How Long Will It Last? (Armin Reller & Tom Graedel)

how long will materials last

What It Shows

This environmental infographic shows consumption levels of various materials and relative timelines until we run out of them. It also shows the impact of American consumption, in particular, and makes the point by showing the even worse spot we’d be in if the world’s per capita consumption rate was just half that of the United States.

Why It’s Good

Environmental infographics that highlight US consumption do exist, but this one does a particularly good job of focusing a wide range of specific materials, and how they fit into our industries and technologies.

What It’s Missing

Nothing I can think of right now!

Found here, but created by Armin Reller of the University of Augsburg and Tom Graedel of Yale University.

Edit: Thanks for the correcting comment. The graphics department at NewScientist actually put it together with the help of data from Armin Reller and Tom Graedel.

  • Nigel Hawtin

    Correction to the source of the infographic. This was one of three graphics showing the state of world resources. It was generated by the NewScientist graphics department with additional materials and sources supplied by Armin Reler and Tom Graedel.

  • Emmitt Hollin

    As an American, I’m appalled at how frequently people “trade in” and “trade up” just about everything – from cars, computers, and gadgets to spouses!

  • Davidmunsond

    Very informative infographics. It’s very easy to interpret the data using this technique in showing how Americans use their money.


  • Great Soul Shoes

    Interesting infographics. You’ve did a good job in presenting the data that it makes it easy to comprehend.

  • Chuck

    as @25461e67e755c35577903a2cce7e1e0d:disqus said, it’s awful to see the consumerist culture that the New Deal and other such legislation forced into the American mainstream. (ie “Save American, Buy More Stuff!”) this is a dynamic preentation.

  • Evia

    I would love to see this graph enlarged so I could read it better. Can anyone guide me how to do this?

  • Williams Lance96

    i could not read the graph it was sorta boring!!! make it interesting next time……… please?

  • kwik quid

    Loans can also mean any varying financing made possible through a remarkable credit score ratings for any interest rate such as a home mortgage, auto finance mortgage, or even education mortgage. In this case the money score functions like a bartering exchange as the lender trusts the person as good rankings have continually been managed.

  • Myko

    This is exactly the type of information we need to spread out to increase awareness on the state of our planet’s resources. It’s awesome how infographics are becoming more popular to spread these sort of things. Cheers!

  • Larry Shultz

    Mineral and element reserves are at this point mostly a function of energy price. If oil was $10 a barrel, reserves would go up.