Is the World Running Out of Helium?

by Conor Friedersdorf

Supplies are running low because the gas is under-priced.

Or so says a Nobel Prize-winning scientist:

Helium, a non-renewable resource, is used in MRI scanners (which are cooled by the gas), airships and also by anti-terrorist authorities who used it for their radiation monitors.

Professor Richardson also believes that party balloons filled with helium are too cheap, and they should really cost about £64 to reflect the precious nature of the gas they contain. He told The Independent: "Once helium is released into the atmosphere in the form of party balloons or boiling helium, it is lost to the Earth for ever, lost to the Earth for ever."

Our grandchildren may grow up in a world where there is no appropriate way to end an artistic French film.