Network for the Environment and Social (Human) Security

Resources are not Renewable!

Posted by on Jan 22, 2011 in Ecology | 5 comments

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Mankind is the only being on earth which needs an excessive amount of resources. Some animals also need resources, like the birds need the material to build their nests. But this is still part of the natural cycle and is constantly recycled. And only as much is used as is really needed. While we human beings use the resources provided by nature as though it is inexhaustible. And we use the resources even when we don’t need it. Or just to satisfy our whims most of the time.

The non-renewable sourcesuch as oil or coal, is by its very nature limited. Again a word from German might help us out here. The limited source is not Nachwachsend, the source is not growing again.   The quest for a substitute to change the engine which is fueled by oil and its products is imperative. It does not make any sense to burn a non-renewable source. And what about later? When the source is exhausted. Why is it, that oil is treated as though it is unlimited. To burn it is a waste, since oil is also the raw material for other products, such as plastic, paint. And what not? 


A renewable source, wood, is in contrast unlimited. It constantly grows again. At least in theory, of course if the wood is cut faster than it can grow no forest will survive in the end. Regardless wood is also regarded as though it is unlimited. It is now better then some years ago. The illegal cutting of wood in the 3. World has decreased in the last years. But the demand will rise according to the population growth. The renewable source must be treated prudently. It cant be used as though it is unlimited. It is only unlimited as long as it can grow in a certain window of time and opportunity.   

The same is with the limited source oil it must be treated with a conservative attitude.   

The substitute coal for all the raw material oil offers is too energy demanding. Which means it is not economical compared to oil. That’s why oil is used without consideration for the need of future generations. This same attitude is also responsible that the forests are treated as they are. As a supply of raw material and not as the lungs of earth.   

Also the growing world population must be taken into account when the resources are allocated to the single citizen. We have to be aware that when limited resources will have to be shared by more people, every one will have less.  When all resources will be exhausted we can still use the old landfills as mines for raw material. The dream to find unbounded resources is just that, a dream. The complexity and the prohibitive cost of such endeavors are simply not realistic in the near future. A more immediate solution must be found and this is to be stingy with resources and to reach almost 100% recycling rate.    


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  1. Latanya Weckman

    “Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.”

    • Admin (Max)

      Dear Latanya,
      thank you for your kind words, I feel flattered. To your question, I’m not a professional writer of any kind. This website is my passion. I have never thought of becoming a professional writer, but perhaps I should. If I ever become a successful one I will blame you. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Jordan Mesenbrink

    “great thanks for this”

  3. Abel Boss

    “WOW why dont you close your comment ? Have a nice day”

  4. Fermin

    Many thanks for trying to describe the terminlogy towards the beginners!

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