Peak phosphorus will be a shortage we can’t stomach

This article was originally published at The Conversation and was based on an earlier post about peak phosphorus.

Turning off the taps would negatively impact the chances of lunch.

Here’s the good news. We probably don’t have to worry about peak oil just yet, as it isn’t going to run out anytime soon. The bad news is, as the IPCC has recently reported, we can’t afford the costs of what liberating all that carbon into the Earth’s atmosphere would do to the climate. So we will have to leave it in the ground and come up with alternatives fast.

The really bad news is that we may not even have to worry about peak oil or dangerous climate change — instead we can fret over peak phosphorous. Unlike moving from our current dependence on fossil fuels, there is no alternative to phosphorus and if it runs out our global food production system would grind to a halt. Continue reading