For every ton of copper fossil energy uses to make a megawatt of electricity, a wind turbine uses 500 X that amount, if you put wind turbines out to sea, they use 1,000 X that amount. But how long will copper last with all the new demand. Short answer, not long. Ugo Bardi thinks sometime between 2030-2040.
In 2010, the 15 largest copper mines processed ore that contained 1.5% copper. That means if you dig, crush and process 1 ton of rock you got 30 lbs. of copper.
In 2016, that ore grade 0.7%. One ton of ore got you 3.5 pounds of copper.
We are approaching peak copper, and we are exponentially accelerating towards the Seneca Cliff of copper demand. Copper is unique on earth. It’s the best conductor. Nothing can really and honestly replace it.
If you look at copper reserves for future projects, the ore grade is 0.35%. One ton of rock got you under 2 lbs of copper. People are so hot for copper, they can’t stop touching themselves. Last year, copper outperformed gold.
What this means is that we have to use more and more fossil fuels to get less and less copper going forward. This is the very definition of unsustainable. Just on copper alone, green energy is unsustainable for a world wide transition to 100% renewable energy.
Once we pass peak copper, no amount of money can bring enough online fast enough so shortages and price spikes ensue.
The only substitute we got for copper is aluminum, but it’s too brittle and fire prone, not to mention expensive.
The reason for all this copper craze is because electric cars. We are sold the crazy bullshit notion that electric cars are good for the earth. Electric cars use a lot more and different metals and minerals. A gas tank is empty, batteries are made heavy with iron and nickel, with just an added hint of lithium. You can play with the ratios somewhat, but that makes little difference.
The big car companies want to sell 30 million units by 2025, and they can barely secure the huge mining contracts they need to do it. There are 750 million cars on earth right now. Cars only account for 10% of human emissions. If electric cars produced 0% emissions, then 30 million vehicles would reduce human emissions 0.5%, but electric vehicles don’t produce 0% emissions, they will in effect be charged using methane gas, because solar and wind power require fossil fuel backups to run continuously. But the fun, doesn’t stop there, no siree. We want self driving electric cars so that we can drunk sext while stuck in traffic.
The average car today directly and indirectly is responsible for 1.5 gigabytes of online data traffic per day. By 2025, cars will be responsible for about 1.5 gigabytes of data traffic per minute. All this data traffic will be handled by 5G transponders that will be located every 100 feet or so along the side of the roads, because self-driving cars can’t actually drive themselves, they need guidance. All these support devices will require metals and mineral throughputs, thus increasing the demand for copper even further. Don’t even get me started how much copper the iCub child robot will use.
The Paris agreement is not enough to stop 2 C. In fact we have to reduce emissions a further 25% by 2030 than we promised in Paris to even have a chance of staying below 2 C. The year 2030 is only 12 years away.
Electric cars will have absolutely no impact on the climate whatsoever, but it will devastate places like the Congo, where some of the biggest copper mines in the world are. The slaves who mine for cobalt in the Congo are children. So instead of saying that cobalt comes from the sweat and toil of black child slaves, we call cobalt mining in the Congo, now get this, “artisanal mining”, like as if it were done by fucking little faeries.
But not only do we want self-driving electric cars that do nothing for the environment, except rape the earth, we want to build billions of tons of batteries for our renewable energy systems. Investment analysts wet their pants talking about battery metals mining. After a brief investment presentation of mining stocks, they always look like they need a cigarette, which for you young people is something old people used to do after sex. It’s an old people’s joke, ha ha. 2 links to follow.
Gianni Kovacevic: Electric Cars, Copper Demand and “Must-own” Copper Stocks (Investing News 8 min)
Ugo Bardi’s book, Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet
Daily Collapse Links
More than half of Europe’s forests lost over 6,000 years
- The US lost 90% in 400 years
Biofuel boost threatens even greater deforestation in Indonesia, Malaysia
- I need a new hole in my head.
Nearly Half of California’s Vegetation at Risk from Climate Stress
Discrepancies Between Satellite and Global Model Estimates of Land Water Storage
Urban Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Higher
How Climate Change Weakens Coral ‘Immune Systems’
Water scarcity threat to India and South Africa
China unveils huge plans for the Arctic, with ‘Polar Silk Road’ on the way
Seven in 10 UK Workers Are ‘Chronically Broke’
A Third Of Coral Reefs ‘Entangled With Plastic’
Weather.com is running a series of stories on how every state in the US is affected by climate change
Climate Change Is Forcing the Government to Relocate This Entire Louisiana Town
How climate change is triggering a migrant crisis in Vietnam
The Meat Question, by the Numbers
California faces a cascade of catastrophes as sea level rises
Day Zero Cape Town (scribbles)
Natural gas company fined after dead birds found floating in fracking fluid tank
- wind turbines are not fined for bird deaths
A ‘marine motorhome for microbes’: Oceanic plastic trash conveys disease to coral reefs (physorg)
Why the Pentagon Isn’t Happy With the F-35 (Bloomberg)
- a trillion bucks for a slow heavy jet that can only fly to church on Sundays.