Consuming resources

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  • Created by: Ett
  • Created on: 28-05-13 18:19


Asia Pacific - greatest increase in demand for oil e.g. China + India (NICs)

  • Have increased need for oil in industry
  • Large population = larger oil consumption (in China)

North America, Europe, Eurasia and Asia Pacific use the most oil (wealthy MEDCs)

  • Will use a lot of oil due to more vehicles + industry + farming
  • Have more money to turn oil into more useful materials e.g. plastics + in cosmetics 

South America, Africa and the Middle East use the least oil (mainly LEDCs)

  • Not wealthy enough to use the oil
  • Cannot import large amounts of oil as it is expensive
  • Do not have many cars to use the oil

Dependence on oil can be reduced by walking, cycling, using renewable energy to provide electricity, using less electricity + using public transport.

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Oil (continued)

If there is less oil, there will be problems for countries all over the world.

Problems for countries which rely on oil 

  • Oil prices rise -> more expensive to drive
  • Reduced standard of living
  • More difficulty travelling
  • Political issues
  • Lack of fuel -> impact on products + industry

Problems for countries that were exporters of oil

  • Oil is finite -> will eventually run out
  • Reduction of income
  • Over reliance on oil -> economy may crash
  • Diversification required -> different industries
  • Need to import oil
  • May have to restrict oil sales
  • Political issues 
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Oil case study - Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a major oil producer in the UAE. However, it is a desert country and has very little rainfall / land suitable for growing cropsThe emirate relies on profits made from selling oil to import food.

There was a global food shortage in 2008, which led to the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) to search for a sustainable solution to obtain food


  • A lot of water from the River Nile
  • Large areas of land suitable for agriculture
  • Crops = wheat, potatoes, beans + alfalfa (grown and exported to Abu Dhabi)


  • Develop 30k hectares of farmland in Sudan
  • Govt. in Sudan agreed to lease land free of charge in exchange for technology to improve farming techniques
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Boserup + Malthus


He believed that pop. grows exponentially (doubles at each stage e.g. 1:2:4) + food production grows arithmetically (adding one unit at  each stage) So pop. would eventually outstrip food supply + there would be a pop. decrease due to starvation

1) Whenever pop. outstripped resource supply -> 'natural checks'
2) Pop. will decrease to a manageable level, then continue till next natural check

  • 'Natural checks' on pop. growth are war, disease, mortality
  • Example of a 'natural check': AIDS epidemic


 Opposes ideas of Malthus. She believed that food production doesn't limit/ control pop. growthInstead...humans would invent solutions to the problem. 'Agricultural intensification' is the idea that farmers can grow more food from the same piece of land using better farming techniques + chemical fertilisers

  •  Examples: hydrogen powered cars, GM crops + pesticides
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There are three types of resources: renewable, sustainable + non-renewable.


  • Advantages = infinite, produces little / no waste, environmentally friendly
  • Disadvantages = supply depends on weather (unreliable), not a lot of electricity made
  • Example = wind power


  • Advantages = widely available, affordable, provides a lot of energy
  • Disadvantages = finite, hard to obtain, pollute the environment
  • Example = Coal


  • Advantages = waste products re-used, environmentally friendly, provides energy
  • Disadvantages = may be unreliable
  • Example = wood
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Calorie consumption + GM crops

Problems due to an increasing pop. are more migration, more CO2, more expensive food + fuel + water shortages. This will either lead to mass starvation (Malthus) or new technology to cope (Boserup). GM crops may be able to cope with food insecurity.

GM crops


  • May be capable of thriving in regions with poor soil/ adverse climates
  • Stay ripe for longer -> can be shipped long distances 
  • More environmentally friendly -> require less pesticides + herbicides
  • Inbuilt resistance to pests, weeds + disease


  • Everyone may grow same strain of crop with less resistance to disease
  • Have not been proved safe
  • Could cross-pollinate with non-GM plants -> ecological problems
  • GM seeds must be bought from companies - expensive for poorer farmers
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Renewable energy Case Study - Biogas in India

Most of the electricity generated comes from burning fossil fuelsthermal power stations (coal, gas). This is a problem as these resources can be expensive.

Muppandal Wind Farm

  • Enough energy to power 1 million homes
  • Wind turbines help produce electricity for companies -> they save on electricity use
  • HOWEVER...the amount of power a turbine generates depends on the wind power

Firewood is used for cooking. Gathering wood can take a day. It produces a lot of smoke when burned, causing high numbers of eye infectionsrespiratory diseases.

Biogas plants are appropriate technology + support villages by producing methane to be used as a cooking fuel.

  • Little / no smoke
  • No firewood to collect- children have time for school
  • No deforestation - more environmentally friendly
  • Easy to build + local materials
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Peak oil - the point at which oil production reaches its maximum level + then falls
NIC - Newly Industrialising Country

Resource - naturally occurring substance which can be used / made into something new
Renewable - will never run out and can be used over + over again, infinite resources
Sustainable - able to be maintained at a certain rate e.g. bio-fuels 
Non-renewable - being used up and can't be replaced, finite resources e.g. Coal

Food security
- the ability to obtain sufficient food on a day-to-day basis 
Food insecurity
- how difficult it is to obtain enough food 

Oil pessimists believe that the world has reached / is close to reaching peak oil
From now -> less oil to extract = possibility of recession / war
Evidence is high oil prices 

Oil optimists believe that peak oil is still decades away
DUE TO...more oil to be discovered 

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