Resource depletion

Resource depletion is the consumption of a resource faster than it can be replenished. Natural resources are commonly divided between renewable resources and non-renewable resources (see also mineral resource classification). Use of either of these forms of resources beyond their rate of replacement is considered to be resource depletion.[1] The value of a resource is a direct result of its availability in nature and the cost of extracting the resource, the more a resource is depleted the more the value of the resource increases.[2] There are several types of resource depletion the most known being; Aquifer depletion, deforestation, mining for fossil fuels and minerals, pollution or contamination of resources, slash-and-burn agricultural practices, Soil erosion, and overconsumption, excessive or unnecessary use of resources.

Resource depletion is most commonly used in reference to farming, fishing, mining, water usage, and consumption of fossil fuels.[2] Depletion of wildlife populations is called defaunation.[3]

Tar sands in alberta 2008
Tar sands in Alberta, 2008. Oil is one of the most used resources by humans.

Depletion accounting

Main Article: Depletion (accounting)

In an effort to offset the depletion of resources theorists have come up with depletion accounting or better known as 'green accounting'. Depletion accounting aims to account for nature's value on an equal footing with the market economy.[4] Resource depletion accounting uses data provided from countries to estimate the adjustments needed due to their use and depletion of the natural capital available to them.[5] Natural capital are natural resources such as mineral deposits or timber stocks. Depletion accounting factors in several different influences such as the number of years until resource exhaustion, the cost of resource extraction and the demand of the resource.[5] Resource extraction industries make up a large part of the economic activity in developing countries, this in turn leads to higher levels of resource depletion and environmental degradation in developing countries.[5] Theorists argue that implementation of resource depletion accounting is necessary in developing countries. Depletion accounting also seeks to measure the social value of natural resources and ecosystems.[6] Measurement of social value is sought through ecosystem services which are defined as the benefits of nature to households, communities and economies.[6]


There are many different groups interested in depletion accounting. Environmentalists are interested in depletion accounting as a way to track the use of natural resources over time, hold governments accountable or to compare their environmental conditions to those of another country.[4] Economists want to measure resource depletion to understand how financially reliant countries or corporations are on non-renewable resources, whether this use can be sustained and the financial drawbacks of switching to renewable resources in light of the depleting resources.[4]


Depletion accounting is complex to implement as nature is not as quantifiable like cars, houses or bread.[4] For depletion accounting to work, appropriate units of natural resources must be established so that natural resources can be viable in the market economy. The main issues that arise when trying to do so are, determining a suitable unit of account, deciding how to deal with "collective" nature of a complete ecosystem, delineating the borderline of the ecosystem and defining the extent of possible duplication when the resource interacts in more than one ecosystem.[4] Some economists want to include measurement of the benefits arising from public goods provided by nature, but currently there are no market indicators of value.[4] Globally, environmental economics has not been able to provide a consensus of measurement units of nature's services.

Minerals depletion

Minerals are needed to provide food, clothing, and housing. A United States Geological Survey (USGS) study found a significant long-term trend over the 20th century for non-renewable resources such as minerals to supply a greater proportion of the raw material inputs to the non-fuel, non-food sector of the economy; an example is the greater consumption of crushed stone, sand, and gravel used in construction.[7]

Large-scale exploitation of minerals began in the Industrial Revolution around 1760 in England and has grown rapidly ever since. Technological improvements have allowed humans to dig deeper and access lower grades and different types of ore over that time.[8][9][10] Virtually all basic industrial metals (copper, iron, bauxite, etc.), as well as rare earth minerals, face production output limitations from time to time,[11] because supply involves large up-front investments and is therefore slow to respond to rapid increases in demand.[9]

Minerals projected by some to enter production decline during the next 20 years:

  • Gasoline (2023)[12]
  • Copper (2024).[13] Data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) suggest that it is very unlikely that copper production will peak before 2040.[10]
  • Zinc.[14] Developments in hydrometallurgy have transformed non-sulfide zinc deposits (largely ignored until now) into large low cost reserves.[15][16]

Minerals projected by some to enter production decline during the present century:

Such projections may change, as new discoveries are made[13] and typically misinterpret available data on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves.[9][10]


Peak oil is the period when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production will undergo a long-term decline. The 2005 Hirsch report concluded that the decreased supply combined with increasing demand will significantly increase the worldwide prices of petroleum derived products, and that most significant will be the availability and price of liquid fuel for transportation.

The Hirsch report, funded by United States Department of Energy, concluded that “The peaking of world oil production presents the U. S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking.”[17]


Deforestation is the clearing of forests by cutting or burning of trees and plants in a forested area. As a result of deforestation, presently about one half of the forests that once covered Earth have been destroyed.[18] It occurs for many different reasons, and it has several negative implications on the atmosphere and the quality of the land in and surrounding the forest.

Deforestation 2074483b
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land, the wood is harvested as a resource for production of consumer products and firewood for heat. The land then either left to recover and then will be replanted or is converted to non-forest land used as agricultural land or development of urban areas.


One of the main causes of deforestation is clearing forests for agricultural reasons. As the population of developing areas, especially near rainforests, increases, the need for land for farming becomes more and more important.[19] For most people, a forest has no value when its resources are not being used, so the incentives to deforest these areas outweigh the incentives to preserve the forests. For this reason, the economic value of the forests is very important for the developing countries.[20]

Environmental impact

Because deforestation is so extensive, it has made several significant impacts on the environment, including carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, changing the water cycle, an increase in soil erosion, and a decrease in biodiversity. Deforestation is often cited as a contributor to global warming. Because trees and plants remove carbon dioxide and emit oxygen into the atmosphere, the reduction of forests contribute to about 12% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.[21] One of the most pressing issues that deforestation creates is soil erosion. The removal of trees causes higher rates of erosion, increasing risks of landslides, which is a direct threat to many people living close to deforested areas. As forests get destroyed, so does the habitat for millions of animals. It is estimated that 80% of the world’s known biodiversity lives in the rainforests, and the destruction of these rainforests is accelerating extinction at an alarming rate.[22]

Controlling deforestation

The United Nations and the World Bank created programs such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), which works especially with developing countries to use subsidies or other incentives to encourage citizens to use the forest in a more sustainable way.[23] In addition to making sure that emissions from deforestation are kept to a minimum, an effort to educate people on sustainability and helping them to focus on the long-term risks is key to the success of these programs.[24] The New York Declaration on Forests and its associated actions promotes reforestation, which is being encouraged in many countries in an attempt to repair the damage that deforestation has done.[25]


Wetlands are ecosystems that are often saturated by enough surface or groundwater to sustain vegetation that is usually adapted to saturated soil conditions, such as cattails, bulrushes, red maples, wild rice, blackberries, cranberries, and peat moss.[26] Because some varieties of wetlands are rich in minerals and nutrients and provide many of the advantages of both land and water environments they contain diverse species and provide a distinct basis for the food chain. Wetland habitats contribute to environmental health and biodiversity. [26] Wetlands are a nonrenewable resource on a human timescale and in some environments cannot ever be renewed.[27] Recent studies indicate that global loss of wetlands could be as high as 87% since 1700 AD, with 64% of wetland loss occurring since 1900.[27] Some loss of wetlands resulted from natural causes such as erosion, sedimentation, subsidence, and a rise in the sea level.[26]

Wetlands provide environmental services for:

  1. Food and habitat
  2. Improving water quality
  3. Commercial fishing
  4. Floodwater reduction
  5. Shoreline stabilization
  6. Recreation

Resources in wetlands

Some of the world's most successful agricultural areas are wetlands which have been drained an converted to farmland for large-scale agriculture.[26] Large-scale draining of wetlands also occurs for real estate development and urbanization.[28] In contrast in some cases wetlands are also flooded to be converted to recreational lakes or hydro-power generation.[26] In some countries ranchers have also moved their property onto wetlands for grazing due to the nutrient rich vegetation.[28] Wetlands in Southern America also prove a fruitful resource for poachers, as animals with valuable hides such a jaguars, maned wolves, caimans and snakes are drawn to wetlands.[28] The effect of the removal of large predators is still unknown in South African wetlands.[28]

Humans benefit from wetlands in indirect ways as well. Wetlands act as natural water filters, when runoff from either natural or man-made processes pass through, wetlands can have a neutralizing effect.[29] If a wetland is in between an agricultural zone and a freshwater ecosystem, fertilizer runoff will be absorbed by the wetland and used to fuel the slow processes that occur happen, by the time the water reaches the freshwater ecosystem there won't be enough fertilizer to cause destructive algal blooms that poison freshwater ecosystems.[29]

Bramiana Wetlands Ierapetra
Bramiana Wetlands

Non-natural causes of wetland degradation

To preserve the resources extracted from wetlands, current strategies are to rank wetlands and prioritize the conservation of wetlands with more environmental services, create more efficient irrigation for wetlands being used for agriculture and restricting access to wetlands by tourists.[28]


Groundwater flow
Groundwater flow paths vary greatly in length, depth and travel time from points of recharge to points of discharge in the groundwater system

Water is an essential resource needed to survive everyday life. Historically, water has had a profound influence on a nation's prosperity and success around the world.[30] Groundwater is water that is in saturated zones underground, the upper surface of the saturated zone is called the water table.[31] Groundwater is held in the pores and fractures of underground materials like sand, gravel and other rock, these rock materials are called aquifers.[31] Groundwater can either flow naturally out of rock materials or can be pumped out. Groundwater supplies wells and aquifers for private, agricultural, and public use and is used by more than a third of the world's population every day for their drinking water. Globally there is 22.6 million cubic kilometers of groundwater available and only .35 million of that is renewable.[32]

Groundwater as a non-renewable resource

Groundwater is considered to be a non-renewable resource because less than six percent of the water around the world is replenished and renewed on a human timescale of 50 years. People are already using non-renewable water that is thousands of years old, in areas like Egypt they are using water that may have been renewed a million years ago which is not renewable on human timescales.[32] Of the groundwater used for agriculture 16 to 33% is non-renewable.[33] It is estimated that since the 1960's groundwater extraction has more than doubled, which has increased groundwater depletion.[33] Due to this increase in depletion, in some of the most depleted areas use of groundwater for irrigation has become impossible or cost prohibitive.[34]

Environmental impacts

Overusing groundwater, old or young can lower subsurface water levels and dry up streams, which could have a huge effect on ecosystems on the surface.[32] When the most easily recoverable fresh groundwater is removed this leaves a residual with inferior water quality. This is in part from induced leakage from the land surface, confining layers or adjacent aquifers that contain saline or contaminated water.[34] Worldwide the magnitude of groundwater depletion from storage may be so large as to constitute a measurable contributor to sea-level rise.[33]


Currently, societies respond to water-resource depletion by shifting management objectives from location and developing new supplies to augmenting conserving and reallocation of existing supplies.[34] There are two different perspectives to groundwater depletion, the first is that depletion is considered literally and simply as a reduction in the volume of water in the saturated zone, regardless of water quality considerations.[34] A second perspective views depletion as a reduction in the usable volume of fresh groundwater in storage.[34]

Augmenting supplies can mean improving water quality or increasing water quantity. Depletion due to quality considerations can be overcome by treatment, whereas large volume metric depletion can only be alleviated by decreasing discharge or increasing recharge.[34] Artificial recharge of storm flow and treated municipal wastewater, has successfully reversed groundwater declines.[34] In the future improved infiltration and recharge technologies will be more widely used to maximize the capture of runoff and treated wastewater.

Renewable resources

Renewable energy can be collected from renewable resources. The two main sources of renewable energy are solar energy and wind power. The government and scientists are researching and looking upon alternatives to replace the depleting nonrenewable resources. Japan and the U.S. are leading in the department of selling and manufacturing solar powered utilities.[35]

See also


  1. ^ Höök, M.; Bardi, U.; Feng, L.; Pang., X. (2010). "Development of oil formation theories and their importance for peak oil". Marine and Petroleum Geology. 27 (9): 1995–2004. doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2010.06.005. hdl:2158/777257.
  2. ^ a b Depletion and Conservation of Natural Resources: The Economic Value of the World's Ecosystems — How Much is Nature Worth? The Role of Forests and Habitat
  3. ^ Dirzo, Rodolfo; Hillary S. Young; Mauro Galetti; Gerardo Ceballos; Nick J. B. Isaac; Ben Collen (2014). "Defaunation in the Anthropocene" (PDF). Science. 345 (6195): 401–406. doi:10.1126/science.1251817. PMID 25061202.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Boyd, James (15 March 2007). "Nonmarket benefits of nature: What should be counted in green GDP?". Ecological Economics. 61: 716–723 – via Science Direct.
  5. ^ a b c Vincent, Jeffrey (February 2000). "Green accounting: from theory to practice". Environment and Development Economics. 5: 13–24 – via Cambridge Core.
  6. ^ a b Banzhafa, Spencer; Boyd, James (August 2007). "What are ecosystem services? The need for standardized environmental accounting units". Ecological Economics. 63: 616–626 – via Science Direct.
  7. ^ Materials Flow and Sustainability, US Geological Survey.Fact Sheet FS-068-98, June 1998.
  8. ^ West, J (2011). "Decreasing metal ore grades: are they really being driven by the depletion of high-grade deposits?". J Ind Ecol. 15 (2): 165–168. doi:10.1111/j.1530-9290.2011.00334.x.
  9. ^ a b c Drielsma, Johannes A; Russell-Vaccari, Andrea J; Drnek, Thomas; Brady, Tom; Weihed, Pär; Mistry, Mark; Perez Simbor, Laia (2016). "Mineral resources in life cycle impact assessment—defining the path forward". Int J Life Cycle Assess. 21 (1): 85–105. doi:10.1007/s11367-015-0991-7.
  10. ^ a b c Meinert, Lawrence D; Robinson, Gilpin R Jr; Nassar, Nedal T (2016). "Mineral Resources: Reserves, Peak Production and the Future". Resources. 5 (14): 14. doi:10.3390/resources5010014.
  11. ^ Klare, M. T. (2012). The Race for What's Left. Metropolitan Books. ISBN 9781250023971.
  12. ^ Valero & Valero(2010)による『Physical geonomics: Combining the exergy and Hubbert peak analysis for predicting mineral resources depletion』から
  13. ^ a b c d e Valero, Alicia; Valero, Antonio (2010). "Physical geonomics: Combining the exergy and Hubbert peak analysis for predicting mineral resources depletion". Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 54 (12): 1074–1083. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2010.02.010.
  14. ^ Zinc Depletion
  15. ^ Jenkin, G. R. T.; Lusty, P. A. J.; McDonald, I; Smith, M. P.; Boyce, A. J.; Wilkinson, J. J. (2014). "Ore Deposits in an Evolving Earth". Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 393: 265–276. doi:10.1144/SP393.13.
  16. ^ Hitzman, M. W.; Reynolds, N. A.; Sangster, D. F.; Allen, C. R.; Carman, C. F. (2003). "Classification, genesis, and exploration guides for Nonsulfide Zinc deposits". Economic Geology. 98 (4): 685–714. doi:10.2113/gsecongeo.98.4.685.
  17. ^ DOE Hirsch Report
  18. ^ "Global Deforestation". Global Change Curriculum. University of Michigan Global Change Program. January 4, 2006
  19. ^ Butler, Rhett A. "Impact of Population and Poverty on Rainforests". / A Place Out of Time: Tropical Rainforests and the Perils They Face. Retrieved May 13, 2009.
  20. ^ Pearce, David W (2001). "The Economic Value of Forest Ecosystems". Ecosystem Health. 7 (4): 284–296. doi:10.1046/j.1526-0992.2001.01037.x.
  21. ^ G. R. van der Werf, D. C. Morton, R. S. DeFries, J. G. J. Olivier, P. S. Kasibhatla, R. B. Jackson, G. J. Collatz and J .T. Randerson, CO2 emissions from forest loss, Nature Geoscience, Volume 2 (November 2009) pp. 737–738
  22. ^ Do We Have Enough Forests? By Sten Nilsson
  23. ^ "Copenhagen Accord of 18 December 2009". UNFCC. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
  24. ^ Diamond, Jared Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed; Viking Press 2004, pages 301–302
  25. ^ Foley, Jonathan A; DeFries, Ruth; Asner, Gregory P; Barford, Carol; et al. (2005). "Global Consequences of Land Use". Science. 309 (5734): 570–574. doi:10.1126/science.1111772. PMID 16040698.
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Major Causes of Wetland Loss and Degradation". NCSU. Retrieved 2016-12-11.
  27. ^ a b Davidson, Nick C. (January 2014). "How much wetland has the world lost? Long-term and recent trends in global wetland area". Marine and Freshwater Research. 60: 936–941 – via ResearchGate.
  28. ^ a b c d e Keddy, Paul A. (2010). Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521739672.
  29. ^ a b Kachur, Torah (2 February 2017). "Don't drain the swamp! Why wetlands are so important". CBC. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  30. ^ Peterson, Erik; Posner, Rachel (January 2010). "The World's Water Challenge". Current History.
  31. ^ a b "What is groundwater?". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  32. ^ a b c Chung, Emily. "Most Groundwater is Effectively a Non-renewable Resource, Study FInds". CBC News.
  33. ^ a b c Wada, Yoshihide; Beek, Ludovicus P. H. van; Kempen, Cheryl M. van; Reckman, Josef W. T. M.; Vasak, Slavek; Bierkens, Marc F. P. (2010). "Global depletion of groundwater resources". Geophysical Research Letters. 37 (20). doi:10.1029/2010GL044571. ISSN 1944-8007.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g Konikow, Leonard F.; Kendy, Eloise (2005-03-01). "Groundwater depletion: A global problem". Hydrogeology Journal. 13 (1): 317–320. doi:10.1007/s10040-004-0411-8. ISSN 1435-0157.
  35. ^ Brown, Lester R.; Larsen, Janet; Roney, J. Matthew; Adams, Emily E. (2015). The Great Transition. New York, N.Y.: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-393-35055-5.

Further reading

  • Grandin, Greg, "The Death Cult of Trumpism: In his appeals to a racist and nationalist chauvinism, Trump leverages tribal resentment against an emerging manifest common destiny", The Nation, 29 Jan./5 Feb. 2018, pp. 20–22. "[T]he ongoing effects of the ruinous 2003 war in Iraq and the 2007–8 financial meltdown are... two indicators that the promise of endless growth can no longer help organize people's aspirations... We are entering the second 'lost decade' of what Larry Summers calls 'secular stagnation,' and soon we'll be in the third decade of a war that Senator Lindsey Graham... says will never end. [T]here is a realization that the world is fragile and that we are trapped in an economic system that is well past sustainable or justifiable.... In a nation like the United States, founded on a mythical belief in a kind of species immunity—less an American exceptionalism than exemptionism, an insistence that the nation was exempt from nature, society, history, even death—the realization that it can't go on forever is traumatic." (p. 21.)

Balak (Hebrew: בָּלָק Bālāq) was a king of Moab described in the Book of Numbers in the Hebrew Bible, where his dealings with the prophet Balaam are recounted. Balak tried to engage Balaam for the purpose of cursing the migrating Israelite community.On his journey to meet the princes of Moab, Balaam is stopped by an angel of the lord after beating his donkey. He tells the angel he will return home: "I have sinned. Yet I did not know that you took up a position to oppose my journey". The angel instructs Balaam to attend the meeting with the princes of Moab but to "say only what I tell you". According to Numbers 22:2, and Joshua 24:9, Balak was the son of Zippor.

In the preceding chapter of Numbers, the Israelites, seeking the Promised Land following their Exodus from Egypt, had defeated the Canaanites at a place named Hormah, as well as the Amorites and the people of Bashan, and next approached Moab. The biblical narrative stresses the fears of the people of Moab, who were 'exceedingly afraid' and 'sick with dread' (NKJV) or 'terrified (GNT) . Their fears appear to relate to the size of the Israelite population and the consequent resource depletion which could be expected if they were permitted to occupy Moabite land.

Balak initially conferred with his Midianite allies in order to block Israelite settlement, before sending his elders to seek Balaam's curse on them. The Midianites appear to have been co-located with the Moabites - according to the Targum of Jonathan, they were one alliance of people at this time and therefore had a common interest in preventing Israelite settlement of the area.

After his mission with Balaam to curse Israelites failed, Balak decided to ally with Midianites to gather their women in order to lead Israelites men astray in adultery.

Other sources detailing the story of Balak:

Numbers 22–24

Judges 11:25 - This is the only time in the Bible that Balak is not mentioned in direct conjunction with Balaam.

Micah 6:5According to the Pulpit Commentary, Balak seems to be mentioned by name on a papyrus in the British Museum.

Climate Change Capital

Climate Change Capital was a private asset management and advisory group founded in 2003 by Lionel Fretz and James Cameron to support efforts to develop solutions to climate change and resource depletion. Fretz left Climate Change Capital at the end of 2004 to found rival carbon trading company, called Carbon Capital Markets, backed by the AIM listed fund Trading Emissions PLC. Shortly, after Mark Woodall became the first CEO of Climate Change Capital.

DYNAMO (programming language)

DYNAMO (DYNAmic MOdels) is a historically important simulation language and accompanying graphical notation developed within the system dynamics analytical framework. It was originally for industrial dynamics but was soon extended to other applications, including population and resource studies

and urban planning.DYNAMO was initially developed under the direction of Jay Wright Forrester in the late 1950s, by Dr. Phyllis Fox,

Alexander L. Pugh III, Grace Duren,

and others

at the M.I.T. Computation Center.DYNAMO was used for the system dynamics simulations of global resource-depletion reported in the Club of Rome's Limits to Growth, but has since fallen into disuse.

General Revision Act

The General Revision Act (sometimes Land Revision Act) of 1891 was a Federal legislation initiative signed in 1891 under the Presidential Administration of Benjamin Harrison. The General Revision Act of 1891 reversed previous policy initiatives, such as the Timber Culture Act of 1873, in which land fraud was readily accessible on the behalf of wealthy individuals and corporations. The acquisition of vast mineral and timber resources in the western United States was often cited as a governing motive for such individuals and corporations to claim land rights for future settlement and resource depletion activities, The General Revision Act of 1891's legacy is frequently credited by its ability to catalyze a series of federal land reform initiatives, notably under the Presidential Administration of Theodore Roosevelt. From the Reclamation Act of 1902 to the formation of the United States Forest Service in 1905, the General Revision Act of 1891 acted as a critical first piece of federal legislation granting increased plots of publicly allotted land and decreased extraction rights to privately held western land owners within the early stages of the 20th century.


Geolibertarianism is a political and economic ideology that integrates libertarianism with Georgism (alternatively geoism or geonomics), most often associated with left-libertarianism or the radical center.Geolibertarians hold that geographical space and raw natural resources—any assets that qualify as land by economic definition—are rivalrous goods to be considered common property or more accurately unowned, which all individuals share an equal human right to access, not capital wealth to be privatized fully and absolutely. Therefore, landholders must pay compensation according to the rental value decided by the free market, absent any improvements, to the community for the civil right of usufruct (that is, legally recognized exclusive possession with restrictions on property abuse) or otherwise fee simple title with no such restrictions. Ideally, the taxing of a site would be administered only after it has been determined that the privately captured economic rent from the land exceeds the title-holder's equal share of total land value in the jurisdiction. On this proposal, rent is collected not for the mere occupancy or use of land as neither the community nor the state rightfully owns the commons, but rather as an objectively assessed indemnity due for the legal right to exclude others from that land. Some geolibertarians also support Pigovian taxes on pollution and severance taxes to regulate natural resource depletion and compensatory fees with ancillary positive environmental effects on activities which negatively impact land values. They endorse the standard right-libertarian view that each individual is naturally entitled to the fruits of their labor as exclusive private property as opposed to produced goods being owned collectively by society or by the government acting to represent society, and that a person's "labor, wages, and the products of labor" should not be taxed. Along with non-Georgists in the libertarian movement, they also support law of equal liberty, advocating "full civil liberties, with no crimes unless there are victims who have been invaded".Geolibertarians are generally influenced by the Georgist single tax movement of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, but the ideas behind it pre-date Henry George and can be found in different forms in the writings of John Locke, the English True Levellers or Diggers such as Gerrard Winstanley, the French Physiocrats (particularly Quesnay and Turgot), Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Jean-Baptiste Say, Frédéric Bastiat, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer and Thomas Spence. Prominent geolibertarians since George have included Albert Jay Nock, Frank Chodorov and Milton Friedman (on consequentialist grounds). Other libertarians who have expressed support for the land value tax as an incremental reform include John Hospers, Karl Hess and United States Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan.

Green national product

There is a criticism of the gross national product. The criticism stems from the fact that this measurement of national product does not account for environmental degradation and resource depletion. A new approach to the situation of allocating these omitted environmental features in the national product has been the advent of the green national product.

Lifeboat ethics

Lifeboat ethics is a metaphor for resource distribution proposed by the ecologist Garrett Hardin in 1974.Hardin's metaphor describes a lifeboat bearing 50 people, with room for ten more. The lifeboat is in an ocean surrounded by a hundred swimmers. The "ethics" of the situation stem from the dilemma of whether (and under what circumstances) swimmers should be taken aboard the lifeboat.

Hardin compared the lifeboat metaphor to the Spaceship Earth model of resource distribution, which he criticizes by asserting that a spaceship would be directed by a single leader – a captain – which the Earth lacks. Hardin asserts that the spaceship model leads to the tragedy of the commons. In contrast, the lifeboat metaphor presents individual lifeboats as rich nations and the swimmers as poor nations.

Other issues which can be raised include:

Is it acceptable to deny an obviously dying passenger food and water to save it for others with a better chance to make it?

Is it acceptable to jettison the dying passenger (knowing they will die within minutes) to make room for someone else?

If food is low:

is cannibalism of corpses acceptable after they die?

is it acceptable, if it is certain they are going to die in a day or two, to murder them to preserve resources or to let someone on the boat?

is it acceptable, if it is certain they are going to die in a day or two, to murder them in order to commit cannibalism of their corpse where this will allow the survivors to survive for several additional weeks?The third point regarding low supply of food had happened in reality before. A British court, in the ruling of R v Dudley and Stephens ruled that necessity is not a defense of murder.

Lifeboat ethics is closely related to environmental ethics, utilitarianism, and issues of resource depletion. Hardin uses lifeboat ethics to question policies such as foreign aid, immigration, and food banks.

List of environmental issues

This is an alphabetical list of environmental issues, harmful aspects of human activity on the biophysical environment. They are loosely divided into causes, effects and mitigation, noting that effects are interconnected and can cause new effects.

List of ghost towns in Manitoba

Over the course of its history, the province of Manitoba has witnessed numerous of its populated communities experience decline to become ghost towns. Triggers were usually changes in economic conditions, such as natural resource prices or resource depletion, or changes in transportation networks, such as rail alignment selection, rail line closures and highway realignments.

Living in the Future's Past

Living in the Future's Past is a 2018 American documentary film directed by Susan Kucera, and produced and narrated by Jeff Bridges. The film features Bridges and several scientists and intellectuals discussing how biology, physics, economics, and politics have contributed to the ongoing crises such as climate change and resource depletion. The film features interviews with Wesley Clark, Daniel Goleman, Bob Inglis, Oren Lyons, Leonard Mlodinow, Timothy Morton, Mark Plotkin, Ian Robertson, Piers Sellers, and others.

Measures of national income and output

A variety of measures of national income and output are used in economics to estimate total economic activity in a country or region, including gross domestic product (GDP), gross national product (GNP), net national income (NNI), and adjusted national income also called as NNI at factor cost (NNI* adjusted for natural resource depletion). All are specially concerned with counting the total amount of goods and services produced within the economy and by different sectors. The boundary is usually defined by geography or citizenship, and it is also defined as the total income of the nation and also restrict the goods and services that are counted. For instance, some measures count only goods & services that are exchanged for money, excluding bartered goods, while other measures may attempt to include bartered goods by imputing monetary values to them.

Net national income

In national income accounting, net national income (NNI) is net national product (NNP) minus indirect taxes. Net national income encompasses the income of households, businesses, and the government. Net national income is defined as gross domestic product plus net receipts of wages, salaries and property income from abroad, minus the depreciation of fixed capital assets (dwellings, buildings, machinery, transport equipment and physical infrastructure) through wear and tear and obsolescence.

It can be expressed as

NNI = C + I + G + (NX) + net foreign factor income – indirect taxes – manufactured capital depreciation


This formula uses the expenditure method of national income accounting.

When net national income is adjusted for natural resource depletion, it is called Adjusted Net National Income, expressed as

NNI* = C + I + G + NX + Net Foreign Factor Income – Indirect Taxes – manufactured capital depreciation – Natural Resource Depletion

Natural resources are non-critical natural capital such as minerals. NNI* does not take critical natural capital into account. Examples are air, water, land, etc.

For reference, capital (K) is divided into four categories:

Peak minerals

Peak minerals marks the point in time when the largest production of a mineral will occur in an area, with production declining in subsequent years. While most mineral resources will not be exhausted in the near future, global extraction and production is becoming more challenging. Miners have found ways over time to extract deeper and lower grade ores with lower production costs. More than anything else, declining average ore grades are indicative of ongoing technological shifts that have enabled inclusion of more 'complex' processing – in social and environmental terms as well as economic – and structural changes in the minerals exploration industry and these have been accompanied by significant increases in identified Mineral Reserves.

Population Matters

Population Matters, formerly known as the Optimum Population Trust, is a UK-based charity that addresses population size and its effects on environmental sustainability. It considers population growth as a major contributor to climate change, environmental degradation, resource depletion, conflict and societal problems such as housing scarcity and transport congestion.

Resource consumption

Resource consumption is about the consumption of non-renewable, or less often, renewable resources. Specifically, it may refer to:

water consumption

energy consumption

electric energy consumption

world energy consumption

natural gas consumption/gas depletion

oil consumption/oil depletion



land use/land loss or

resource depletion and

general exploitation and associated environmental degradationMeasures of resource consumption are resource intensity and resource efficiency. Industrialization and globalized markets have increased the tendency for overconsumption of resources. The resource consumption rate of a nation does not usually correspond with the primary resource availability, this is called resource curse.

Unsustainable consumption by the steadily growing human population may lead to resource depletion and a shrinking of the earth's carrying capacity.

Sand theft

Sand theft or unauthorised or illegal sand mining leads to a widely unknown global example of natural and non-renewable resource depletion problem comparable in extent to global water scarcity. Beach theft is illegal removal of large quantities of sand from a beach leading to full or partial disappearance of the beach.

Sustainable consumption

As a compliment to analyses of production and its processes, Sustainable Consumption (SC) is the study of resource and energy use (domestic or otherwise). As the term sustainability would imply, those who study SC seek to apply the concept of “continuance”—the capacity to meet both present and future human generational needs. SC, then, would also include analyses of efficiency, infrastructure, and waste, as well as access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. It shares a number of common features with and is closely linked to the terms sustainable production and sustainable development. Sustainable consumption as part of sustainable development is a prerequisite in the worldwide struggle against sustainability challenges such as climate change, resource depletion, famines or environmental pollution.

Sustainable development as well as sustainable consumption rely on certain premises such as:

Effective use of resources, and minimisation of waste and pollution

Use of renewable resources within their capacity for renewal

Fuller product life-cycles

Intergenerational and intragenerational equity

Sustainable habitat

A 'sustainable' habitat is an ecosystem that produces food and shelter for people and other organisms, without resource depletion and in such a way that no external waste is produced. Thus the habitat can continue into future tie without external infusions of resource. Such a sustainable habitat may evolve naturally or be produced under the influence of man. A sustainable habitat that is created and designed by human intelligence will mimic nature, if it is to be successful. Everything within it is connected to a complex array of organisms, physical resources and functions. Organisms from many different biomes can be brought together to fulfill various ecological niches.The term often refers to sustainable human habitats, which typically involve some form of green building or environmental planning.

The 2010 Imperative

The 2010 Imperative is an initiative issued by Architecture 2030 that proposed ecological literacy, largely missing from the curriculum in the United States, would

become a key element of design education by 2010, in order to combat global warming and world resource depletion.


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