• Learning Objectives
  • Case Study: Coltan and Cell Phones
  • Natural Resources and Science
    • Earth: A Terrestrial Planet
    • Earth’s Elements
    • How Matter Cycles on Earth – The Biogeochemical Cycles
    • Earth’s Finite Resources and Human Extraction
    • The Future of Our Resources: Sustainability & Innovation
  •  Natural Resources and Ethics
  • Natural Resources and Spirituality
  • Natural Resources and Action
    • Regional Reports
    • Action Ideas
  •  Chapter Reflection Questions & Explorations
  • Additional Resources

AlertIf you have not done so, please read the Healing Earth Introduction before proceeding through this chapter. The Introduction gives you background terms and explanations necessary for understanding the chapter.

All human societies depend on Earth’s natural resources for sustenance and material well-being. Tragically, human beings are extracting non-renewable resources at a rate that will exhaust limited global supplies. At the same time, we are degrading ecosystems to such an extent that many renewable resources, such as Earth’s wild fisheries, are at risk of being unavailable for future generations. Major changes in human behavior will have to accompany any realistic attempt to preserve and protect Earth’s precious natural resources.

Meeting this challenge must begin with a thorough understanding of the science behind natural resources. Similarly, proposed actions will require careful ethical analysis and spiritual reflection. As with every topic in Healing Earth, natural resources are approached from the standpoint that integrates science, ethics, spirituality, and action.