Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mark Combe: How can society asses natural resources?

Warner Pacific College
August 4, 2014
            In this essay, I will report on my findings ways that society can assess natural resources and establish regulations that encourage better resource management.
Keywords: Environment, Sustainability, Natural Resources.
            After reading from our assigned text and online resources, the first necessary action that comes to mind to me personally is that education about natural resources and their limited nature, is crucial to members of society if we want to better understand and manage our precious resources. According to acca21.org, “Natural resources are an important material basis for a stable national economy and social development. They can be divided into two categories: the exhaustible, such as minerals, and the inexhaustible, such as forests and grasslands.” Understanding a resource and its importance and sensitivities is so important before assessing it’s uses.

            It is easy to look at our resources from a business perspective and see trees and animals as only the monetary value after harvesting such resources, but many scientists remind us just how important of a role each resource plays in our day to day sustainability as a part of nature. Acca21.org uses China as an example of a country with a booming economy that needs to asses its natural resource use before it is too late. China’s natural resources cannot sustain the country if no regulations are put in place before the long lasting damage gets worse. The website says that “the strategy of choice is to attain economic development at a rate above the world's average while sustaining a continuous increase in growth at relatively low resource and social costs. This is a strategic alternative for sustainable development with Chinese characteristics.” I think that this strategy is beneficial not only to China, but also to all humans on a personal level. Maintain a growing economy while assessing your own impact on the environment around you with every decision you have to make.
            Epa.gov discusses and informs the public about the “Energy independence and security act of 2007”. This policy was put in place by the Bush administration in 2007 and assessed current problems with natural resources used for energy. The country wanted to become more independent when it came to energy, while at the same time paying close attention to the outcome of harvesting our own resources. The website says that “The three key provisions enacted are the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards, the Renewable Fuel Standard, and the appliance/lighting efficiency standards.” I think that this piece of legislation was necessary and very beneficial to our country. It would be ignorant to say that we could harvest our resources with no impact, and also detrimental to our society to not be able to compete on an economic level with other countries. It gives me hope that Governments are addressing the environment directly, but I do see that this is in response to the citizens opinions and concerns on a local level.
            An approach that has been taken locally, is Oregon State University’s “The Oregon Natural Resources Education Program”. According to OSU’s website “(ONREP) has been a leader in providing professional development programs for K - 16 educators since its inception in the mid-1980s. ONREP programming has contributed to building thousands of educators’ understanding of Oregon’s diverse natural resources and ecosystems by providing strategies, information, and resources that instill confidence and increase capacity to engage learners at all levels.” I believe that it is programs like this that will make this biggest difference in our society regarding natural resources and policies. Education on these issues and opportunities to take part personally in making a difference, are necessary for making a long term difference. It is discouraging to think about the detrimental affect we are having on our ecosystem, but seeing the immense response taken by so many people to approach these problems with a diverse amount of solutions just a short time after the discovery of global waring, is very hopeful for me. I think that everyone wants to make this world a better place in some way. What better way to love your neighbor than to think about their well-being and health as well as your own. We are all connected and we need to use the intellectual abilities that we have been given to contribute to a health sustainable living space for us, our future generations, and the world of living creatures that depend on us.


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