Most bacteria can eat different types of molecules, however a lot of them like sugar primarily. When the sugar is over, they switch to the next type of food available. Societies are not so different. When the resources are depleted, they have to switch. They go through a transition, until they have adapted to the new conditions.
For Marina Fischer-Kowalski, there is no doubt that our society is going to face such a transition. Our resources become scarce, and we do nothing to effectively prevent this. Resource depletion means that many of our daily products might no longer be affordable. As mentioned by Bruno Oberle (covered in my previous blogpost) in his presentation at the WRF, there will be a day when indium, a rare metal used to build touch screens for example, will be depleted. Not that touch screens are essential for our survival. But this is only one of many examples. Land for instance. How long will the land be able to feed the world? With the world population growing, the available land area per human being keeps on reducing, and the quality of the soil also diminishes. In Switzerland, it is not possible anymore to find soils that are entirely uncontaminated by pollutants, which are one of the many threats on the soil fertility.
The Earth is limited, but our way of life still ignores this fact. We will see a change in our society before too long. Will iPhones soon come to extinction?