Analysis of "Peak Phosphorus" claims.
So how much phosphorus is there?
We may never reach peak phosphorus
Civilization is definitely not collapsing because of peak phosphorus
The theory that peak phosphorus will cause the collapse of civilization, is entirely wrong and is based upon severe misconceptions of how the world economy works. Even if we assume that phosphorus extraction will soon start declining (which it obviously won't; see above) it still would pose no risk of the collapse of civilization. Instead, it would cause FAMINE in the poorest countries of the world, probably those of sub-saharan Africa, because citizens of the first world can easily outbid them for gradually declining amounts of fertilizer.
- Doomsday authors are confusing reserves of phosphate rock, with the total amount of phosphorus available. They are under-stating the total amount of phosphorus available to us by at least a factor of 1,000.
- Doomsday authors are failing to account for obvious recycling opportunities which would become profitable and would happen automatically as a result of basic market mechanisms.
- Doomsday authors are conflating a fertilizer shortage with the collapse of civilization, when the two have nothing to do with each other. A shortage of fertilizer would cause starvation in sub-saharan Africa, but not the collapse of industrial civilization. Any such problems would be better addressed by birth control programs in Africa, and not doomsday prepping.
- Doomsday authors are ignoring demographic trends which will reduce the demand for phosphorus long before any shortages occur.