Actually, he\’s quite fun today. Airships. Sure, I\’ll get behind that, however, one teenise technical detail he\’s missed:
A new generation of solar panels relies on gallium and indium, whose global supplies appear close to exhaustion.
Erm, no. Not even close. Both are extracted as by products from other mining processes. Both require only the addition of a capture circuit to those existent processes. We most certainly don\’t have capture circuits on all of the plants that could support them.
Now these are rough numbers, pulled from memery. But there are some 35 Bayer Process plants around the workd. These are the plants that take in Bauxite and spit out Alumina (aluminium oxide). Gallium can be captured from this process: but, while I\’m not certain of the number, I\’m almost certain that less than ten of the plants have such capture circuits.
There\’s also all of the red mud (the waste from this process) of the past 50 years or so of the global aluminium business lying around in ponds that can be processed to extract gallium should anyone want to do so.
And no, no one at all goes mining for Gallium (or indeed Indium) so to claim that supplies are near exhaustion is, umm, a little odd.
Update. This file. Global reserves of gallium are some 1 million tonnes. Global production is around 100 tonnes.
Meaning that we\’ve got some 10,000 years\’ supply just in the rocks we know about.
Close to exhaustion that ain\’t.