Unformatted text preview: ok is that our society will experience resource shortages in the near future
because we have been using these resources unsustainably, either because they are nonrenewable or because
we used renewable resources faster than they could be replenished. Some resources will become scarce within
the lifetimes of the baby-boomer generation. Others will become scarce during the lifetimes of their children.
To understand this problem, we must introduce some terms and concepts. Natural processes can replace
renewable resources. They can’t, however, replace non-renewable resources, or they do so at such a low rate
that we essentially have a fixed supply of them. Non-renewable resources are fixed in quantity, so the faster we
use them, the faster they disappear. Fossil fuels fall into this category because it takes millions of years for
nature to produce oil and coal from plants.
Overall, we are at greater risk of running out of non-renewable resources. However, we can also run out
of renewable resources if we use them faster than they can be replaced. For example, marine fisheries are
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This note was uploaded on 01/08/2014 for the course SUST 510 taught by Professor Marker during the Fall '14 term at Black Hills State University.
- Fall '14