Peak Phosphorous Too!

Phosphorous may not seem like “much”, but it is a critical element used in many different products, including food production. A global phosphorous battle may be “on” now, as prices have risen 700% in the past 14 months.

“Peak phosphorus”, say scientists, could hit the world in just 30 years. Crop-based biofuels, whose production methods and usage suck phosphorus out of the agricultural system in unprecedented volumes, have, researchers in Brazil say, made the problem many times worse. Already, India is running low on matches as factories run short of phosphorus; Scientist Warn Of Lack Of Vital Phosphorous

How much does anyone want to bet that once again, the estimates of “peak” are off by a few orders of magnitude? If anything we should have learned by now, the ‘scientific reticence’ to tell it like it really is hurts us a LOT, over and over again.

I read most of Climate: Code Red last night until I couldn’t see straight. The meaning behind this new report (February 2008) fulfills every ‘prediction’ I have made on this blog (except for Hillary getting (s)Elected!). While peak oil, and peak phosphorous is not covered, other issues such as peak water and peak food production are.

Still absent of course, is the global emergency response to build lifeboat communities and of course, a mitigation plan to power down our planet immediately. Buried in the report was the point that the Western standard of living must fall dramatically, while a slight increase in the standard of living of poor impoverished countries could be realized.

This scenario supposed that the world would effectively respond, in time, to the alarm bells being sounded by scientists. But clearly depicted, no government anywhere in the entire world is taking these issues seriously enough. Go turn on your television and watch the stupid commercials, corporate America is NOT paying attention even slightly.
Claiming we are already past most of the tipping points, we need to effectively brace ourselves for the long haul, the report only fails to convey the meaning when entire economies are absolutely destroyed, billions upon billions die and what it means to our world and our lives when this happens.

That’s where this blog has ‘stepped in’ so to speak, addressing these issues from unapologetically, an American perspective. This is unavoidable, I do this alone and what is needed is simply not being done by anyone else.  The pieces of the puzzle that we all have are incomplete, the problem is stupendously large and the possible solutions and responses are equally as staggering to the mind and their implications.

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2 thoughts on “Peak Phosphorous Too!

  • June 24, 2008 at 3:16 pm
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    I work in a phosphate mine and can attest to the headline. We recently received approvel to mine a new deposit, it is of lower quality and much further away from the mill. So even though we will mine the same amount of ore in a couple of years the amount of fertilizer produced will be less overall. The “good ole days” are long gone. From what I have heard the processing plant is completely sold out for the next two to three years, trucks are waiting to be loaded as they aren’t making enough product for demand.

  • June 25, 2008 at 6:36 am
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    Wasn’t phosphorous gas used by our military on the city of Fallujah, Iraq? That was when 12,000 brave marines surrounded a city whose remaining inhabitants was estimated at around 2,000. And then we dropped gas on those that stayed and attacked the hospital…

    Of course this was in November of 2004. Here is a report from the Christian Science Monitor:

    “RAI, the all news state-run satellite channel in Italy, aired a documentary Tuesday that accused the United States of using chemical weapons against the civilian population during a November 2004 bombardment of Fallujah. AKI, the Italian news agency, reports that the documentary, entitled “Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre” and aired on the first aniversary of the assault on insurgents in Fallujah, includes interviews with former US soldiers and with residents of Fallujah who say that during the assault on the city the US military used the chemical white phosphorus.

    ‘I heard the order being issued to be careful because white phosphorus was being used on Fallujah. In military slang this is known as Willy Pete. Phosphorus burns bodies, melting the flesh right down to the bone,’ says one former US solider, interviewed by the documentary’s director, Sigfrido Ranucci.”

    ‘I saw the burned bodies of women and children. The phosophorous explodes and forms a plume. Who ever is within a 150 metre radius has no hope,’ the former soldier adds.”

    So if there is an upside to a phosphorous shortage, this would be one….

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