Geography - Consuming Resources - Managing Consumption

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Part One

Malthusian Theory - Thomas Malthus

 Boserupian theory - Ester Boserup

He believed that

  • Population growth went up geometrically: 2, 4, 8, 16 etc. (2 people have 4 children, those 4 children have 8 children between them.
  • Food production went up arithmetically: 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. - because improvements happen slowly
  • This meant famines would occur to limit population size naturally.
  • The poor should realise that having lots of children was only making them poorer

She believed:

  • Population growth would force people to be inventive to overcome the problems of food shortages and they would find ways to increase food production
  • Population growth is a good thing and that it is essential to human progress
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Part Two

Managing Consumption

Education - trying to change behaviour

  • Educating people can be done through advertising, schools and general public awareness
  • They can publicise simple messages to aim to reduce the use of non-renewables and to use them more efficiently e.g. walking not driving, turning off lights, turning taps off when brushing teeth, etc.Conservation - maintaining health of natural world

Conservation - maintaining health of natural world

  • This can be done through grants, quotas, programmes, laws, taxes
  • For example, grants and subsidies for renewable energy, reducing car tax for less polluting cars, grants.
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Part Three


  • Local councils can provide recycling centres at supermarkets so people can recycle when they go shopping - they don't have to go out of their way
  • Door-to-door recycling collection
  • Fines for companies and people who don't recycle
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Part Four

Potential of renewables

Alternative and renewable resources Examples of alternative and renewable resources include:

  • biomass and biofuels
  • solar power
  • wind power
  • geothermal power
  • tidal power

Unfortunately, there are some problems with these alternative resources:

  • non-renewables are often more efficient than renewables
  • renewables will not meet demand the non-renewables are capable of
  • renewables may not be suitable for all countries. e.g. solar power will not be suitable for countries which receive little or unreliable sunlight
  • the technology needed to harness the renewable energy is expensive
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Part Five

Technological fixes

With problems arising from the decreasing amount of vital resources, technological advances mean that new alternatives can be produced. For example, oil is running out, yet we depend on it greatly for our everyday lives. One possible solution is Hydrogen fuel cells which can be used to power cars. This is a good solution because:     - there is plenty of hydrogen for us to use. Hydrogen can be found in water     - its a good source of power. It only releases water when used so it releases no greenhouse gases
However, it also takes energy to produce and is four times as expensive as power from non-renewable sources. Another problem we need to overcome is global warming. There are various technological ways which could help solve this problem such as scrubbing technology to take CO2 out of the atmosphere, mirrors in space to reflect solar energy from Earth to reduce temperature rises. Unfortunately, these technologies are very expensive and the possible side effects are currently unknown.

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