Our ever increasing supply of natural resources.

Discussion in 'Environment & Conservation' started by bricklayer, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. bricklayer

    bricklayer Well-Known Member Donor

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    The only difference between a raw material and a natural resource is that one can be combined with human ingenuity and the other cannot yet be combined with human ingenuity.

    Almost everything human beings need to survive is the product of industry. Industry is the combining of material and ingenuity. We can never run out of material. We cannot even destroy material; all we can do is change its form. However, we can stifle ingenuity. So far, human industry has been able to stay well ahead of the curve. We have more human beings and more human well being, by any metric, than at any other time in our current records of humanity.

    The greatest threat to human well being extends from the belief that the percentage of the material that is a natural resource never changes and is therefore exhaustible. I can understand how that would be a terrifying circumstance, but it is not at all the circumstance we now find ourselves in. Some of our most valuable commodities today were not even considered as such not that long ago. For a long time gasoline was considered a waste by product of kerosene production. Petroleum, one of our current most valuable natural resources, has only recently become popular. Nuclear material and "rare earth" materials have an even shorter mass popularity. Who knows where human ingenuity will take us or what it will use to get us there.

    Human ingenuity has a completely voluntary nature; it cannot be compelled. Indeed, ingenuity is only ever suppressed by compulsion. The way forward is the way that minimizes the compulsory and maximizes the voluntary because things like ingenuity, liberty and charity have a completely voluntary nature. Humanity cannot multiply, fill the Earth and subdue it without ingenuity, liberty and charity. Human well being cannot be compelled.

    The root divide is between those who ascribe to humanity the value it is to the balance of the Earth and all that is about it - and those who ascribe to the Earth, and all that is about it, the value it is to humanity.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  2. bricklayer

    bricklayer Well-Known Member Donor

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    My environmental goal is not necessarily minimizing human impact on the environment.
    My environmental goal is to maximize human well being.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020

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