I've been doing some writing about the common misperception of the economy as a zero-sum game and the fear that we will soon (or ever) run out of nonrenewable resources. This is counterintuitive to so many people that I feel the need to address it some detail. I written a draft of this section for my book I'm working on but I need to massage more before posting it here.
In the meantime, Mark Perry has this interesting chart from his post Bad news for pessimists: Malthus was wrong. If commodities are becoming scarcer, then prices will go up. But as this chart shows, commodity prices over the long-haul, are getting less expensive in real dollars. Other databases I've seen show this to be true as far back as at least the mid-1800s. The trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Why? I'll get to that in coming posts but here is the evidence making my point. Read Perry's post for more details on the data.