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Unformatted text preview: SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT 201 12/10/2009 23:29:00 Sustainable economic system: One that operates without a net consumption of natural resources the rates of resource use are equal to or smaller than the rates at which they are regenerated or recycled. Easter Island: Flourished as an ancient Polynesian community Used trees to move stone monuments, make fishing boats and use for fuel (fires) Deforestation caused the collapse of their society and community and they could no longer hunt or keep warm Metaphor for planet earth- once we use all of our resources Earth like an island is inescapable What are resources: Provide material basis of subsistence human needs and wants (consumption, trade..) Sources and sinks Resources are not stable over space and time; change with needs Non renewable resources: Present in a finite quantity and do not regenerate after they are harvested When they are used their remaining stocks in the environment become depleted. Fixed stock not replenishable in useful human timescales Availibility measured in Reserves Estimated amount doesnt depend on price rather the total finite physical quantity Proven or current reserves (changes with price) known resources profitably extractible given current prices and technology (if its worthy to produce if production costs are less then selling price) Potential reserves: profitably extractable at a given price; tar sands vs other alternatives If price increases so does proven and potential reserves Non renewable resources can only be mined Metal ores, petroleum, coal, natural gas Renewable resources: Capable of regenerating after harvesting, so potentially can be utilized for ever Natural replenishment at non-negligible, useful rate (human timescales) Grow or flow fish, forests, water, wind, solar Availability is based on regeneration rate Can be biological (animals, plants, forest biomass, soil) or non biological (water, sunlight) Potentially renewable if they are excessively used Sustained yield o catch/ cut is less than replacement rate Public or common property (as opposed to private) o Indivisible; non excludale; non rival/ rival Most renewable are public (dont belong to a certain person or group of people) Common property: it is hard to classify what belongs to whom air/ solar energy Goods: Excludable Non Excludable Rival (my consumption means less for you)-private goods -pizza; you can prevent others from taking your pizza, the more pizza you...
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- Fall '09