15 Things the World Is Running Out Of

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Many essential resources are in severe shortage worldwide due to rapid population expansion, climate change, increased food consumption, manufacturing, and economic crises. Some of them are necessities for life, such as soil, water, and antibiotics. However, we could truly live without coffee, bourbon, and bacon.

There has never been a greater need for resource conservation and reuse. The worst parts of the economy are beginning to improve, but the repercussions of climate change are still being felt. Furthermore, our unquenchable want for goods—especially electronics—is significantly raising the price of raw resources. These shortages can occasionally be reversed, for example, when there is a natural decline in high demand or when better substitutes are offered. Sometimes, though, things grow worse.

Arable land

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by Roger Jones

Climate change most directly impacts the quality of Earth’s land. Over 25% of the world’s land cannot be used to cultivate food.

Droughts and desertification are major causes of this. To provide farmers with techniques that would allow them to extend the use of their land, the United Nations is spearheading a worldwide initiative for sustainable land management.

Bee Population

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by Pixabay

If you weren’t aware, bees play a crucial role in ecology. Approximately 80% of the world’s blooming plants—nearly all essential to human existence—are pollinated by them. Because of this, there is cause for concern over the fall in bee numbers. 

Some honey bee colonies in the United States are losing thirty percent of their yearly population even though honey bees pollinate almost twenty billion dollars worth of agricultural goods. What precisely is happening, then? The evolution of human civilization has had a significant role in it. Bees now have less room since more people live in cities and high-density locations. Even worse, bees are severely harmed by insecticides used to preserve plants.

Chocolate

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo Provided by Vie Studio

The price of cocoa has reached an almost fifty-year high. Millions of things made with chocolate start with cocoa. But in the following decades, our addiction to chocolate could abruptly vanish. 

Climate change and weather events such as the “El Nino” are causing a scarcity of cocoa and increased production costs. Rising temperatures, periods of floods, and dryer circumstances threaten the cocoa sector. Temperatures below 10 degrees and above 52 degrees can kill a cocoa tree. Enjoy chocolate bars while they’re still available! 

Sand

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by Carley Jamieson

The last resource you may assume the world is short on is sand. Surely we can merely pick up sand on the beach or in the desert from the unending mounds? In actuality, sand appropriate for concrete is found in very few locations, primarily in rivers and lakes. Desert sand is too smooth and refined to be used for people’s needs.

A worldwide sand scarcity has more benefits than fewer sandpits. It affects buildings and cell phone technologies. Sand is a large portion of the concrete and asphalt used to create cities. The fact that practically all of our vital infrastructure depends on sand at some point makes it the second most sought-after resource, only exceeded by water.

Ivory

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by James St.John

Let’s begin with one of the list’s more contentious topics: ivory. For centuries, ivory has been a highly valued commodity exported from Africa. In case you’re unaware, ivory is derived from the tusks and teeth of animals, primarily elephants. 

Although less common, piano keys, furniture, and jewelry are all made from this substance. Elephants are protected animals, yet tens of thousands are still poached annually to feed the trade. There are currently only 400,0)0 wild elephants in Africa; 500 years ago, there were 25 million of them. 

Bamboo

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by Oleksandr P

Bamboo is known for growing quickly—literally, like lightning. In a single day, it may grow 35 inches higher than before. Sadly, though, this is still not quick enough. Bamboo is being overharvested more quickly than in the past. 

Fifty percent of the world’s 1200 species of woody bamboo are in danger of going extinct due to deforestation. In addition to being used in the $2 billion building, apparel, and paper industries, bamboo provides food and habitat for creatures like chimpanzees, red pandas, and elephants. 

Peanuts

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by Pixabay

Peanuts require a fairly strict temperature; anything beyond 86 degrees is usually too hot. However, global warming is making peanut-growing regions unfavorable for growth. 

The industry is already trying to adjust by changing. Peanut producers in the United States are being moved further north to get the proper temperatures. Peanut output is expected to continue declining due to projected 4–10 degree increases in temperature over the next century, along with less regular rains.

Tungsten

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by Kadri Ann Valdur

The rare metal tungsten is essential for manufacturing everything from electronics to plastics and ceramics to mining and construction machinery. It is among the toughest materials humans have discovered. Its usage has increased since its discovery at the close of the 18th century. The tungsten market, mostly found in China, is estimated to be worth over 4.5 billion dollars.

However, the tungsten supply’s golden age is quickly ending. China now chooses to purchase tungsten rather than export it since its exports have decreased to such an extent that it is now a net importer of the metal. There are just five tungsten mines worldwide, excluding those in China and Russia. That is nothing compared to what is about to be revealed at position 18—a substance that appears plentiful but quickly runs out. Even worse, there isn’t anymore for us to mine.

Indium

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by MrMatus

A rare metal called indium is located far below the surface of the Earth. Since it is used to make LCDs and other electrical equipment, it is rare but has grown increasingly important in today’s society.

Without a significant initiative to recycle our LCD screens and gadgets, indium deposits obtained in China through zinc mining would eventually run out. Technology may find indium useful, but not as much as copper, which comes at number 12.

Vanilla

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by Malcolm Manners

Over 80% of the world’s supply of vanilla, with an annual value of over $1 billion, originates from Madagascar. It is quite unusual to see vanilla plants growing in the wild. Furthermore, Madagascar’s exports of vanilla, which are essential to producing other goods, are in jeopardy due to deforestation and labor issues.

Industries that use vanilla beans currently produce vanillin from petroleum. However, there is still hope for the revival of natural vanilla cultivation. One business believes that finding a way to make vanilla from maize fiber instead might have avoided the impending problem.

Coffee

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by Alexa-Fotos

A morning cup of coffee does more to get you moving than anything else. Sadly, that’s how the rest of the world feels, too. Every day, more than 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed. It is anticipated that a coffee shortage may occur in Europe during the next several years.

The issue’s core is regulations regarding deforestation in key coffee-producing nations like Vietnam and Indonesia. These regulations may benefit the environment but force us to reduce our daily or hourly coffee consumption.

Copper

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by Native Copper Macro Dijon

Copper must be used in infrastructure construction if the world switches to renewable energy sources. It is the greatest material for wiring solar panels and wind farms since it is among the best electrical conductors currently available.

A significant copper shortage is predicted to occur globally around 2025. Protests and political unrest frequently disrupt copper mines at the beginning of the production line, mostly found in South American nations like Chile and Peru. Although the industry has been aware of these issues for some time, locating and developing new copper mines is still challenging and sluggish.

Pangolins

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by WildlifeConservationist

The globe is changing due to China’s more than 40 years of economic expansion, sometimes negatively. The pangolin population, a rare creature found in several regions of Asia, is one of them. These mammals preserve forests by consuming termites that pose a hazard to plants. A pangolin’s whole body is covered in scales, which help identify and keep them safe from harm.

But this is precisely the reason they are in jeopardy. China has a significant market for pangolin scales, and the nation’s expanding economy is fueling this need. In certain traditional medicine, the scales are said to be able to treat a wide range of ailments. Even though it is strictly forbidden to utilize pangolin goods in the majority of the world, pangolins manage to cross borders on the illicit market. They are currently the most trafficked animal worldwide.

Soybeans

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
photo provided by Tris T7

Recently, a significant shift has been toward items made without animal products. There has never been a greater selection of vegan and vegetarian options. Several of them use soybeans, mostly imported from South America. 

Argentina, the world’s leading soybean producer, is already issuing warnings, claiming that it is in the midst of a catastrophic year. In 2018, the nation’s drought destroyed almost 25% of the soybean crop and is still taking a long time to recover. The dry weather in the United States is bringing on similar issues. If you enjoy soy milk in your coffee, Brazil is emerging as a viable substitute. Let’s hope it can bridge the gap! 

Coral Reefs

15 Things the World Is Running Out Of
Photo provided by Tom Fisk

We’ve discussed the issues around overfishing and how it impacts coral. Coral reefs are slowly but being destroyed by pollution, increasing ocean temperatures, and overfishing.

UNESCO has started an emergency initiative to protect and restore half a million square kilometers of coral reefs worldwide. Scientists have discovered that these coral reefs are crucial for absorbing carbon and increasing biodiversity.

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