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The Nature of Resources I

2 Pages

Course Code
GEOG 216
Geraldine Akman

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The Nature of Resources I Environment - All external condits, abiotic + biotic (non-living + living) that affect an organism/grp of organisms Resources - Naturally occurring substances that humans regard as useful/necess in econ sense - Are obtained fr/biological + phys environ - Ex: ppl, plants, animals + geological structures: mountains, water sheds - Are neither absolute/constant - Depend on human perception, attitudes + behaviours, new techs + prices - Typology of Resources - Renewable resources - Capable of self-replenishing/can be replenished by human action - Non-renewable resources - Once used, are not replenished naturally/take hundreds-millions of yrs to replenish - Exhaustible - Non-renewable, consumed by use - Fossil fuels - Renewability depends on use level + human investment - Animals, plants, minterals, air + water quality - Naturally renewable independent of use - Solar energy, tidal + wind power, water resources - Infinitely renewable Two Positions on Economic Growth - 1) Not sustainable, assumes: - Near limits to non-renewable resources - Limited ability to make accurate, timely prediction of environmental impacts - No substitutes for critical capital (ex: ozone layer) - 2) Sustainable, assumes: - Free-market sys w/gov intervention - Potential to restore many resources - Value change to less consumption + more recycling - Resolution to mineral exhaustion through price structure, product substit, tech gains - Resolution of negative impacts by pollution controls, econ instruments (ex: emission charges) - Fiscal incentives (heavy consumers pay more than light consumers, can happen global
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