Congratulations to one of our 2017 Creating Opportunities scholarship recipients, Keith James Kinney. One of the application requirements was to submit an essay on How Copper Impacts your Lifestyle. Thanks, K.J., for a great submission!
How would my lifestyle be different without copper?
America may run on Dunkin’, but the world runs on copper. For over ten thousand years, copper has been used by man. Answering how copper impacts everyday life is immense, but bringing up how life would be different without copper is more manageable. Moving past the fact that history would be insanely different since ancient man wouldn’t have had it, but an easy question to ask is how different would life be without electricity? The wires that connect the world are nearly all copper. Except for in sophisticated machines where the wires are gold, copper powers the whole world. The wires in my house, my school, most likely your house, the White House, all copper. If all copper were to vanish, the entire world would shut down. Only small subcultures that run without it would be unaffected, until the fallout from the rest of the world ending reached them. On top of that, most pipes use copper. So most running water would vanish, leaving us to use pipes made our of lead, which didn’t work hundreds of years ago and won’t work now, or more expensive, and more rare, materials.
Sure gold could replace copper wires, but gold is much rarer, heavier, and more expensive. Plastic could replace the copper pipes, but without copper to power the machines that make plastic, we are trapped in a loop of failure. The idea of losing my fancy electronics to the loss of copper is laughable to the idea of losing nearly everything made of copper. My lifestyle isn’t the only one that would change, America’s isn’t the only that would change, but the whole planet will need to start their lives again from zero since everything, at some point, will run on copper. Even the first civilizations ran on copper. Without it, civilization as we know it becomes nothing more than a false dream.
Keith Kinney also submitted a video as part of the application process. You can watch it on our YouTube channel.