Were gobbling up the Earths resources at an unsustainable rate

In the 21st century, the demand for coal, petroleum, and natural gas will shift to less-developed nations as they move through the demographic transition model. Due to the increased population, there is a need for fuels for several purposes and minerals for survival. However, oil and minerals are the non-renewable natural resources, and their depletion will lead us to severe damage in the future.

Natural Resources and Depletion

Through econometric analysis, the authors confirm that it was the Great Depression, which disrupted the stability of economic relationships between GS and the present value of changes in future consumption. Blum et al. (2017) similarly find that the US GS almost doubled after the WW2 (between 1950 and 1970), but the World War I (WW1) did not affect the US GS, whereas the GS of Great Britain, France, Australia, and Germany turned to negative during the WW1. Besides, in the United States as well as in Great Britain and Germany, technology is found to be the largest contributor to wealth accumulation during the second half of the 20th century. The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in habitat damage, biodiversity loss, and aridity. Global warming also puts increased pressure on communities who seek food security by clearing forests for agricultural use and reducing arable land more generally.

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Complexities arise especially at the level of scalar dynamics, since environmental governance decisions that appear more just or sustainable at one scale may be less so at a different scale (Heynen 2003). In this context, Siciliano et al. (2018), for instance, highlight how assessments of the priorities and needs, and hence of environmental justice implications, frequently diverge across different scales for affected groups. Using a multilevel energy justice framework, the authors show how energy decisions on infrastructure development can be taken based on energy justice principles and social impact evaluations. So, this shows the fact why we should care about our natural resources against depletion. In 2000, mines around the world extracted some 900 million tons of metal—and left behind some 6 billion tons of waste ore.

What is the natural resources depletion?

Natural resource depletion occurs when resources are taken from the environment faster than they are replenished. Causes of natural resource depletion include population growth, consumer habits, industrialization, climate change, and pollution.

For instance about 0.92kg of CO2 is typically released for every kilowatt hour of electricity produced in a coal-fired electricity generation station. Gas is a comparatively less carbon intensive fuel – about 0.52kg of CO2 is typically released for every kilowatt hour of electricity produced in a gas-fired station. As the supply of natural resources decreases while demand increases, several effects are felt at economic, social, and environmental levels.

Protection of Natural Resources

Their applications in concrete, besides the mechanical evaluation, durability performance, and leaching behavior, are summarized based on the existing research outcomes. Finally, the future perspectives and challenges of artificial aggregates development are also proposed. Since Chernobyl in 1986 in the former Soviet Union and the Three-Mile Island incident in the United States, our country has been very apprehensive in creating new nuclear power plants. The benefit of nuclear power is that incredible amounts of energy can be generated without polluting the environment. However, there are serious concerns about potential accidents and the radioactive waste it generates. There has been a recent heated debate in the West as to where to store radioactive waste.

  • Hundreds of thousands of people have been uprooted in order to make way for mine projects.
  • With increasing population and increasing demands of consumers, resources are being over-exploited and being depleted day by day.
  • In reality, there is still a lot of uncertainty about exactly how humans are affected.
  • The electronics we buy and cars we drive require minerals like lithium and iron which are primarily sourced from the environment.
  • But recovery takes time, and we are consuming all-natural resources at a rate that it will never get a chance to refill itself.

The goals of economic and social development can be achieved by ensuring terms of sustainability in both countries – either developed or developing. But we also require attitudinal change to sort out the problem of resource depletion. If our attitude towards natural resources remain apathetic, then the day is not far when very existence of life on the earth will be threatened. It’s time we realize that our actions are harming the planet and its resources, and we need to conserve, not destroy them by irresponsible activities. India is facing an ecological crisis with degradation of its natural resources day by day.


There is no reliable way to dispose of billions of tons of materials discreetly. Catastrophic spills of mine wastes in recent years have resulted in enormous fish kills, soil and water pollution, and damage to human health. This natural process is intensified by human activities, such as deforestation for agricultural purposes, changes in hydrological conditions, overgrazing and other inappropriate agricultural activities. Cement, a key input into concrete, the most widely used construction material in the world, is a major source of greenhouse gases, and accounts for about eight per cent of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a recent Chatham House report. We can stop natural resource depletion by reconsidering our linear economy in favor of a circular one. Sustainable development aims to fulfill the needs of current populations without compromising the needs of future populations.

  • This is in contrast to a linear economy, which takes resources that make products that end up as waste.
  • Deforestation or cutting down of forests; results in a major loss of resources like wood, paper etc.
  • Another enormous consequence of natural resource depletion is the scarcity of drinking water.

In terms of resource conservation, the most important impacts of arable and livestock production are those relating to soil erosion and nutrient leaching, respectively. Soil erosion increases with the share of arable land of total land use, mitigated by physical background factors (slope, soil type, rainfall patterns) and farming practices. By crediting the Accumulated Depletion account instead of the asset account, we continue to report the original cost of the entire natural resource on the financial statements. Thus, statement users can see the percentage of the resource that has been removed.

The idea behind this is that if humans can capture the carbon dioxide before it is released, we might be able to “lock” it deep within the earth and thus preventing it from contributing to global warming. It also releases the most substantial amount of carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas. Deforestation causes more than the loss of trees for fuel, building materials, paper products, or manufacturing. Without the trees to hold the soil during heavy rains, soils are eroded, leaving the ground in an unproductive state. Most of the nutrients in the tropical areas rest in decaying material at the base of the trees that supply energy back into the ecosystem. Once the trees are removed, there is little replenishing of this energy supply.

Natural Resources and Depletion

Their abundant biodiversity can provide insight into untapped solutions for the future. Plants and organisms in these habitats may hold the key to medical or biological breakthroughs, but wildlife and vegetation will be lost as deforestation eliminates their habitat Natural Resources and Depletion and accelerates the extinction of endangered species. Trees pull up moisture with their roots from the soil and transpire it through their leaves back into the atmosphere. Moisture in the atmosphere collects into clouds, condenses, and falls back to Earth.

Natural Resource Depletion – Key takeaways

Most people in rural areas in developing countries rely on firewood to cook their food. Many of these areas are experiencing a fast decline in the number of trees available. People living in mainly type B climates may not have access to many trees to start with; therefore, when trees are cut down for firewood or building materials, deforestation occurs. In the tropical areas, it is common for hardwood trees to be cut down for lumber to gain income or to clear the land for other agricultural purposes, such as cattle ranching.

Note that this distinctive aspect of environmental justice also relates to issues of the “pace” and timeline of transition. Thus, the conservation of natural capital may, in this view, be motivated by the ethical and cultural conviction that there is no real substitute for these kinds of particular habitats. The planet’s growing population has increased demands on natural resources, including forest products. Humans have been using trees for firewood, building homes, and making tools for millennia. Trees are a renewable resource, but deforestation occurs when they are removed faster than they can be replenished.

If all of the resource is sold, we expense all of the depletion and removal costs. Carbon sinks are environments that naturally absorb a lot of carbon from the atmosphere. The ocean has algae that absorb around a quarter of the atmosphere’s additional carbon. While carbon sinks are essential for balancing greater carbon emissions into the atmosphere, they are being compromised due to deforestation and pollution.