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Consuming resources
People and the planet…read more

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Classifying resources
· Natural resources: `those things found in the
world that are of use to us, and that we have
the technology and the willingness to use'.
· Human resources: the skills of a population to
a society.
· Material or capital resources: the goods and
equipment already in place in a society.…read more

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Resource availability
· Non-renewable resources: resources that there is
only a fixed amount of and are being used up.
They cannot be remade as they would take a long
time to reform i.e. oil.
· Sustainable resources: resources that can be
deliberately renewed and can be managed so that
they are usable now but will last into the future i.
e. wood.
· Renewable resources: resources that renew
themselves and do not need to be managed i.e.
wind power.…read more

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Benefits and costs
· We need to assess resources, which we can do
by looking at the benefits and comparing
them to the costs.
· This is difficult as the costs and benefits can be
indirect and unintentional.
· These factors are important as convention
`cheap' oil is running out and we need
alternative energy to fill the gap between
supply and demand.…read more

Slide 5

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Benefits and costs for three resources
Resource Benefits Costs
Tar-sand oil (non-renewable) ·300 billion barrels of oil in the tar-sands ·Heavy fuels produce up to three times
·Extraction would make profits for oil more CO2.
Large reserves of tar-sands, particularly companies. ·Extraction uses lots of water; 6:1 H20:
in Canada. The more oil prices have risen ·Tax benefits for countries. Oil.
the more attention they have gotten. ·Reduce dependence on dangerous ·Loss of ancient spruce forests to access
Middle East. the sands; pollution of groundwater and
·Continued oil production would avoid rivers.
the cost of switching to other fuels. ·300 billion barrels only 5 years supply
Biofuels (sustainable and renewable) ·C02 absorbed when grown but released ·Not carbon neutral as farming methods
when used. release CO2.
Several types, the most common are ·Can be grown in many different ·Need a lot of land to produce. Lose a lot
ethanol (often from corn) and bio-diesel environments. of space for food crops to meet demand.
(often from soya or palm oil) ·Internal combustion engines need ·Grown as monocultures which reduces
minimal modification to cope, no costly habitat variety.
Solar energy (sustainable and unlimited) ·Unlimited. ·Intermittent, would need back-up
·Environmentally friendly as after systems and storage methods.
production there is minimal CO2. ·Current production in tiny.
·New thin panels that are more efficient ·Fairly expensive. Panels don't pay for
are being developed. themselves.
·Huge areas needed to produce
significant amounts of energy.…read more

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`Haves' and `Have nots'
· Many countries that have a large quantity of valuable
natural resources are LEDCs and LLEDCs. They are less well
developed than countries without these resources.
· For example: Diamonds. The DRC is 177/179 on the UN
development table yet produces 21% of the world's
diamonds. Botswana also produces 21%, and is also low on
the UN development table; 126/179. The money made
from diamonds in these countries is not benefitting the
· The wealth is unevenly distributed in these countries. A
small number of the rich have done extremely well from
the diamonds that the people mine, yet the people haven't
seen the benefits. There is a considerable gap between the
rich and the poor.…read more

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