A Historical Perspective of Critical Materials: 1939 to 2006

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The tensions around limits to growth versus tech will fix it are, today, as prominent as ever in the debates around critical materials. Changes in the demand and supply of materials has regularly led to periods of material supply problems. This chapter provides an overview of the development of critical materials from the mid-20th into the early 21st century. The overview begins with, in the U.S., the development of critical materials policy in World War II and the Cold War years, the oil crisis of the 1970s and the subsequent evolution into the early years of the 21st century. Critical materials thinking has been defined through war, the cold war and then concerns over energy availability and environmental impacts. This chapter shows how the historical military-energy framework for assessing critical materials has evolved into critical materials approaches to help address the challenges of energy, materials and the environment in the 21st century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Materials
Subtitle of host publicationUnderlying Causes and Sustainable Mitigation Strategies
EditorsErik Offerman
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherWorld Scientific
ISBN (Print)978-981-3271-04-3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameWorld Scientific Series in Current Energy Issues


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