Resource depletion

Visualization of narrower problems
Dependence on resource depletion
Excessive demands for natural resources
Unintegrated biosphere and ecosystem management
The abundance of natural resources used to be generally assumed, but questions are beginning to be raised on a many fronts, including the availability of fuel and of nonfuel minerals, the potential productivity of agriculture, the supply of forest products and of water, and the increasing pressures of world population growth.
Economic and developmental activities interact with components of ecosystems and are the likely cause of the changing patterns of their functioning, creating the ground for severe natural phenomena and environmental disasters.
The current rate at which the human population is growing and using natural resources is fundamentally unsustainable and, without further change, a point will come when development would go into reverse. Many now estimate this to be at or before 2050.
1. Resources will continue to be limited. But the crucial factor is that the ratio of resources to results can be vastly improved through new knowledge, new technology, and hard-won experience.

2. Industrial and agricultural processes now are capable of generating so much pollution that the life-support systems of the planet may be threatened. The interdependent systems of air, water, land and climate could be overloaded by waste by-products long before society is confronted with economic scarcities of other natural resources.

3. A recent compendium of studies covering almost the full spectrum of economic trends including: population, agriculture, energy and the environment conclude that if present trends continue the world in 2000 will be less crowded, though more populated; more ecologically stable; and less vulnerable to disruption of supply of resources than now. The people of the world will be richer, have more access to food and other necessities. Life for more people will be less precarious. Doom and gloom predictions neglect basic fundamentals of supply and demand. As demand for resources goes up and supplies diminish prices will rise forcing people to use other resources in more plentiful supply.

(B) Basic universal problems