PODA WEAPONS DEVOLUTION 10
As in the past, future metal will be limited, of poor quality and used only where critical. It isn’t about the ores, per se, but about the smelting. And even then, it is also about the ores. We no longer have near surface high quality ore or coal or oil. And natural gas will no longer be transported- it’s infrastructure more energy intensive and higher tech. Even if our landscape was littered with scrap- no longer the case as invaluable irreplaceable huge hunks or iron and steel and aluminum have been shipped over to China- you still have the energy limitations smelting it. Water power is not so much the answer, either. The Western hydropower is higher tech/higher maintenance, more centralized in an increasingly drought blighted area, and the Eastern hydropower lacks machinery in locks and dams neglected of upkeep for generations. Not that it is impossible, just that it is far below “historical”( last 150 years ) norms. We won’t be building continent wide empires on what is left- perhaps smaller regional, if at all. As was already stated, the most likely outcome is just 500 years of Dark Ages and NO expansion or governmental centralization. The soil needs to recover, and you only do that unnaturally with a food surplus already in place. Left to her own devices, Mother Natures soil build up will take many generations.
But you can forget about ores or fuels ever being “unlimited” and universal. It will never disappear, but they will once again be very dear, limited and pricey. Metal should be one of those new compact materials ideal for shipping. As in the middle ages where spice was small and compact and valuable enough to pay for a ship and crew and compensate for failure, I foresee steel being the same. Perhaps not the lower smelt temperature items such as copper ( although that depends on how our telephone lines fair prior to collapse ), but certainly higher quality metals. You can forget about precious metals- those are NOT needed in an environment of zero trade which is the area without soil fertility giving crop surplus. Metal, so ambiguous prior to 2005 Global Peak Oil you could throw it away and buy all new, is even now far more dear, both for smelting costs and the end of global ore supply surpluses. In the future, anything metal of acceptable quality will be very expensive, if available at all. If you are at all concerned, now is the time to acquire things such as ax heads, shovels and picks, black powder rifle kits, bicycle replacement parts and etc. Or, auto leaf springs for future metal projects such as crossbows or edged weapons. All that will soon be replaced with far less efficient items, if any. They might just disappear completely. It also highlights your future military capacities. Far less metal, if any.
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