Running On Empty

Hey kids! Yeah I know we’re running out of oil, fresh water, clean air, seafood, certain frog species, sanity, etc. But there are a whole lot of other cool things we’re running out of, too. Here’s a list, just to make your weekend brighter. Cheers!

• IP Addresses: Yes the internet is running out of room, and will hit peak internet in 2012. Apparently they’ve got some kind of solution in the works which is too complicated for me to understand.

• Rare earth elements, which apparently keep Western civilization running. Supposedly China controls 97% of the global supply of rare elements like terbium, lanthanum and neodymium. And they’ve said they’ll stop exporting them in 2012.

• Drugs, as in the pharmaceutical kind. Apparently there are 200 drugs which the FDA lists as in short supply. Last week the manufacturer of Doxil, an important cancer drug, halted production completely at its Ohio manufacturing facility, making a critical shortage even worse. Thousands of cancer patients worldwide are doing without this critical drug.

How can this happen? Aren’t we always told that America has the bestest healthcare system in the whole, wide world?! Aren’t we supposed to be a leader in healthcare innovation? Didn’t Sen. Bob Corker famously call Canada and France parasites on American medical breakthroughs? Isn’t the profit motive supposed to make everything so much shinier?! Repeat those talking points three times, click your heels, and take an aspirin, cancer patients, because you obviously won’t be getting your Doxil for a while.

• Cotton. Drought in China, flooding in Pakistan and production cuts in India are supposedly to blame. But the good news is that this year, production has oustripped demand — just barely. As long as there won’t be any natural disasters in that part of the world, we should be okay for 2012! Oh wow I feel better already! I mean, it’s not like weird shit ever happens over there, right?

• Organs. If you need an organ transplant, good luck. You can stand in line, or you 1%-ers can try to game the system the way Steve Jobs did.

Bananas. As I wrote a couple years ago, bananas haven’t had sex in 10,000 years and are on the brink of extinction. All bananas in existence today are clones; this makes them increasingly susceptible to disease, pests and the like, as they have no way of evolving natural immunity or resistance to these threats. All bananas are mutants incapable of producing normal DNA: i.e., they stopped evolving. A fungus called Panama Disease is currently wiping out entire plantations.

Irony points to those of you familiar with the famous Kurt Cameron/Ray Comfort video, “The Atheist’s Nightmare.” (Link is to the debunked version, as that’s what came up first in my Google search. I’m sure you can find the original somewhere on the intertubes.)

• Coffee. Coffee is grown all around the world, so how can we be running out? Adverse weather, new pests and fungi are lowering yields everywhere. I don’t think we’ll ever run out completely, but we may be seeing a resurgence of some popular World War II era coffee substitutes like Postum and chicory.

Pay no attention to the climate change wreaking havoc on the food supply!


Oh geez. Apparently the world is running out of toilets. Beam me up, Scottie.


Filed under environment, nature

8 responses to “Running On Empty

  1. I couldn’t find a pop top on Ray Comfort’s head. I guess God didn’t put anything useful in there.

  2. have to say love love love your blog

  3. greennotGreen

    The banana alone is not proof of God’s existence. That both banana and peanut butter share this planet is proof of God’s existence.

  4. If we run out of bananas,pudding would forever suck.

  5. Damn! Hundreds of thousands of sperm and Ray Comfort’s was the fastest? He’s not entitled to be called a legal person.

  6. Great article on NPR highlighting one organization’s call to engineer a better toilet. They will pick the best design and award that inventor with a healthy grant. The toilet will have to meet stringent standards, like be less energy intensive to use. It also must be affordable for people in developing countries. Can’t wait to see what they come up with.

  7. Running out of toilets, yet an overabundance of shit.