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World Resources is the topic of the Weekly Chat for Module 03 during the weeks 7, 8, and 9.
Background: A resource can be defined as “something we use.” Shelter, clothing, transportation, heat, and so on are all resources. The word applies to the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we farm, the space we use for living and recreation—and the oceans upon which all life depends. Not only do people use more resources today, but they also use them faster than ever before.
There are three basic types of resources: renewable, nonrenewable, and perpetual. In human terms, wind, solar energy, and the movement of tides last forever, so they can be considered perpetual. Renewable resources are replenished through natural or human actions. For example, trees may grow either naturally or on tree farms. Animals that give us food and other products are replaced naturally through reproduction. But renewable resources must be carefully managed. If a renewable resource is overused, it will not recover. Nonrenewable resources exist in finite amounts and once used are gone. Coal, oil, rocks, and minerals such as gold are examples of nonrenewable natural resources that took millions or even billions of years to form.
The ocean represents a variety of natural resources, both renewable and nonrenewable. Fish and other marine animals, of course, represent a renewable resource. As a roadway for transportation, the ocean is a perpetual resource. And beneath the ocean floor in places like Alaska, the ocean promises the potential for vast reserves of nonrenewable petroleum. These nonrenewable resources are especially precious—and removing them from the ocean is especially destructive. Another perpetual resource is recreation: fishing, boating, sightseeing, and so on. If we fail to manage the rest of the ocean’s resources, this too will be greatly reduced.
Each of us can play a part in making a difference in how we use our natural resources. Building a sustainable future requires a shift in the ways we extract natural resources, a shift in the ways we use natural resources—and a shift in the way we think about products that are made from natural resources. In other words, every one of us has a role to play in making a sustainable future.
Some questions to possibly open the chat with or discuss prior to the LIVE chat!
What types of resources do you use in your daily life? Are these mostly renewable or nonrenewable?
Would you be willing to change your actions to use fewer resources? What suggestions can you make to reduce the amount of resources consumed in your life?
Are the world’s governments being active enough in conserving resources? Are you?