The copper that the US Department of Defense contractors will need for Space War toy-building is getting super expensive. Not to mention what's happening to boots-on-the-ground budgets because of "heavy metal jacket" ammo price leaps. There's a civilian thread woven through this story.
The headline for one of our sources was "Some US homes worth less than their copper pipes." As you might have already guessed, thieves are breaking into foreclosed homes in the US and stripping them of non-ferrous metals, with a keen eye for copper, in particular. We're talking wire, piping and valves, decorative trim, downspouts, air conditioning equipment, and garbage disposal motors: anything that does not rust or has a motor, basically.And where do the "scrap" metals go? Not to your neighborhood smelter, for sure.
Don over at The Agonist says he sees trucks full of scrap metal heading to Mexico all the time - see "Hauling off America" We know that much metal scrap goes to China, directly from the US. And Don is spot on when he says:
Seems people from other lands are tiring of our soon to be worthless dollars and now want something they can use in the real world.
So we are dismantling America and shipping it away. The free ride is over, folks.
The copper scrap pile pictured up-top, which we credit to an Asian scrap metal dealer website, has the following caption.
We can supply Copper Scrap from Mexico.
Our average monthly output is 100 tons.
Please contact back for more informations and prices.
Looks like some of it is going via Mexico to the Eastern Europe, through an Asian broker (if the Cyrillic words on the web site are an indication of the intended market).
Not really fair to blame the pilfering on meth heads, either. When you've got foreclosures, you've got out of work people looking for a way to feed themselves.
"In my district, we've got a lot of foreclosed homes and we've got a ton of people who are breaking into these homes, stealing the copper wiring right out of the walls," said Andy Meisner, a lawmaker in Michigan's state Legislature who plans an April 15 hearing on two bills intended to tackle the issue.
When the Defense Department declares a shortage of critical metals (which could be sooner than we think if we need to build numerous new nuclear power plants and missiles as the current US Federal government states), they can ask loyal citizens to donate their stashes of closet-fill electronics; or, pay a premium to those who bought metals back from us.
Or, they could create incentives to actually recycle metals in the Homeland, and cut the carbon footprint of all that exporting via truck to Mexico and a "very slow boat to wherever".
Fair disclosure: this writer only wishes he had stock in Waste Management.