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The sun was about to set when Robert L. Shirley drove his beige pickup onto the Pamlico River ferry.
He was joined by fellow Potash Corp. employees who had just finished the day shift mining what scientists say could be the "gravest natural resource shortage you've never heard of."
Often overlooked, phosphorus is one of three elements needed to make fertilizer. The others, nitrogen and potash, are readily available with no shortages projected. But phosphate rock — the primary source of phosphorus in fertilizer — isn't as plentiful.
Scientists have estimated that minable supplies may not be sufficient to meet worldwide demand within decades. The situation could lead to higher food prices, famine and worse.
"There will be wars over water and oil. And right along with that, there will be wars over phosphorus," said Mark Edwards, a marketing professor and co-organizer of Arizona State University's Sustainable Phosphorus Initiative.
What FDR said
Like oil, phosphate rock is a finite, non-renewable natural resource created millions of years of ago beneath Earth's surface.
Intensive mining of the element began last century after President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned that phosphorus content in United States soil, after generations of cultivation, had "greatly diminished," threatening the nation's ability to produce crops.
"I cannot overemphasize the importance of phosphorus not only to agriculture and soil conservation but also to the physical health and economic security of the people of the nation," Roosevelt told Congress in 1938
The fertilizer industry did its own analysis and found there to be 300 years worth of phosphate rock worldwide, said Kathy Mathers, a spokeswoman for The Fertilizer Institute, which represents U.S. fertilizer businesses.
The element, which is found in every body cell, is most concentrated in human bones and teeth. It is essential to life and, at the present time, irreplaceable.
Originally posted by TheLieWeLive
reply to post by isyeye
The only problem with Chicken fertilizer that I know of is that you have to use it sparingly. It's very strong and will burn the roots of the plant up. This, to me, sounds like it would go a long way with just a little.
What did we ever do before store bought fertilizer?edit on 25-3-2012 by TheLieWeLive because: (no reason given)
Shortage of global supplies will lead to serious famines and global wars
Phosphate is a key component in food production and an important element in fertilisers. The expectation is that easily extractable reserves of phosphate will be exhausted within fifty to ninety years due to the growing demand. Grontmij is working on finding a solution and on the more effective use of phosphate. The recovery and reuse of phosphate from waste water plays an important role in this.
Grontmij is working on several projects in the field of phosphate recovery.
the recovery of phosphate from reject water at sewage treatment plants. The intention is the realisation of a large-scale plant linked to the long-term marketing of the struvite produced.
The combination of the recovery of phosphorus of human and animal origin.
Question: What Are the Elements in the Human Body?
Answer: Most of the human body is made up of water, H2O, with cells consisting of 65-90% water by weight. Therefore, it isn't surprising that most of a human body's mass is oxygen. Carbon, the basic unit for organic molecules, comes in second. 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of just six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.