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Introduction of Resource Depletion

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Resource Depletion

Humans are depleting the earth’s resources at an ever-increasing rate. This is the sum of an ever-increasing global population multiplied by an ever-increasing level of consumption per person.

More people on the planet lead to more:

  • Sewerage and stock effluent
  • Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides
  • Fossil fuels extracted and burned
  • Oil leaked and spilled
  • Land deforested and developed
  • Soil eroded and degraded
  • Minerals mined
  • Waste and toxic byproducts of manufacturing

All of these things deplete or degrade the earth’s natural resources. It is estimated that humanities’ eco-footprint (a measure of consumption) is one and a half times the earth’s ability to sustainably provide the resources to meet that level of consumption. That shortfall is being met through the depletion (or degradation) of natural capital – things like fresh water, soil, forest land, wetlands and biodiversity.

 

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Natural Resources

  • Water
  • Air
  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Natural gas
  • Phosphorus
  • Soil
  • Iron
  • Forest and timber

 

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