Jeremy Grantham and the stats behind the end of the worldSun May 26 2013 by Christopher
OK, that's a sensationalist title and was not the topic of this interview, but resource scarcity and the unbounded growth of world population was discussed. It's absolutely worth putting this on and paying attention. You will immediately be more informed on the stats around the global economy than likely anyone else you know :)
When the price of resources are going down it makes getting -- getting wealthy much easier. And in total the typical commodity dropped by 70 percent over a hundred years. And then it turned on a dime and gave the whole 100 years back between 2002 and 2008. In six years it gave back a hundred years of decline. It went up more steeply than it did in World War II. It's quite amazing no one talked about it, there was no fuss, there was no World War III.
But suddenly we seem to be running out of cheap resources. And when we look for the reason, incidentally, it seems to be steady population growth and perhaps more importantly, the enormous surge in China, 1.3 billion trying to grow faster than the 20 million South Koreans did 20 years ago, growing their demand for resources at 10 percent a year. And pretty soon you end up with numbers that don`t seem to compute very easily.
China uses 53 percent of all the cement used on the planet -- not traded, just used. They use 47 percent of all the coal, 46 percent of all the iron ore. These are unimaginable numbers. And if they mean to even slow down to seven percent, itmeans 10 years from now we`ve got to find another 47 percent coal, just for China.