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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 doesn’t 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 (don’t 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
- Non renewable resources, total fertility rates, rich countries