Segments in this Video

Precious Metals (03:36)


This program will examine the remaining resources on Earth. In the New York Mercantile Exchange, traders buy and sell natural resource futures. Iridium, osmium, rhodium, ruthenium, palladium, platinum, silver, and gold are classified as precious metals. Platinum components are used in spark plugs, catalytic converters, and pacemakers.

How Much Gold Is There? (03:38)

Gold retains value during war, famine, and flood. Jose Caba, a gold retailer, describes how a lady came into his story with two kilograms of gold worth $800,0000. India owns the most gold in the world.

How Much Gold is Left Out There? (02:25)

Chris Gholson prospects gold in Arizona. During the gold rush, California extracted 140 tons of gold per year. The United States, Australia, and China mine the most gold. Experts believe that gold will run out in about 20 years.

What's It Worth? (01:54)

Gold molecules that float in the ocean are worth around $8 billion, but no one has discovered a process to extract it. The Earth's resources of silver, gold, and platinum are worth $15 trillion.

Raw Materials (02:12)

Forests cover nine percent of the Earth's surface. Individuals cook, make furniture, and build homes with lumber.

How Much is a Tree Worth? (04:52)

Home to the Douglas fir, Oregon leads the nation in timber production. Earl Allen Davies cuts down at least 50 trees in one six hour shift. Without trees, excess carbon dioxide would not be processed.

How Many Trees are There on Earth? (02:30)

Slate, sandstone, marble, limestone, and granite are widely used in construction. Dr. Compton Tucker studies deforestation practices at NASA. All the trees on the planet are worth approximately $270 trillion.

What's So Great about Granite? (03:41)

Slate, sandstone, marble, limestone, and granite are widely used in construction. David Williams explains how granite is the most elegant stone and accounts for 42% of the construction stone used.

How Much Granite is There? (01:41)

Approximately 500 billion tons of granite is left on the Earth. Limestone is softer and more soluble than granite.

What Do We Do With All the Limestone? (01:32)

Dan Peressini owns Blue Diamond Pit and manufactures aggregate, which is used in asphalt. Other uses for limestone include soil conditioning, color additive, and providing calcium.

Where is All the World's Rock? (00:46)

Top granite producers include India, China, and Brazil. Roger's City, Michigan possesses the largest quarry in the world.

What's the Rock Worth? (01:40)

Limestone and Granite cost an estimated $93 billion. Agriculture commodities make a huge impact on our society. Populations increased when human beings switched from being hunter and gatherers to growing crops.

What Do We Eat? (02:14)

Meat, crops, and seafood are humankind's three sources of food. At Pike's Place Fish Market, Ryan Yokoyama explains that halibut prices increased because of supply and demand. The three biggest seafood purveyors are China, Thailand, and Norway.

How Many Fish Are There? (01:13)

Approximately 750,000 marine species remain unknown. The amount of fish eaten every year would fill the Rose Bowl 443 times. The value of the total wild caught fish and aquaculture per year is over $192 billion dollars.

How Much Beef Do We Eat? (02:13)

Trey Schrer explains why cattle are the most important animal in America. Ranchers slaughter 35 million cattle per year. America, Brazil, and Europe are the top three purveyors of cattle in the world.

How Many Cattle Are There? (01:20)

There are over 96 million cows in America. The World's cattle population is worth over $166 billion.

How Much Corn is There? (02:41)

Over 330,000 farms produce corn. Most corn is converted to ethanol or animal feed. Betty Fussell describes how corn contributes to every product in a supermarket. Corn, wheat, rice, fish, cattle, sheep, and pig livestock is worth nearly $1.5 trillion dollars.

Base Metals (02:52)

Base metals contribute to coins, tools, and bridges. The most expensive base metals are zinc, copper, and iron.

Why is Steel So Important? (03:23)

Steel is durable, easy to weld, and resistant to corrosion; the transcontinental railroad helped modernize America. Juan Estevez discusses steel's integral role in the One World Trade Center.

How Much is Recycled Metal Worth? (01:41)

Steel does not degrade. Independent Metal recycles steel and other metals. Copper, lead, aluminum, and steel are the most recycled metals.

How Much Iron Ore Is There? (01:21)

Geologists estimate the Earth has 800 billion tons of iron ore. Experts believe the combined total of iron, copper, and zinc ore in the Earth is worth $135 trillion.

What Are Fossil Fuels? (00:51)

Most modern manufacturing depends on fossil fuels. The Earth pressurizes and heats the remains of dead plants and animals to create fossil fuels.

Where are the Fossil Fuels? (00:54)

Canada, the United States, and Russia produce the most natural gas. India, the United States, and China extract coal. Oil is the most dominant source of energy worldwide.

How Did Oil Become so Important? (01:37)

Crude oil replaced whale oil in lamps during the 1800s. America's oil boom began in Titusville, Pennsylvania during the Nineteenth Century. Oil is also used in fast food, aspirin, and soap.

Who Has the Most Oil? (02:45)

The U.S., Russia, and Saudi Arabia are the top producers of crude oil. The U.S. uses 42,000 gallons of crude oil a second. Experts estimate the planet will run out of crude oil in 64 years, but consumption continues to rise.

What Are Fossil Fuels Worth? (03:26)

In the Rocky Mountains, scientists work on a process to turn shale oil into a natural resource. Experts determined that fossil fuel resources are worth almost $717 trillion.

How Do We Use Industrial Diamonds? (02:48)

Precious stones are the hardest and most prized materials on Earth. Diamonds are categorized as gem grade or industrial; they are the single hardest material on the planet. Australia, Russia, and Congo produced the most industrial grade diamonds.

What Are Industrial Diamonds Worth? (03:29)

Gemologists price diamonds by the karat. The average price of industrial diamonds per ton is $974,000. Several categories affect the price of gem grade stones including karat, fluorescence, graining, cutting, polish, symmetry, and quality. Angola, Russia, and Botswana produce the most gem-grade diamonds on the planet.

How Much Diamond is Left? (01:02)

Exp01:06:30.474erts estimate 3.6 billion diamonds are left on Earth and should last 49 years at the current production rates. Diamonds are worth over $529 billion dollars, bringing the total sum of the Earth's natural resources to over $1.2 quadrillion dollars.

Rare Earth Elements (03:46)

See a list of the 17 rare Earth elements. Uses include:catalytic converters, magnets, metallic compounds, and glass screens for laptops and computers. Samarium helps propel mirrors in the James Webb Space Telescope. There are only a few places in the world where these elements can be mined.

Who Has the Rare Earth Elements? (04:01)

China dominates rare Earth element production, giving it control over the vital element. Molycorp Minerals runs the only U.S. produced rare Earth element mine at Mountain Pass in California. Experts estimate rare Earth elements are worth $24 trillion.

Fresh Water (02:03)

Modern civilizations build their cities around potable drinking water; 97% of the world's water is undrinkable.

Where is all the Fresh Water? (05:38)

Lake Baikal, the Great Lakes, and Lake Tanganyika comprise the largest bodies of surface water. Groundwater that fills aquifers, springs, and natural wells also add fresh water to the planet. The average water bill for a family of four is $34 a month.

How Thirsty are We? (02:20)

The average individual uses 99 gallons of water per day in America. Water is used to produce energy, agriculture, and industry. Experts estimate that the Earth's fresh water is worth $5.6 quadrillion dollars.

Earth's Value? (02:19)

Hear a summary of the Earth's commodities discussed in this video. The monetary worth of Earth is approximately $6,873,951,620,979,880. Human imagination is the most valuable commodity on the planet.

Credits: What's the Earth Worth? (00:20)

Credits: What's the Earth Worth?

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What's the Earth Worth?

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Forged over 4.6 billion years, the Earth is stacked with valuable riches, from timber to cattle to gold. Together, these resources have built our greatest civilizations. But what if we could scan the planet as if it were in a checkout line, counting up every tree and every nugget of gold left on Earth in the biggest inventory ever attempted? What's the World Worth? will put a price tag on everything the planet has to offer, look at how much we've used through human history and how much is left, to reveal the absolute value of the Earth.

Length: 88 minutes

Item#: BVL130808

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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