In today’s world, most of us know that it is important to turn off lights and other electrical appliances to conserve energy, but not everyone understands that the reason for the emphasis on cutting back on the use of energy is due to the inevitable depletion of our environment’s nonrenewable resources. Of course, electric power is not the only factor that has lead to our supply of nonrenewable resources declining in recent decades. The overdependence on natural gas and oil to fuel our cars and to heat our homes has also been a huge contributing factor. Although mining minerals does not have a direct effect on energy and the resulting campaign to conserve it, this mining does also contribute to our nonrenewable resources becoming depleted.
Considering that nonrenewable resources are a major energy force in powering our homes, businesses, and even our transportation, it is not hard to see where the problem with using them up lies. People have become reliant upon these sources and have started taking them for granted because they have just always been there. The use of electricity is a great example of how people take our resources for granted. Uninhibited use of electrical powered items, such as lights, televisions, computers, and other appliances has lead to using more coal than necessary to power our homes and businesses. Excessive use of natural gas to heat our homes is also wasteful and contributes to the decline of non-renewable resources. A third energy related problem is the overuse of oil. Instead of walking, car-pooling, or using public transportation, many people choose to drive, thus resulting in an excessive overuse of natural oil. This excessive and uninhibited use of non-renewable resources has lead to a very real concern that one day these resources will be completely depleted. Once these resources are gone there is no way of getting them back. The problem is that if these resources are depleted, our main sources of energy are gone for good.
There are many factors that contribute to and cause the depletion of the world’s non-renewable resources. Those factors include current, past, and future human consumption of these resources and locations of known reserves (Suslick and Machado, n.d.). The ways in which these non-renewable resources are being used by current, past, and future human populations has lead to a significant decrease in the amount of available resources. Wasteful usage by humans is the major factor, but it could also be said that laziness is a factor in human consumption. Instead of looking for and cultivating other ideas and resources that could be used as easily and cheaply as these non-renewable resources, humans have continued to use those sources and depend on someone else to find a solution to the problem.
Locations of known reserves also affect the future of our nonrenewable resources. Currently, many of the well known fossil fuel reserves are not located in the United States, much less in the Western Hemisphere. This leads to our precious resources having to be imported and thus being more expensive for the average American citizen. The added expense of having to import from other countries is another reason that Americans should consider lowering their usage of energy supplies.
Although excessive human consumption of our natural resources has many negative impacts, there are currently a few positive impacts that humans have had on the depletion of nonrenewable energy resources. In the past humans have not been as informed or as concerned about conserving our natural resources as they are now. Technological advancements and sheer human concern are to be thanked for this concern. We now have many famous figures that are currently campaigning against the total destruction and depletion of our natural resources. The realization that the problem of a declining supply of resources has been a huge factor in making humans more concerned and willing to help...
References: Culverco, I. (2004). Conserve resources. Retrieved March 16, 2008 from http://www.midamericanenergy.com/eew/help/conserve.html
Dell, M. (2004, Fall). The Devil 's Excrement. Harvard International Review, 26(3), 38-41. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.
Machado, I., and Suslick, S. (n.d.). Non-Renewable Resources. Earth System: History and Natural Variable. Retrieved March 16, 2008 from http://www.eolss.net/ebooks/Sample%20Chapters/C12/E1-01-02-11.pdf
Pezzey, J. (2004, June). Sustainability Policy and Environmental Policy. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 106(2), 339-359. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from EconLit with Full Text database
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