The Conservation and Non-renewable Resource Management Component of the Green Economic Environment (GEE)
Metals are a depletable resource just like oil. Unlike oil--which has many relatively inexpensive and renewable alternatives--metals have very few substitutes.
Their depletion will follow a pattern similar to that of oil, with sharp price increases as reserves decrease. Unlike oil, there will be no turn back or switching because of their low substitutability.
For that reason alone, it would be important to conserve metals. However, they are also a major source of environmental pollution and degradation.
See also Book II of the Waves of the Future Series
Under Henderson's structural strategy--the Green Economic Environment (GEE)--metals and other depletable resources would be taxed to increase their price.
As a result, the manufacturing industry would look for substitutes and try to reduce their use whenever possible. This would translate into greater conservation and an extension of reserves.
The cost of metal-containing goods would go up. However, consumers would not be penalized in the process as higher prices would be offset by lower income/retail taxation (see revenue-neutral taxation).