Running out of resources

July 28, 2009

Oil prices are more than double the December-February troughs and commodity prices generally are going up as the market cheers signs of an economic recovery.

Jeremy Grantham, chairman of U.S.-based money monager GMO, warns that the world is running out of resources in the long run yet is not correctly pricing the fact.

“We are simply running out of everything at a dangerous rate… As we move through our remarkable and irreplaceable hydrocarbon reserves, the price will, of course, rise remorselessly to ration supplies. We need, it seems, the shock of a Pearl Harbor to really gear up and make sacrifices,” he says.

Grantham points out that in 1977 President Jimmy Carter warned that we were running out of oil and urged people to fully insulate 80% of the houses in 10 years.

“Thirty precious years have passed, and there is now no safety margin. We must prepare ourselves for waves of higher resource prices and periods of shortages unlike anything we have faced outside of wartime conditions,” he writes.

“In fact, I believe we are already several years into this painful transition but are still mostly invested in denying it.”


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

He’s spot on, no one believes we’re running out of resources until its a cold hard fact.

Posted by Nikkei 225 | Report as abusive

We need to recycle, and we may actually have to begin resource recovery at our nations landfills. One mans trash is another mans treasure.

Posted by Tom Burrough | Report as abusive

I believe strongly that we need to recycle and begin resources recovery at our nations landfills. Because what seems useless to us might be useful to other nation. so lets try to learn not to be wasteful no matter the circumstance. It really hard to believe that a country is runing out of resources, but is the real fact.

Posted by Orji Chidinma Vivian | Report as abusive