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Principle of the Commons
Without property rights, resources become degraded With a common resource, everyone uses it, no one conserves it
Absolute Resource Scarcity
- resources that will go away, we do not have enough of these resources for now and future use at the rate they are being used.
- Examples: oil, coal, old growth forest
Note: an old growth forest is one that has never been cut, trees often a 1000 yrs old, there are very few left in the world
Efficiency, recycling, finding alternatives must be done to manage these resources
Relative Resource Scarcity
when the resource is not located where it is needed, Efficiency, recycling, urban planning must be done to manage these resources
- Is the resource in a form we can use it or has it been degraded?
- Example: water agricultural runoff, mining runoff, urban areas thermal pollution from cooling towers of power plants
- the rate of use is not equal to the ability to replenish the resource
- Discussion: Aquifers – these are replenished by rainfall, when a large number of well pipes are drilled the water in the aquifer is rapidly lowered – then, pumps are used to gain access to the deeper water – then wells are dug deeper – water can not be replenished – an example of Tragedy of the Commons
- Conservation and land use planning must be used to insure productivity
- To maintain a resource: We must not use more than can be replenished in a given time frame.
Discuss Human Population Growth
- Human population growth = increasing rate of resource exploitation
- Increasing exploitation = resource related problem
The most important factor in human population growth is the RATE at which the human population is expanding
World population growth is exponential, a plot of which is a _____
“The rate of growth is proportional to the state of growth.”