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blackbootz  ·  50 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Smartphones and dematerialization

The theme of the article dovetails with the thesis from Julian Simon's The Ultimate Resource, taken here from wikipedia:

    The overarching thesis on why there is no resource crisis is that as a particular resource becomes more scarce, its price rises. This price rise creates an incentive for people to discover more of the resource, ration and recycle it, and eventually, develop substitutes. The "ultimate resource" is not any particular physical object but the capacity for humans to invent and adapt.

    The work opens with an explanation of scarcity, noting its relation to price; high prices denote relative scarcity and low prices indicate abundance. Simon usually measures prices in wage-adjusted terms, since this is a measure of how much labor is required to purchase a fixed amount of a particular resource. Since prices for most raw materials (e.g., copper) have fallen between 1800 and 1990 (adjusting for wages and adjusting for inflation), Simon argues that this indicates that those materials have become less scarce.

It's honestly a soothing thought that electricity use in the US has flatlined for ten years. Ten years ago I would have thought that bringing that sort of trendline down would be impossible.