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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  • Man w/o a Plan
    Man w/o a Plan

    I love your voice. Carry on.

  • sween187

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

  • John Hayes
    John Hayes

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

  • Michael Sears
    Michael Sears

    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 Customer

    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 Clintub

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

  • Anders Termansen
    Anders Termansen

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

  • Girom Christian Calica
    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

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

  • Plastix

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Time to mine asteroids .

  • Born BredBermudian
    Born BredBermudian

    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

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

  • LveMlike

    Ah this guy again I puke when I see his face

  • 3nertia

    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

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

  • Kew Akl
    Kew Akl

    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

    Mine the landfills!

  • TheRunthis

    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

    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

    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

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

  • Mohamed Ahmed
    Mohamed Ahmed

    We should turn to asteroid mining

  • Jose Garza
    Jose Garza

    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 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

    Go to space and mine these elements.

  • Brian Brewster
    Brian Brewster

    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

    The coup in Bolivia should fix it

  • Love One Another
    Love One Another

    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

      🤣🤣🤣 ur trolling

  • Daryl S
    Daryl S

    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


  • Richard Robertson
    Richard Robertson

    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 Gonzalez

    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 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

    What about extracting from recycled and old phones?

  • João de Carvalho
    João de Carvalho

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

  • sinisterLMN

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

  • MegaGouch

    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

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

  • Jebediah Clang
    Jebediah Clang

    Nomophones b!tches. Get used to it. Hahaha

  • Eugene InLaw
    Eugene InLaw

    Get to asteroid mining already!


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

  • Cj's Bullshittery
    Cj's Bullshittery

    I really like this guy idk why

  • Abby Leonard
    Abby Leonard

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

  • Karl Tsang
    Karl Tsang

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

  • SuperAnime4444

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

  • psychotikpaisano

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

  • Al Rats
    Al Rats

    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

    Just another reason to travel to other planets

  • Tonechild

    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

      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

    recycle much

  • spijkerpoes

    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

    Me, an intellectual: _We still have SUN_

  • TRR47

    5:28 *shots fired