Ways In Which Natural Resources Benefit Humans

By Antonia Čirjak on May 9 2020 in Environment

It would not be possible for the world we know today to exist if specific natural resources were not present.
It would not be possible for the world we know today to exist if specific natural resources were not present.
  • If we cut down all the forests, guess what - it will be hard to breathe because of lack of oxygen in the atmosphere, and who knows how many thousands of species could go extinct.
  • Social injustice and poverty, notions that exist(ed) in practically every society, are driven by the exclusivity of some resources. If only a few people own the means to produce, they can dictate the price and shape the economy the way they want.
  • Every person living on this planet is responsible for its well-being. If you do not take care of it, it will react. And it will do so violently with fires, floods, hurricanes - natural occurrences you can not defend against.

Earth is, when we compare it to other planets we know about, a very complex ecosystem. Millions of different species that had lived before humans and went extinct, and more than 8 million species that are probably living on the planet right now, they all depend on the natural resources found on Earth. How do natural resources exactly benefit us as a species?

Natural Resources And Technological Advancements

It is a fact: it would not be possible for the world we know today to exist if specific natural resources were not present. If you think about the idea of progress, development, and to a large extent, even evolution, it has a lot to do with the way people approached the way they handle resources.

Technological advancement, if we need to simplify every scientific effort that works to achieve it, is a constant search for ‘’better’’ solutions in resource processing. This need to think about different uses of resources is something that, in general, allows for the human race to evolve and grow. 

The Fragile Nature Of Renewability

Resources that we can use are divided into two different categories. Still, you should not take these as a given, or think about any resource in a way that it isolates it from the rest. As we said, the world we live in is a complex ecosystem, but one that is very reactive to imbalances. So, there are renewable and nonrenewable resources. Water is considered a renewable resource, and things like fossil fuels are nonrenewable.

One thing that should be pointed out is that people often think of renewable as infinite (or ‘’here to stay forever’’ kind of matter). If you take water, for example, the most essential liquid that all life on this planet depends upon, it is a resource that, by several processes in nature, can replenish itself. But, bear in mind - we need water that is not polluted.

Everything - plants, animals, humans - need water that is not full of toxins. Why? Because life developed, if you wish to push this argument further, from ‘’clean water’’. There were no factories before, there were no cars, planes, and trains, which all affect the quality of water today. Yes, you can boil water to purify it and make it safe from drinking in most cases, but guess what - you need more resources for that. Which ones? Well, you need electricity or natural gas (if you are not on a camping trip and all you got is a bonfire), more resources that are because of the way we use them affecting the environment we live in, and in the end - the water we end up drinking.

Utilization Of Natural Resources

Other essential resources, like timber, soil, and oil, are practically involved in every part of our life. We need fertile soil to produce plants, among other things, and we need timber for construction, and another thing we use a lot - paper. Oil, gasoline, diesel, and all the other products that come from fossil fuel are used in an incredible amount of products, from soap to rocket fuel.

If there was not for fuel, we would be a lot less mobile and traveling around the planet would be much harder, and in a world that is interconnected in every possible way, that is a hard reality to imagine. However, it is the one we have to think about. The fact that a car makes it easier for you to travel to visit your parents on Thanksgiving day does not make it easier on the environment. So, if we need to change something about the complicated relationship between natural resources and us humans, it is the way we utilize them. 

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