Geography - patterns in resource consumption

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GEOGRAPHY - core 4

1. Patterns in resources consumption

resources -  Anything that can be used by humans.

natural resources - Resources that are naturally made by our planet

human resources Resources that have been created and developed by humans

renewable resources - A resource that can be used over and over again, considered as infinite

non-renewable resources - A resource that runs out once it has been used, considered as finite

fossil fuels -  Fuels that have been created over millions of years from decaying biological matter.

preventative checks - measures taken by humans to reduce shortages -> reducing waste (recycling) / reducing population (anti-natalist policies, better family planning)

positive checks - negative solutions to reducing shortages -> wars / famine -> reducing population and hence - demand

Rich resources may help with country development, but not always eg. Japan, Dr of Congo

Japan - economically developed country (3rd in world) but with poor resources -> solution: investing in human resources -> good education system, manufacturing industries

DR of Congo - poor country with rich resources -> poor human resources (exploitation by colonies -> slave trade) -> still poor because natural resources were cause of many problems:

- deforestation of rainforest

- biodiversity loss (mountain Gorilla)

- exploitation by Colonial Powers (King Leopold of Belgium)

- kleptocratic goverment (corruption)

- exploitation by TNCs and other countries

- conflict over resources

- water and air pollution

Resource and population

Thomas Malthus - essay "Principle of Population" (1798) -> population is growing at fast rate (exponentially) while resources arithmetically -> population exceeds resources there would be preventative checks (reducing birth rates) or positive checks (famine, war)

Uganda - rampant with disease (malaria, hepatitis A, typhoid fever) -> less than 1mln people living with AIDS/HIV, 77,000 died from it -> life expectancy <55years, 35% of population lives below poverty line -> depend on agriculture -> relatively high growth rate 2.69%

Neo-Malthusian - follows Malthus ideas -> Paul Ehrlich, Club of Rome


Anti-Malthusian - disagrees with Malthus pessimism -> Ester Boserup -> human will always find solutions to shortages

China - low infant mortality rate -> high life expectancy above 70years -> 700,000 people with aids ONLY 39,000 died!! -> disease threat is minimal -> one of best economies in the world -> only 2.8% people live under poverty line

Carrying capacity

carrying capacity - the amount of the people that may live in or visit specific destination without causing damage to physical, economic or socio-cultural environment and an unaccptable decrease in quality of the living environment

environmentall carrying capacity - max number of residents an area can support before environmental harm is done

perceptual carrying capacity - max number of people in an area before residents consider impact like noise to be excessive

Criticism -> population and technology constantly change -> carrying capacity may change because of:

- new resources discovered, and resources run out

- new technology introduced

- new transport links

- new sources of water found/ new


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