does not matter..either we stop all use of most finite resources or we don't. Either we curb population growth or not...

BUT...if the positive feedback loops are in play.. supposedly, no matter what we do, we are both doomed and shall only be here less than half a century more, anyway.

Please excuse my typos. I'm on my phone and it auto correctts

Queenbeethatsme's picture
Queenbeethatsme 7 years 45 weeks ago

What creates "happiness in a society?" What creates happiness in an individual?" What is the difference between happiness, contentment and sustainability?

WHERE or what will be the outlets for aggression, sadism, rape, etc that are a part of most societies but whose capacity for "happiness" lies with the perp and rarely the victims?

Your idea remains only that because too much is not considered. We have models of achievement and greed to redirect negative human tendencies towards physical actions to compete. War, mobs, lynching, pogroms, oppression, torture, murder, sexual violence etc are all symptoms of a society in dysfunction and out of balance. Redistributing wealth or collective ownership would not address the need of outlets for negative human behavior, including the desire to dominate and compete.

Queenbeethatsme's picture
Queenbeethatsme 7 years 45 weeks ago

Been an Indie for over 38 years. Indies do not win elections at the Presidential level because we have no party, no platform and most importantly, no state, federal or local infrastructure.

Congress gets things done not a President. A third party vote is a vote FOR whoever ever wins. If you vote third party and Hilary wins, make no voted her in and whatever happens, you helped to enact.
If you vote third party and Trump wins, it is the same indictment.

3rd party President would be a lame duck or a puppet of either party in Congress and at the state level, not much would change unless your state government wanted it to.

Queenbeethatsme's picture
Queenbeethatsme 7 years 45 weeks ago

Until around 1998, over 95% of all the world's resources was being used by just 5% of the world's population and that 5% was the United States. Poor people, like all breeding is biologically driven. The more adverse and negative an environment, the higher the breeding because most offspring will die off.

Yes there is higher breeding in the third world where living depends heavily on human labor and where disease, war, famine and drought kill many.
But they are not the ones using up or harvesting the majority of resources is the West, spearheaded by the USA who harvests crops to feed all those poor and manufactures meds to keep them I've, so that they can become consumers that feed the greed.

Humans have been hoisted by their own Petard which is greed.

timallard's picture
timallard 7 years 45 weeks ago

The arrogance is showing that "money first" equals the zero economy, there is zero left.

Consider recent flash flooding globally from long-duration, high-intensity weather bulldozing downtowns and the reason is simple, our roads were made for the wheel and because these storms never happened since Medieval times what happens to runoff wasn't part of planning.

Each of these events cost a billion or more, part of the zero economy, there's zero left for anything after repairs ...

Or the large-area lowland flooding with 100-year to 1000-year storms take your pick, the watersheds are like the roads and need physical changes to deal with runoff, and to stop that type of flooding requires terracing the entire watershed, especially after wildfires to pond rainfall and let it penetrate to groundwater, the Inca were masters of this.

Vote Green Party and Jill, it's not over, consider getting past voter fraud and gerrymandering is easier with the third party, just harder to get on the ballots.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 45 weeks ago

Queenbee, you get paid for every one, don't you? And probably by the word too.

j.jonik 7 years 43 weeks ago

Monday Aug 22 Thom referred to Clinton as possible "Commander in Chief"...without clarity that a US president is ONLY Commander in Chief of most of the military...not even all of it. Prez may not be CIC of the Coast Guard, for instance, and debate has raged with Repug states about who's CIC of the National Guard..

Top point is that he/she is not/will not be OUR Commander in Chief. We, the People, are collective commanders in chief of the President...and every other government person we've elected, hired, and paid to do the public's legal, legitimate bidding. To just say "the" Commander in Chief omits the integral parts about the military...naturally confirming to many the perverse idea that a president is OUR Commander in, in a dictatorship.

This is a common problem...this "OUR Commander in Chief" thing is almost routine in mainstream media. Please use your forum to put a stop to it.

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