Are we as a world society using up all our natural resources?

Are we as a world society using up all of our natural resources? and also that perhaps one day we could be on the verge of a global scarcity crisis?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Yes, in some ways we are.

    For instance, there is a theory called "Peak Oil", which says that at some point in time our increased use of oil means we will be using oil faster than we are discovering new oil reserves. Oil is a fossil fuel and it takes millions of years to be made. Therefore, it is not replinished in a human time-scale. Once we go over the peak where we are using it faster than we are finding it, we will have less and less oil each year.

    Some people think we are already past the peak and they point to supply problems in many OPEC countries as proof of this. Other people think we are 20 or more years away from hitting the peak. See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

    To help avoid a global energy crisis, maybe people are looking into renewable sources of energy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_resource

    However, most of these solutions have their own challenges. For instance, wind power only works when the wind is blowing. Solar power only works when the sun is shining. Energy can be stored, but that adds to the expense and complexity of the system.

    Also, many people support wind power and solar energy, but they may object to side effects. For instance, wind turbines are a danger to migratory birds. Building large solar power plants in the dessert may hurt the dessert ecology.

    Nuclear energy may be a solution, although it has its own downsides, such as the risk of an accident and the challenge of storing the waste. Plus, the supply of radiactive fuel is not infinite, though it will probably last at least 85 years. Still, few people are eager to have a nuclear plant or nuclear waste dump near where they live.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium#Resources_and...

    Energy is not the only resource we need to be concerned about. Some important metals are getting harder to find.

    Gold is less important than oil, but it is a useful metal in some processes. For instance, it is a useful electrical conductor and it is used in electron microscopy. It is estimated that we may run out of Gold in about 45 years:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold#Production

    Water is another important natural resource. Strictly speaking we are not running out since there is plenty in the oceans, but safe drinking water is another matter. Large parts of the world do not have safe drinking supplies. In places like Israel and the Southwestern United States, population growth combined with low rainfall could lead to a water crisis:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_crisis

    Food is another concern. In the western world, we generally have plenty of food today. But will that always be the case? Some people are concerned that we are very dependent on a few key crops and speculate that a problem (E.g. disease) with that crop could be a disaster. Around the world, a lot of the diversity of our food stuffs is dissapearing in favor of a few standard strains of wheat, rice, tomatos, etc. That could leave us vulnerable:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity#Agricult...

    Combine low diversity in the food supply with potential climate change and lack of water resources, and their could potentially be a global food crisis.

    No one knows for sure what will happen. The best we can do is to think through our alternatives and try to make the best choices as a society. We as individuals can help by conserving resources wherever possible and by urging our leaders to act on these challenges sooner rather than later.

    John

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, if we as a world society do not unite soon in realizing this serious problem, the world is really going to end as no forms of energy and natural resources are left. But as to the first question, some societies are at more faults than others, as these societies not only use excessively the resources available to them, their uses lead to changes in temperature, broken natural landscapes in other countries in which societies there have been working hard to protect

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes we are using the natural resources, that is why they are called natural. The ones we can reuse or make are called renewable resources. This is why the price of gas is going up so high, because we are running out.

    And we are heading head first into a recession. Use your resources and your money wisely.

  • 1 decade ago

    Some of them, and that's why they are called non-renewable resources.

    The sun and wind and hydro power are natural as well, and will be with us a long time.

    There will be no crisis if we can switch fast enough.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yea in some ways we are because some resources we can not replace. So one day when there all gone everyone will wish they had taken better care of there world. But all one can do is try and do there part :)

  • 4 years ago

    Considering the direction we have been going in the last 40 years it will simply get worse. Or maybe not, USA is definitely not going to be the biggest power after 20 years, there maybe hope for the world.

  • 1 decade ago

    To mcdnac: It's called yahoo answers for a reason, your suppose to explain why it's so OBVIOUS.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    of couse we are having record number of births folks are living longer and it will only get rougher!!!

  • 1 decade ago

    do you really have to ask???

    save your points for something a little less obvious

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