Thursday, April 17, 2008


This is Jacque, my 3.5 year old daughter

During her lifetime, she is going to need almost 3.7x106 pounds of minerals and energy fuels to maintain her current standard of living. That is the mass of a 200 foot steam ship, all for one person.

1.72 million pounds of stone, sand and gravel
82,169 gallons of petroleum
911 pounds of lead
75,047 pounds of cement
32,654 pounds of iron ore
5,417 pounds of bauxite (aluminum ore)
578,956 pounds of coal
18,477 pounds of phosphate rocks (fertilizer)
1,546 troy ounces of gold
1,398 pounds of copper
31,909 pounds of salt
20,452 pounds of clays
773 pounds of zinc
68,034 pounds of other minerals and metals

It’s kind of staggering really. I hope that recycling gets a little better in her future. I think her future depends upon it. Non-realistic-anti-nuke-tree-hugging-
protect-the-environment-at-all-cost-regardless people annoy me, if you want to bitch at me from that point of view, you had better also be a grass-eating-barefoot-
clothed-in-fig-leaves person, if you are wearing petroleum-derived Nike's on your feet, polypropylene socks, rubber elasticized underwear or a synthetic-dyed wool sweater, I'm going to beat you severely about the head and shoulders with an organic carrot. I am _ALL_ about protecting the environment for my daughter's future, but doing it responsibly. We can all protect the environment, and have our toys too, it’s simply (but not cheaply) a matter of being good stewards of the environment. We do have to mine minerals to supply us with energy and materials (to say otherwise is not realistic), but it can be done in a responsible fashion. So, basically, clean up after yourself. When you dig a big hole in the ground and make tons of money, fill it back in and plant a tree. When you use something up, recycle it. Sustainability is the key, not reducing the population to subsistence level hunter-gatherer societies. Oh wait, PETA doesn't like it when we hunt things.

Some of this information was derived from Mineral Information Institute


andrew said...

This is worthy of the upcoming Accretionary Wedge, if you feel like ranting on Earth Day (and why not?)

Thordr said...

Actually, I'd be quite honored to do that, but I need to firm up my writing style a bit. Let's see, now how to clean the white-out off of my screen.....

Transplante de Cabelo said...
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GeologyJoe said...

Great post. that volume is staggering.