Economic exploitation


The exploitation of natural resources is the use of natural resources for economic growth, sometimes with a negative connotation of accompanying environmental degradation. It started to emerge on an industrial scale in the 19th century as the extraction and processing of raw materials (such as in mining, steam power, and machinery) developed much further than it had in preindustrial eras. During the 20th century, energy consumption rapidly increased. Today, about 80% of the world’s energy consumption is sustained by the extraction of fossil fuels, which consists of oil, coal and gas. Another non-renewable resource that is exploited by humans is subsoil minerals such as precious metals that are mainly used in the production of industrial commodities. Intensive agriculture is an example of a mode of production that hinders many aspects of the natural environment, for example the degradation of forests in a terrestrial ecosystem and water pollution in an aquatic ecosystem. As the world population rises and economic growth occurs, the depletion of natural resources influenced by the unsustainable extraction of raw materials becomes an increasing concern.

Although industrialized countries may not deliberately set out to exploit poorer countries, they tend to practice an approach to development which is almost entirely in their own national interest. In so doing they involve the privileged classes of Third World countries as willing accomplices. The productive capacity of the developing countries is then organized so as to produce for these groups and only incidentally, if at all for the impoverished classes of those countries.
Counter Claim:
The richer nations do not exploit, rather they facilitate the development of the poorer countries by encouraging a free enterprise system based on the profit motive to stimulate the economic involvement of the impoverished classes in the development process.
Broader Problems:
Abuse of economic power
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
06.03.2018 – 21:41 CET
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