A description of an environmental issue including the cause of the issue and its effects on the environment and people.
An explanation of how economics and personal lifestyle choice are involved in this issue.
An explanation of how individuals, communities, and/or governments are working to address the environmental issue.
Your opinion as to whether the issue is being adequately addressed and suggestions of ways it could be better addressed.
Natural resource depletion which occurs due to unsustainability of resource use is a serious crisis facing most parts of the world. Resource depletion is caused by use of natural resources at a rate higher that they can be replenished (Leigh & Olters, 2006). Resource depletion is closely tied to environmental sustainability. A number of factors are attributed to resource depletion. First, overpopulation has greatly contributed to resource depletion. High population growth puts more pressure on the available resources. Second, overconsumption and unnecessary use of natural resources have contributed to resource depletion. Third, habitat degradation is also attributed to resource depletion.
Habitat degradation leads to loss of biodiversity. Resource depletion also contributes to pollution and contamination. For instance where forests are cleared to pave way for agriculture, soil erosion takes place causing siltation in rivers and lakes. Shortage of natural resources is a major source of conflict. Overuse of natural resources such as forests causes loss of biodiversity. It also contributes to global warming since forests act as natural carbon sinks.
The current patterns witnessed in the recent past on natural resource consumption, energy use, urbanization and agricultural practices are unsustainable in the long term (Leigh & Olters, 2006). Over the last century, the world population has sharply increased. This was accompanied by a corresponding increase in global economic production and subsequently the overexploitation of natural resources. For instance, the demand for construction materials has greatly increased as the world economies continue to develop. Personal lifestyle choices also contribute to resource depletion. Resource use patterns greatly affect natural resource depletion. The U.S. records the highest rate of natural resource use per person. This leaves a greater ecological impact. Personal habits such as driving impact the rate of greenhouse gas emissions. According to Shah (2013), over 93% of Americans prefer driving to work than using public transportation. This increases the rate of fossil fuel use and other natural resources used in manufacture of vehicles.
Individuals are working to address natural resource depletion by practicing sustainable agricultural practices, changing their resource use patterns, adapting the use of renewable energy at homes, and among other measures.
Communities are also keen on ensuring sustainability of natural resources. One of the measures taken by the community is the construction of energy-efficient buildings which cut on energy consumption. Communities are also important in the management and protection of natural resources such as forests. Participation of communities in resource management is effective in ensuring sustainable use of the resources (McKinney, Schoch, & Yonavjak, 2012). Communities have also embarked on conducting various environmental initiatives such as use of energy-efficient bulbs, adoption of new farming methods, and use of green sources of energy. The local governments are involved in management and conservation of natural resources. In addition, they provide grants and funding for various environmental programs.
The issue of natural resource depletion is not being handled in a satisfactory manner. There has been little change especially in the adoption of green energy sources. Most of the energy is still obtained from non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels. There is need for more funding in research on the application of green technologies such as biofuels. Governments should develop policies that encourage those developing buildings to include all necessary energy efficiency measures. Lastly, governments should provide funds that can be used to retrofit old buildings and make them more energy efficient.
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