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On Borrowed Time by John E. Tilton

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Chapter 7

Findings and Implications

During the past several decades, we have learned a great deal about the long-run availability of mineral commodities, thanks in large part to the lively debate among scholars and others over this important issue. We now know, for example, that the world is not likely to wake up one day to find the cupboard bare or the well dry. We will not run out of mineral commodities the way a car runs out of gasoline: one minute speeding along the highway, the next completely stranded on the berm. Depletion, if it becomes a serious problem, will raise the real costs of finding and producing mineral commodities, but probably slowly yet persistently over years and decades. There likely will be signs of impending scarcity ...

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