George Reisman posted a great article on Mises.org. In Mining for the Next Million Years, Reisman addresses the fallacy of a world running out of energy and minerals.
Great article. One point that is sometimes missed is that capital is required to access those minerals. Even the minerals that coat my hand when planting trees are not easily extractable. Go farther underground or deeper into the oceans and the need for capital goods to extract minerals becomes obvious. The real problem is that though we fear that we are running out of minerals, such as oil, we look to government to tax profits and capital from investments in mineral-producing sectors. A pathetic response to the problem, but the only one than can make it so that we live the paraphrased quote from O'Neill, "it is horrible to be dying of cold with oil so near."