Population and Resources:
Across the world there have been many riots due to food insecurity because of global population growth meaning there aren't enough resources for the population. The population will continue to grow and they will face challenges such as; expensive food, expensive fuel, climate change, water shortages, more migration, political instability and war.
Malthus' Theory - Malthus believed that the population grew exponentially (doubling at each stage 1:2:4:8:16 etc) but food production grew arithmetically (adding one unit at each stage 1:2:3:4:5 etc). This meant population would eventually outstrip food supply and population would dcrease through starvation. Malthus called this natural check where the population would be reduced to a manageable level and start all over again until the next natural check.
Boserup's Theory - Boserup believed there will always be enough food for the total population because of growing technologies and inventing new ways of growing crops.
Types of Resources:
Resources are all the things we need to survive and work. They can be divided into three main categories:
Renewable - these will never run out and can be used over and over again. E.g. wind power in the USA, wind turbines convert the power of wind into electricity. Wind will never run out so it is a renewable source.
Sustainable - these are meeting the needs of people now without preventing future generations meeting their needs. E.g. biogas in India, biogas plants convert organic matter such as animal dung and wood which ferments and releases methane gas. This is collected in a tank and can be burnt to provide electricity.
Non-renewable - these are being used up and cannot be replaced. E.g. natural gas supplies in Europe, they are used for electricity, heating and cooking however once they are used up they are gone forever so other energy sources are needed.
Oil is used in many ways such as fuel for cars, heating buildings, provides electricity and makes plastic. Despite all of this use oil is a finite resource so will run out some day. Oil consumption has risen from under 1 million barrels a day to over 85 million a day. This shows soon there will ot be enough to go round!
We don't know how much oil there is underground however we do know that once peak oil is reached it will be much more difficult and expensive to extract.
In Britain we drink more than 2 billion litres of bottled water a year. However, the plastic bottles are made from oil and oil is used to transport the water across the country. This shows more people need to use reuseable bottles to reduce oil consumption. We can also recycle plastic bottles so the plastic isn't wasted.
Hydrogen is the most abundent element on the universe but is normally found combined with other elements. However once it is seperate it can be used to power cars without the production of harmful pollutants.
Oil and Food Production:
Abu Dhabi is a major producer of oil, producing over 2.7 million barrels a day. However, it is a desert country with very little rainfall or land suitable for growing crops meaning it has to rely on the profits made from selling oil to import food for its people. In 2008 Abu Dhabi found a sustainable solution to its food security requirements. The answer is to develop 30000 hectares of farmland in Sudan for free in exchange for oil.
Ecological footprint is the area of land and sea that provides you with everything you need to survive. To achieve sustainability and ensure our ecological footprint is reduced we need to do a few things:
- measure our own ecological footprint
- green your lifestyle by saving energy and travelling less
- consider your diet and how far your food has travelled.