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

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?
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  • Anthony Skidmark
    Anthony SkidmarkDitë më parë

    I believe new inventions and different 'type' TV & solar panels/screens will come about. Look at the rate of improvement and change over the years... We all have eye implants in a decade and won't need screen. Energy will come from fossil fuel, nuclear, tidal, geo-thermal, wind, solar (different ways of harvesting), hydro-electric, bio-fuel etc. The biggest problem is that people are extremely wasteful, not recycling enough... AND MORE IMPORTANTLY: Things are build to break after some years, so we need new stuff, new stuff, new stuff... instead of building something like the NOKIA, that lasts for a life-time. Even though, I'm sure science & worker people are gonna invent new technologies and processing the physical things to acquire more resources. Might even get them from asteroids. For a green & permaculture hippie life-style, you don't really need most of this technology crap. There is no problem living without tech or even electricity. Only mininng, transport, hospitals, builders, doctor and some schools and road repair people need generating/usage electricity really etc.

  • Marc Marmolejo
    Marc Marmolejo6 ditë më parë

    Here is why the media is blowing up this covid19. In the next 30 to 40 years we are going to run out of several significant resources they need to get the population under control as horrible as it seems or we are going to need to significantly reduce population or the planet will be destroyed. If course the wealthy like Bill gates and top earners feel only them and their families and friends are entitled to the planet.

  • John Smith
    John SmithMuaj më parë

    I feel like if a substance is both poisonous and cancerous, that the poison would kill the cancer and the two would cancel each other out :)

  • Jessica Evans
    Jessica EvansMuaj më parë

    Hey I've got 2 priceless broken phones. 10 bucks each.

  • Ricardo Thomas Manuel Hernández
    Ricardo Thomas Manuel HernándezMuaj më parë

    To build on the end of this video y'all should cover how kids in India get those small trace elements in things like old computers by way of melting down the components while inhaling the toxic chemicals from the burn off.

  • 3ds max
    3ds maxMuaj më parë

    Matthew McConaughey: Got any Indium? Me: No. Matthew: Be a lot cooler if you did.....

  • Freeman
    Freeman2 muaj më parë

    This is really great explanation of why investing into recycling is one of the best things. Every government official should watch this.

  • Animiles
    Animiles3 muaj më parë

    I still have my old slide phone as well as my 3 previous smartphones xD I'll keep those devices with me and I'll bring them to a recycling point once they're able to properly recycle them ^^

  • planescaped
    planescaped3 muaj më parë

    Is it bad that I actually care less about the Democratic Republic of Congo being invaded for its resources than the middle east? >__>

  • Been
    Been3 muaj më parë

    Imagine having a periodic table without tennesine that has oganesson

  • blackened 1
    blackened 14 muaj më parë

    Arsenic is not used to pressure treat common lumber anymore. It is not the good old CCA stamp. More likely, a copper compound less toxic to the environment. Arsenic may still be used for railroad ties and other construction applications, but not for residential use.

  • Kristina Xo-Ox
    Kristina Xo-Ox4 muaj më parë

    How about we recycle our old lcd and solar cells to reuse the stuff. We pollute the planet by our stupid need to have the latest and greatest throwing out perfectly working outdated ones, it's dumb and wasteful and selfcentered...

  • Man w/o a Plan
    Man w/o a Plan4 muaj më parë

    I love your voice. Carry on.

  • sween187
    sween1875 muaj më parë

    One answer, alchemy, alchemy will soon become cost effective.

  • John Hayes
    John Hayes5 muaj më parë

    I've got dead lighters everywhere, I wonder if extracting cerium is possible

  • Michael Sears
    Michael Sears5 muaj më parë

    We know how to seperate them. But can't combine them, it's a little shocking 😂 or don't understand everything here eats, shits, and pisses. A solid or gas for an excretion. Whether it took is a solid or gas. You breathe air take what you need in, put out what you don't. When you eat chicken, your body take what it needs and pisses and shits it out.

  • Dan Customer
    Dan Customer5 muaj më parë

    Wile United States has been sleeping China has been cornering The rare Element market worldwide... and now has a stranglehold on it and use it as a bargaining chip or a threat whenever something doesn't go their way ! almost 95% of all recycle electronic debris is being bought up by China for a good reason wake up people !

  • Hillary Clintub
    Hillary Clintub5 muaj më parë

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

  • Anders Termansen
    Anders Termansen5 muaj më parë

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

  • Girom Christian Calica
    Girom Christian Calica5 muaj më parë

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="217">3:37</a> 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 bobbly5 muaj më parë

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

  • Plastix
    Plastix5 muaj më parë

    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 B6 muaj më parë

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="288">4:48</a> 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 B6 muaj më parë

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="275">4:35</a> Pressure treating wood using arsenic.... Who would’ve known? Delicious sweet sweet cancer. Para pa pa pa~

  • Catalyst - D B
    Catalyst - D B6 muaj më parë

    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 mike6 muaj më parë

    Time to mine asteroids .

  • Born BredBermudian
    Born BredBermudian6 muaj më parë

    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 Jr6 muaj më parë

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

  • LveMlike
    LveMlike6 muaj më parë

    Ah this guy again I puke when I see his face

  • 3nertia
    3nertia6 muaj më parë

    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
    MrCaptainkirk19846 muaj më parë

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

  • Kew Akl
    Kew Akl6 muaj më parë

    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
    Steve6 muaj më parë

    Mine the landfills!

  • TheRunthis
    TheRunthis6 muaj më parë

    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 Woods6 muaj më parë

    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 Sage6 muaj më parë

    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
    JohnnyGotHisGun6 muaj më parë

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

  • Mohamed Ahmed
    Mohamed Ahmed6 muaj më parë

    We should turn to asteroid mining

  • Jose Garza
    Jose Garza6 muaj më parë

    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
    The Great Mechanized Ape6 muaj më parë

    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
    Harlemworldboy6 muaj më parë

    Go to space and mine these elements.

  • Brian Brewster
    Brian Brewster6 muaj më parë

    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 Evans6 muaj më parë

    The coup in Bolivia should fix it

  • Love One Another
    Love One Another6 muaj më parë

    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.

  • Yoink Doink

    Yoink Doink

    6 muaj më parë

    🤣🤣🤣 ur trolling

  • Daryl S
    Daryl S6 muaj më parë

    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...

  • Hunter Smith

    Hunter Smith

    5 muaj më parë


  • Richard Robertson
    Richard Robertson6 muaj më parë

    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
    Anibal Fermaint Gonzalez6 muaj më parë

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

  • Anibal Fermaint Gonzalez
    Anibal Fermaint Gonzalez6 muaj më parë

    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
    hustler3of4culture36 muaj më parë

    What about extracting from recycled and old phones?

  • João de Carvalho
    João de Carvalho6 muaj më parë

    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
    WormholeJim6 muaj më parë

    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 McLean6 muaj më parë

    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...

  • OverlyCautiousIndividual
    OverlyCautiousIndividual6 muaj më parë

    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 rules6 muaj më parë

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

  • sinisterLMN
    sinisterLMN6 muaj më parë

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

  • MegaGouch
    MegaGouch6 muaj më parë

    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 Fouche6 muaj më parë

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

  • Eugene InLaw
    Eugene InLaw6 muaj më parë

    Get to asteroid mining already!

  • Alex Gee
    Alex Gee6 muaj më parë

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

  • Cj's Bullshittery
    Cj's Bullshittery6 muaj më parë

    I really like this guy idk why

  • Karl Tsang
    Karl Tsang6 muaj më parë

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

  • SuperAnime4444
    SuperAnime44446 muaj më parë

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

  • psychotikpaisano
    psychotikpaisano6 muaj më parë

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

  • Al Rats
    Al Rats6 muaj më parë

    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 Weisenburger6 muaj më parë

    Just another reason to travel to other planets

  • Tonechild
    Tonechild6 muaj më parë

    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

    5 muaj më parë

    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.

  • Don Vergaz
    Don Vergaz6 muaj më parë

    recycle much

  • spijkerpoes
    spijkerpoes6 muaj më parë

    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02296 muaj më parë

    Me, an intellectual: _We still have SUN_

  • TRR47
    TRR476 muaj më parë

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="328">5:28</a> *shots fired

  • Brynna Wenz
    Brynna Wenz6 muaj më parë

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

  • Unotch
    Unotch6 muaj më parë

    Seems like a good time to invade the Congo!

  • Chris Pierce
    Chris Pierce6 muaj më parë

    Thanks scishow for depressing me before work..

    STEPHAN FEIBISH6 muaj më parë

    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.

  • V364N S7R0N6
    V364N S7R0N66 muaj më parë

    @<a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="447">7:27</a> he claims recycling the metals will help stop climate change...you can't stop the climate, brother.

  • Darmok
    Darmok6 muaj më parë

    Two words: *asteroid mining*

  • The One Minds
    The One Minds6 muaj më parë

    Alchemy is the solution to all the problems listed here

  • Frukwon 420
    Frukwon 4206 muaj më parë

    tech companies should pay consumers to recycle their tech

  • Lakshmi T
    Lakshmi T6 muaj më parë

    Why are lanthanide series marked two periods up the group?

    DEATHWISH -CHRIS6 muaj më parë

    Totally unrelated but the host looks so much like Chino Moreno singer from the Deftones! Great video, thanks!

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