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Future Issue: Scarcity

Future Issue: Scarcity

01

AUG

2008

Scarcity will have a direct effect on the governments and industry within the next two decades. While the current discourse focuses almost exclusively on energy, it misses the broader picture of global scarcity. Water, minerals and even food are at risk in addition to energy resources. The increased demands from rapidly developing countries puts tremendous pressure on global resources increasing the cost of copper, phosphorous, cement, grain and a wide array of other resources to near or beyond record levels. Foresight analysis projects that this rising trend will not abate in the near future and the interaction of these various forms of scarcity may exacerbate the problem. As a result, there will be an increased risk of resource conflicts and economic downturn. Yet as troubling as this scenario may seem, it provides a wide array of opportunities to exploit. The ability to be flexible and innovative is central to taking advantage of the situation. Resource management is an especially important field. The ability to create new methods of utilizing existing resources and reprocess existing ones is a vital business opportunity in the near future.

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Marjolein de Ridder
Marjolein de Ridder

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