Vaclav Smil has a book coming out. In it he argues that economic growth cannot continue because dematerialisation isn’t happening. We still use resources to have growth, resources are limited, therefore growth will stop.
Well, yes. Except he goes and measures the resources we are using. The one thing he doesn’t look at at all is the resources that we’re not using. That is, by definition, he’s only looking at the resources we’ve not dematerialised the economy from.
I’m pretty sure that, for example, that the global economy is entirely dematerialised from the use of the guano that built Tyntesfield.
If anyone knows of – I’ve already asked USGS – a database of natural resources that we used to use but no longer do then get in touch.