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Sustaining resources for humanity

Written by Ivey Ingalls-Rubin

 

The concept of original sin didn’t come about due to some fruit in some garden; it became so when our ancestors used the very first non-renewable resource in an unsustainable way.

There’s nothing but concern and worry that encompasses this seemingly endless binge of non-sustainable resource consumption. Contrary to widespread belief, the real issue generated by the current patterns of resource use is their environmental impact, not the possible finite supply of certain non-renewable resources.

One example, the limitless availability of fossil fuels and, consequently, their extensive use to generate energy, has produced some of the most serious environmental problems such as air pollution and global warming. This same concept applies to other resources as well like metal ores and some minerals.

The falling prices of these resources in the world market and consistent discoveries of new reserves prove that their availability is not threatened. On the other hand, however, the use of these substances causes a variety of environmental problems.

The true goal here should not be to completely shut down our obviously working system but to modify it. A strategy to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, this can be achieved by developing a framework that allows these resources to be used in a sustainable way without further harming our environment.

Resources are ultimately the backbone of any economy. In using and transforming these resources, capital gain is accomplished to acquire wealth for the present and future generations. However, the dimensions of our current pattern of resource use may very well leave us all with serious damaging consequences to the delicate environment we share. Not only is it possible that biodiversity will be lost, but the more damaged land means more loss of habitats.

As humans, the big wigs of this planet, it is the responsibility of the current generation to step up and demand global change and higher awareness, appreciation and respect to Earth before we kill ourselves in the plight to make a buck—or save one.

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