fredag 4 januari 2008

Cobalt price hike

Cobalt is the metal which is added to glass to make it blue, as in the Chagall stained glass window here. It is scarce and the main source is in the Congo. Its price is three times what it was a couple of years ago. The main reason is rising demand, as it is used in a range of electrical and electronic goods such as batteries and magnets.

The Prius hybrid car has about 2kg in its batteries. And this illustrates another problem with permanent economic growth. It is not just energy that is in short supply, but other commodities too. We need to use less of everything, and that means the whole notion of "growth" is not viable. Unfortunately, what are described as "capitalist" economies take growth as a underlying given, which means that the system is doomed. One must hope that there is enough perception around to make the changes before they are forced on us.

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Swansea Bay barrage dropped

This project sounds like one of those environmentally friendly schemes which is almost certainly just the opposite. Just a few of the doubts...