Resource Depletion

Topics: Deforestation, Petroleum, Forest Pages: 3 (949 words) Published: October 2, 2011
[edit] Minerals and oil
Materials removed from the Earth are needed to provide humans with food, clothing, and housing and to continually upgrade the standard of living. Some of the materials needed are renewable resources, such as agricultural and forestry products, while others are nonrenewable, such as minerals. The USGS reported in Materials Flow and Sustainability (1998) that the number of renewable resources is decreasing, meanwhile there is an increasing demand for nonrenewable resources. Since 1900 the use of construction materials such as stone, sand, and gravel, has soared. The large-scale exploitation of minerals began in the Industrial Revolution around 1760 in England and has grown rapidly ever since. Today’s economy is largely based on fossil fuels, minerals and oil. The value increases because of the large demand, but the supply is decreasing. This has resulted in more efforts to drill and search other territories. The environment is being abused and this depletion of resources is one way of showing the affects. Mining still pollutes the environment, only on a larger scale. The US government has produced the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 in order to regulate certain aspects of mining but it is truly up to the individual states to regulate it. [edit] Oil in the Arctic

Oil has become one of the top resources used in America. Drilling for oil has become a major issue. America is more abundant in coal but the effects on the atmosphere are far worse than oil. Geologists consider northern Alaska to be the last, untouched oil field in North America. Environmental experts are worried that oil and gas development will seriously harm the area. In 2002 the USGS assessed the NPRA and found a significantly greater supply of petroleum (5.9 to 13.2 billion barrels) than previously estimated. Only up to 5.6 billion barrels of this petroleum are technically and economically recoverable at existing...
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