One of the big problems our society faces today is that people are consuming more resources than ever before. And while the rate of 1st world consumption appears to be slowing down, the rate of consumption in the second and third worlds is speeding up. Earth’s resources are fast running out!
If that weren’t bad enough, we have to deal with overpopulation, climate change, habitat destruction and species extinction. On top of that we have air, land and water pollution as well.
There are a limited number of chemical and mineral deposits on this planet. Resources are finite. Except people are still using them up like there is no tomorrow.
All synthetic materials are mined from somewhere on the Earth’s crust. And all mines reach a peak capacity before further extraction becomes unviable or uneconomical. After that they close a mine down and do further exploration.
Understandably, nobody today wants to volunteer to build a mine in their backyard. Yet forests and oceans can’t adequately protect themselves from investors, so it’s always the natural zones that are most at risk of mining exploration & ultimately extraction.
But what happens in a couple of hundred years’ time when we can no longer mine anywhere new because of even greater urbanisation? Will we have to sacrifice even more natural areas in order to feed our incessant desire for consumerism? Does humanity really want to live in a world without any natural protected spaces? Imagine a world without rainforests or reefs.
We do not like the thought of that. Yet it is already happening.
It’s clear that we as an entire civilisation are not doing enough –not thinking enough– about our addiction to materials. We need to restrict the use of technical nutrients that are currently lost to landfills and preserve those raw materials which have fewer (or inferior) alternatives. In general, we need to consume much less. We need to return to a culture of the basic needs, without all the wants.