How we as a society assess natural resources is constantly evolving.
Two hundred years ago society's "need" for natural gas was very small. As time has gone on, the industrial revolution has created higher demands of certain natural resources because they are used to "fuel" our society. If natural resources like gasoline and natural gas went away tomorrow our society would be in utter chaos. We are so reliant on these finite resources. There is an environmental movement that has been going on the last decade that preaches that we are a consumer society and that we should be ashamed by how we live and that we should make changes to make our world a better more beautiful place to live. I think this is an admiral idea and as a believer in the Word of God I believe that we should be good stewards of what God has given to us, as stated in 1 Corinthians 4:2 "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”(NIV)
I have some issues with this movement that has largely become the overwhelming voice of our society though as noble as I think the general idea is. Now since this is an opinion paper I am going to write what I have heard and seen. This might come off as painting our society with broad strokes, but I do believe it is the overwhelming group of society that I speak about. One respected observer estimates that humankind “has consumed more aluminum, copper, iron and steel, phosphate rock, diamonds, sulfur, coal, oil, natural gas, and even sand and gravel over the past century than over all earlier centuries put together,” and goes on to write that “the pace continues to accelerate, so that today the world annually produces and consumes nearly all mineral commodities at record rates” (Tilton 2001, p. I-1). Although this is true, this respected observer left out a huge part of the issue, which is: Even though the mining of tin, copper, iron ore, lead, and zinc between 1950 and 2000 used up much more than the known 1950 reserves, the known supplies of these minerals were greater in 2000 than in 1950. (Natural Resources)
I believe that the "other-side" of the story is not spoken about enough. The fact that we are continually discovering more "finite" resources than we had known before or the fact that our society is continually innovating ways to recycle waste, increase gas mileage, etc.… When it comes down to it I believe that as people we should have a conscience about how we live our lives, I do not think we need what we have now which is "society's conscience". I believe that most of these ideas are being pushed on us for someone’s profit. Take for example gasoline. It is constantly stressed upon us that gasoline is a finite resource and that is why big oil companies can charge so much for it. Another example is recycling. I recycle, I believe in recycling, but when I see that our society is shifting and there are more costs associated with recycling and composting now, it makes me feel like I am being manipulated.
Moving on to the role of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in the economic development of our society. I believe in small government. I am thankful for a government to keep us safe, but when I read about how much land the government is in control of and the fact that they are the ones regulating land and how it is being used, yet they are also profiting from it, I feel like I am being manipulated! (DOI:BMI: Energy) Who else is profiting from us stressing about limited resources? Government. What is the matter with having a free market where the government has regulations limited to safety? It appears that with the way land management is set up now that we need someone regulating the government. It does not seem like there involvement in regulating land is always in citizen's best interests.
"1 Corinthians 4:2." The Holy Bible: New International Version, Containing the Old Testament and the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Bible, 1978. N. pag. Print.
DOI: BLM: Energy." DOI: BLM: Energy. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2014.
"Natural Resources." : The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2014.