We're Running Out of These Elements - Here's How

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  • Published on Nov 6, 2019
  • Phones, TVs, solar panels, and electric car batteries are all made of some rare and unusual elements. As our modern world creates more and more of these technologies, will things go from "rare" to "nonexistent" and what will we do then?
    Hosted by: Michael Aranda
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    Sources:
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    Images:
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Comments • 1 726

  • Hillary Clintub
    Hillary Clintub 7 hours ago

    If we're using up elements, is the planet getting lighter?

  • Anders Termansen
    Anders Termansen 2 days ago

    We know the boomers is at fault but still blame the millenials.

  • Girom Christian Calica

    3:37 y'all greenpeace treehugging lefty hipsters better stop using iphones if you want to save the planet cause they're built out of rare earth minerals dug through environmentally damaging congo and chinese mines

  • bob bobbly
    bob bobbly 4 days ago +1

    I bet no one knows the world is running short of sand to make concrete. needs to be the right sort,sharp......

  • Plastix
    Plastix 5 days ago

    I just wanted you to know our chemistry teacher said this is our class project. Literally summarizing this entire video. Hooray.

  • Catalyst - D B
    Catalyst - D B 11 days ago

    4:48 Then the solution is to make our important technology using less nasty stuff but just as if not more efficient.
    That’s the solution. Both economically and medically.

  • Catalyst - D B
    Catalyst - D B 11 days ago

    4:35 Pressure treating wood using arsenic....
    Who would’ve known?
    Delicious sweet sweet cancer.
    Para pa pa pa~

  • Catalyst - D B
    Catalyst - D B 11 days ago

    The rarer these elements become the more expensive it will cost to produce products that use them.... if we use less rare much more abundant elements as alternatives for the applications that these rare elements fill, can that help to significantly reduce the cost of production and even make products immune to the rarity of these elements by eventually not using those rare elements at all as the rare elements become even more rare?
    From a economic standpoint, it seems like something to consider strategically to protect your cost of production from rising and rising.

  • big mike
    big mike 11 days ago +1

    Time to mine asteroids .

  • Born BredBermudian
    Born BredBermudian 11 days ago

    They should have a program where people upgrading their phones can trade in their old ones. Instead of having to go through the landfills.

  • Meldridge Reed Jr
    Meldridge Reed Jr 12 days ago

    You should read "The Accidental Superpower","The Absent Superpower" and "Disunited Nations" by Peter Zeihan.

  • LveMlike
    LveMlike 14 days ago

    Ah this guy again I puke when I see his face

  • 3nertia
    3nertia 16 days ago +1

    Maybe if we didn't have a consumer culture and weren't a wasteful species that makes people buy a new phone every year instead of just designing one that lasts as long as possible ...

  • MrCaptainkirk1984
    MrCaptainkirk1984 17 days ago

    So less regulation is the answer? Sounds like it to me.

  • Kew Akl
    Kew Akl 18 days ago

    It is a dubious claim that we will 'run out' of any of the elements in question.
    It may become NON cost-effective to extract/refine diminishing amounts, but to run out... Dubious.

  • Steve
    Steve 18 days ago

    Mine the landfills!

  • TheRunthis
    TheRunthis 18 days ago

    I feel like, the problem, albeit not immediate, is that we cannot yet create these elements on the atomic level completely yet. I think we are getting closer.

  • Ged Woods
    Ged Woods 18 days ago

    Who’s we. I’m still on a iPhone 6’s with its original battery and always use the same lighter just top it up with bottled gas.

  • Pervy Sage
    Pervy Sage 18 days ago

    That's right electric cars actually have MORE of a foot print than gas and that's because of the strip mining required to make the batteries and the fuel used to make electricity. The USA uses a lot coal plants and coal doesn't burn even close to as cleanly as gas.

  • JohnnyGotHisGun
    JohnnyGotHisGun 19 days ago

    LCDs? I think you mean LEDs. LCD is inferior to LED. We figured this out in like 2009.

  • Mohamed Ahmed
    Mohamed Ahmed 19 days ago +2

    We should turn to asteroid mining

  • Jose Garza
    Jose Garza 19 days ago

    Where is Greta? We need her opinion on this. Oh wait, we are running out of materials to make phones, solar panels and other vital environmentalist propagandist products.

  • The Great Mechanized Ape

    so we strip mine areas, using fosil fuels, destroying ecosystems, maybe clearing forests and leveling mountains to get induim/conalt at a very low return per ton of material mined, to build solar pannels and batteries with a shelf life of maybe 20 years at best? sounds green.

  • Harlemworldboy
    Harlemworldboy 20 days ago

    Go to space and mine these elements.

  • Brian Brewster
    Brian Brewster 20 days ago

    There are some inaccuracies presented here. Molycorp's Mountain Pass Rare Earth facility in Mountain Pass, California is already mining REE and its MP Materials will start rare earth processing next year versus relying on China.
    Most pressure-treated lumber no longer contains arsenic. For many years, the only real choice of pressure-treated lumber was wood treated with Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA). ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quat) currently is the most widely used wood preservative for residential applications. And, as for recycling materials, China managed to throw our country in a tailspin when it refused to recycle our trash going back about 2 years. Rarely do recycle centers collect discarded cell phones or batteries - which hold a remarkable amount of metals. This needs to change, too.

  • Michael Evans
    Michael Evans 20 days ago

    The coup in Bolivia should fix it

  • Love One Another
    Love One Another 20 days ago +1

    We are getting elements from parallel realities now. Hop on the education train . If you know of alchemy you know antimony is the most valuable substance there is.

  • Daryl S
    Daryl S 20 days ago

    Declass everything. That includes Tesla patents still not public. Energy is in the air around us. It’s been suppressed. New technology will reduce demand for rare metals. Organic tech meld will change the future. Quantum energy is another...

  • Richard Robertson
    Richard Robertson 21 day ago

    You appear so intelligent at first and most of your information that overlaps my education and training adds to your credibility, then you come out with a suggestion to stop "climate change" and I think, well, the guy may be well read but he fails to make logical occlusions. I stopped watching. Please get past your desire for wealth redistribution . . . that's the ultimate goal of the "climate change" crowd.

  • Anibal Fermaint Gonzalez

    I'm surprised you didn't talk about copper and at least a little bit about glass towards the end.

  • Anibal Fermaint Gonzalez

    The only rare earth metal processing facility in America was closed because it was hard. China keeps doing it. Now we just throw away most batteries in the landfill and only recycle the rechargeable ones.

  • hustler3of4culture3
    hustler3of4culture3 22 days ago

    What about extracting from recycled and old phones?

  • João de Carvalho
    João de Carvalho 23 days ago

    Asteroid and Moon mining is still decades away, but we will do that. If pollution is inevitable, better to do it on the Moon than here.

  • WormholeJim
    WormholeJim 23 days ago

    There's a lot of info in this that doesn't show in the debate. The rare earth elements, for instance, and hw there are people concerned about China "sitting on most of the wold's availabe deposits" when it in reality is because China is the only producer that is willing be subjected to the environmental consequenses. Thanks for uploading this, it helps put nuance and more facets to the ongoing, rather toxic and two-dimensional debate running circles around the human impact on the planet.

  • Roy McLean
    Roy McLean 23 days ago

    Climate change will reduce both the sourcing of these rare elements, but the demand as well... the burning question is whether we’ve reached a tech plateau. Lost Atlantis will be joined by Lost Apple...

  • Scarleto
    Scarleto 23 days ago

    Lowkey surprised we haven't figured out how to synthesize these elements, or that the focus on doing as such hasn't yet shifted from mining them naturally, but maybe that's just me reading too much scifi?

  • Jaydaks rules
    Jaydaks rules 23 days ago

    WHAT! lighter spark isnt from magnesium :( whole life has been a lie

  • sinisterLMN
    sinisterLMN 23 days ago

    Sounds like a job for (tears open shirt jacket and tie): “Asteroid Farming Man!”

  • MegaGouch
    MegaGouch 24 days ago +1

    So western countries claim they have stop mining some of these dangerous elements, therefor saving the planet.
    Instead they just import them from countries who don't protect the environment or workers, and that is somehow ok?

  • Andre Fouche
    Andre Fouche 24 days ago

    Remember the climate will always change no matter what we do.

  • Jebediah Clang
    Jebediah Clang 24 days ago

    Nomophones b!tches. Get used to it.
    Hahaha

  • Eugene InLaw
    Eugene InLaw 24 days ago +1

    Get to asteroid mining already!

  • SPOOKS
    SPOOKS 25 days ago

    thorium cam hardly be considered radioactive, and both thorium and urainium are incredibly good at making energy.

  • Cj's Bullshittery
    Cj's Bullshittery 25 days ago

    I really like this guy idk why

  • Abby Leonard
    Abby Leonard 25 days ago

    Basically stop using electronics or your killing the planet and causing global warmins

  • Karl Tsang
    Karl Tsang 25 days ago

    Guess it's time to turn to the alchemists again.....

  • SuperAnime4444
    SuperAnime4444 26 days ago

    This is why I drop electronics at Best Buy's bins instead of throwing them into the garbage.

  • psychotikpaisano
    psychotikpaisano 26 days ago

    Hmm. Titanium will spark if struck against another piece of itself

  • Al Rats
    Al Rats 26 days ago

    It's criminal that we have constructed a society where the end of life of products are not considered in the design of the product.

  • Matthew Weisenburger
    Matthew Weisenburger 26 days ago

    Just another reason to travel to other planets

  • Tonechild
    Tonechild 27 days ago

    All of the elements are just made up of electrons and neutrons, so, just grab those and put them together, then you get whatever elements you need. Probably just need a lot of energy, which you can get from nuclear fusion, which by the way probably makes elements too.

    • Hunter Smith
      Hunter Smith 3 days ago

      Tonechild Prcpek with that is that is nowhere near cost effective. The necessary equipment to do that would cost more than any return you could get.

  • El Pastor
    El Pastor 27 days ago

    recycle much

  • spijkerpoes
    spijkerpoes 27 days ago

    Why no word on planned obsolescence?
    I'd have no trouble inheriting my parent's laptop if it functioned alright
    Like a voyager space probe

  • ᖇᗩ乙0229
    ᖇᗩ乙0229 27 days ago +2

    Me, an intellectual: _We still have SUN_

  • TRR47
    TRR47 27 days ago

    5:28 *shots fired

  • Brynna Wenz
    Brynna Wenz 27 days ago

    God I recognize this guy from some old USclip channel but I can’t place it..

  • Unotch
    Unotch 27 days ago

    Seems like a good time to invade the Congo!

  • Chris Pierce
    Chris Pierce 27 days ago

    Thanks scishow for depressing me before work..

  • STEPHAN FEIBISH
    STEPHAN FEIBISH 27 days ago

    I have shares in many if not most of the companies that mine the elements mentioned. Most are money losing propositions that probably will go bankrupt. Losing money for their original shareholders. Picked up for a song and perhaps profitable for some private equity investors.

  • Steve Mclean
    Steve Mclean 28 days ago

    When we run out of helium., that is when we all die.