If you started reading attracted by the title and if you think there is an exaggeration, it’s a good start, because here if will seek to demonstrate exactly this and its implications in Environmental Economics.
Stop for a minute to consider reading the following statement: nature is the only source of raw material for meeting the material needs of the human being. So has always been and will be forever. When you stop it, our species will be extinct.
Look for objects that are in your body: the clothes from the flora or fauna; the clock, glasses, comes from minerals; the shoe comes from animals and minerals. Look to your surroundings: home or Office that her houses; the wood comes from forests; the bricks comes from clay mines; your stove; your computer; the role that you use; the Chair you sit; the food that nourishes and keeps your life; the water you drink. Look out: the car comes from minerals; the pavement of the street comes from mines; bus wires of electric power comes from mines; the power comes from the burning of fuels or other natural sources of generating energy, which in turn use your nature matter for transmission. Some people are only alive because they were saved with medicines extracted from nature.
Keep thinking: you can see some material not obtained from nature? It’s not likely to single source supplier of materials to the Man?
- The Environmental Economics
The human being, to live, have material needs that need to be met. It should be recognized other unlimited needs, not handled here.
Simplistic way, there are only two factors of production of goods and services to meet the needs of the human being: nature, which provides us with the raw materials and energy; the work applied on them, in the most varied ways, intensity, whether manual or intellectual.
Natural resources, for your time, can be subdivided into two species:
Non-renewable – those who, after exhausted cannot be played using currently available technology. As an example, the ores. Once depleted, never have them again.
Renewables-those that can be played or created from genetic material. As examples: flora and fauna; planted forests; food.
It follows then that the human being should, in theory, proceed within the following line:
- I) avoid using non-renewable resources, preserving them for future generations. Admitted that the man can’t live without natural resources, prevent fully your extraction is impossible. So if you can minimize, reduce your use. There is a limit to use of these resources, which will inexorably depleting and when exceeded this limit, the life on the planet will be unsustainable and the species will be extinct.
Mathematically, our species will be extinct. Strong theories are the simplest, that everyone understands and agrees. If we adopt as assumptions:) that human beings do not live without using non-renewable resources; b) that non-renewable resources are limited; (c)) that are being consumed and, therefore, the available stock will always decrease; d) that there are no substitutes, even in renewable products, then we can conclude that the duration of life on the planet boils down to a simple mathematical equation:
Available stock of resources
Total Annual Consumption
Life will be unsustainable even before exhausting the last resort, when the available stock of natural resources (EDRN) exceed the Minimum Point of Survival (PMS). The Total annual Consumption (CAT) is calculated by the number of inhabitants multiplied by the average annual individual consumption.
The available stock is thus calculated for next year:
Current inventory-Annual Consumption Total = available stock of RN
As there is no production of new resources, the available stock will always be less and will reach the level at which human life is impossible.
The hypothesis that can prolong the lifetime in this context?
the) reduce consumption and keep the stock available at bearable levels
b) at the same time, create and use renewable substitutes and complementary.
In an equation with two variables, the available stock and the Total annual Consumption, being a fixed or variable tending to extinction (in this case, the available stock), the only way to change the result of the equation is the behavior of another variable, the Total annual Consumption. Mathematically, the Total annual Consumption product of the number of people by the average individual consumption, should reduce the average individual consumption or contain population growth. What we have seen is an acceleration of individual consumption and a concomitant increase in population. With this, accelerates the process of exhaustion of non-renewable resources exponentially. To corroborate the reasoning, try to observe that, being the fixed soil area and the amount of inhabitants, each time we have less ground area per person. In Brazil in 1500, had probably 1.5 million inhabitants, which would give an area of 566 hectares per inhabitant. Soon we will be 200 million inhabitants, which will give 4.25 hectares per inhabitant. When, at 2130 hit 1 billion inhabitants, there will be 0.85 hectare per inhabitant.
If today we are questioning the reduction of use of non-renewable products, and preventing the expansion of plantation areas of renewable resources, which will be 100 years from now, when we need production of 5 (five) times the current non-renewable resources?
- II) focusing on production and use of renewable resources.
The mathematics of life extinction on the planet can be extended by a period proportional to the economics of non-renewable resources, which depends on the use of substitutes or complementary versions of IE, increasing use of renewable resources. The increased production of renewable resources, for your time, implies reducing the areas of non-renewable resources, increase the productivity of current areas and also the use of linked resources, such as solar energy, photovoltaic energy, wind, sea or materials and energy of other planets. But the energy (electrical) is only a small part of the equation. Does not solve the problem of food and minerals, water, or air condition.
But even the production of renewable resources is subject to the concept of sustainability. Sustainable development is the situation where the consumption is equal to or lower than the production. For example, a forest is sustainable if her extracted wood is less than the vegetative growth. Admit that a one-hectare forest produce a available stock of 1000 tons; admit that a hectare of planted forest present an annual growth of 3%, or 30 tons, in the first year, (young forest, planted, grows basically because sequesters carbon which incorporates the mass, while forest senile, adult, in this specific and restricted aspect is pretty much polluting, or at the very least, neutral because does not increase your mass). If we extract annually continuously, more than your growth of 30 tons, such as 6% of the available stock, the forest completely exhaust in 26 years. But if we agree to only 3% annually, or 30 tons, this forest will be sustainable, permanent, everlasting.
The same reasoning applies to all renewable natural resources: given a stock available, we can only extract within the same period. We must reap the rewards, not the fruit bowl.
Or embarrass ourselves or we increased production. It is the duty of everyone, especially those with long-term vision, encourage the expansion of production of renewable resources, as a way to preserve non-renewable.
Man and nature are one, in a cosmic view. The destiny of man and nature are the same. Need live, so systemic. The realizes your part is exhausting, he certainly will develop survival mechanisms.
From this, we can conclude that they are completely sterile most discussions around the environmental theme that aim only to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources (what is a consensus, it’s common sense) and not take into account the simultaneous creation of renewable substitutes or complementary in equal or greater proportion, to sustainability.
More barren the search for blame for the current state of affairs. There is a tendency to blame Governments and companies, which ultimately are the agents, providers and mediators of the needs of man. We are a product of our environment, beliefs and values.
The inexorable math solution to increase the lifetime of humanity passes through a solution of sustainability:
the reduction in the consumption of products) non-renewable;
b) increased production of renewable products;
c) containment of population growth.
The hope left transcends the current knowledge and understanding, which would lead to a mystical posture involving beliefs and values that allow the vision of today’s solutions do not imaginable to the fate of the fish species.