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Non-Renewable Resource Issues: Geoscientific and Societal by Richard Sinding-Larsen, Friedrich Wellmer

By Richard Sinding-Larsen, Friedrich Wellmer

All the cast fuels fossil strength and mineral commodities we use pop out of the Earth. smooth society is more and more depending on mineral and fossil strength assets. They fluctuate in availability, price of creation, and geographical distribution. whether stable fuels, fossil strength assets and mineral commodities are non-renewable, the extracted metals can to a wide volume be recycled and used many times. even supposing the inventory of those secondary assets and their use raises, the area nonetheless wishes and should proceed to want fundamental mineral assets for the foreseeable destiny.

Growing calls for have started to limit availability of those assets. The Earth isn't really operating out of serious mineral assets – not less than for the close to destiny – however the skill to discover and extract those assets is being limited in lots of areas by way of competing land use, in addition to political and environmental concerns.

Extraction of normal assets calls for a transparent specialise in sustainable improvement, regarding financial, environmental and socio-cultural points. even if we don't comprehend what crucial assets can be in a hundred years from now, we will be able to be fairly sure that society will nonetheless want strength and a variety of uncooked fabrics. those assets will comprise oil and gasoline, coal, uranium, thorium, geothermal, metal minerals, commercial and distinctiveness minerals, together with cement, uncooked fabrics, rare-earth components. a world process for assessing the value and destiny availability of those assets is termed for – an procedure that, with acceptable overseas collaboration, was once began in the triennium of the foreign 12 months of Planet Earth. a few worldwide mineral source exams, concerning inter-governmental collaboration, have already been initiated. The foreign yr of Planet Earth helped to concentration cognizance on how the geosciences can generate prosperity in the neighborhood and globally, in addition to sustainability matters in either built and constructing countries.

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From the Non-renewable Resource Issues: Geoscientific and Societal Challenges: An Introduction 15 Fig. 12 A sustainable scenario for meeting long-term future phosphorus demand through phosphorus use efficiency and recovery (historical data and exit strategy after Cordell et al. (2009a, b) and Schröder et al. (2010)) (Source: Wellmer and Steinbach 2011) present point of view, quantum jumps in technology development and increases in efficiency on a similar scale are required. This highlights the overriding role of human creativity and ingenuity as the most important resource of all (McKelvey 1973).

Hagelüken (2011) examines the technosphere which has to be used to a maximum extent on the road to a sustainable development, in this case technology metals critical for our high-technology society as discussed above. Progress in resource efficiency is necessary if mankind is to successfully advance on the road to a sustainable economy. The most widely accepted definition of the intergenerational fairness principle of sustainable development is the one given in the Brundtland report: a path allowing every future generation the option of being as well off as its predecessors (Brundtland 1987).

Non-renewable Resource Issues: Geoscientific and Societal Challenges: An Introduction Modern-day prophets cry out yes, and yes again, to all of these questions. They call upon society to repent and to mend its ways, to curb its population growth, to restrain its use of mineral resources, to tame its passion for more and better things, to turn away from materialism, and to embrace a simpler life. Standing at the other end of the spectrum are the prophet slayers. They claim the availability of mineral resources poses no problems, now and forevermore (or at least for as long as we might have an interest in the future).

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