Crowd in Poland with helium balloon and helium placard. Photo: Adam Kliczek.

Helium is a finite resource—who knew?

By Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights

Helium makes for fun at parties with balloons that float around the room. But a growing shortage is becoming deadly serious for those who need helium for critical applications. And, the shortage suggests that other rare, but critical materials needed for our modern infrastructure might not be so easy to replace.