Geodestinies: The inevitable control of Earth
Resources over Nations and individuals. 1997. National
"In viewing the future as compared with the past it is important to note that the United States rose to its preeminent industrial position and its high standard of living on abundant, cheap energy, and rich mineral resources. It took much energy to mine and smelt the ores to produce the metals vital to industrial development. It took vast amounts of energy to conquer the frontier and do the work need to covert a raw wilderness into the world's largest and most affluent society. As recently as the period of 1940 to the 1960s, much of that time the United States enjoyed $3 a barrel oil, natural gas at around 15 cents a thousand cubic feet, and coal at about $4 a ton, all available within the United States.
Abundant and inexpensive energy sources and high grade iron and copper deposits were exceedingly helpful to a young and rapidly growing nation. High grade metal deposits take less energy than do low grade deposits to mine and smelt. The combination of high grade ores and inexpensive energy compounded to provide very inexpensive finished products to foster economic growth. Conversely, as ore grade decreased it takes more energy to produce the same amount of metal as previously. When this is combined with higher energy costs, the result is substantially higher end product costs. The earlier more favorable economic circumstances of high grade mineral deposits and low energy costs (coal and oil) will never again return to the United States."
"The United States rose to international economic dominance in record time, but in the process it used up many of its own and highest grade resources. The rich ores of the Mesabi Iron Range are now gone. All the high grade native copper mines of upper Michigan are closed. the US must now search for oil off the frozen north coast of Alaska and in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The United States is no longer nor will it ever again be self-sufficient in oil. Its oil reserves, once the largest known in the world, are now dwarfed by those of several other countries. Although it uses about 28 percent of the world's oil, the US now holds only about four percent of the estimated proved world oil reserves."
Here in its entirety is CHAPTER 27 - Myths and Realities of Mineral Resources.
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