Learning Objectives

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By working through this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Investigate a case study that raises issues of natural resource extraction and protection, ethics, spirituality, and action.
  • Explain the science behind the formation of natural resources: Earth's tectonic plates, spheres, elements, and biogeochemical cycles.
  • Describe Earth's resources and the problems caused by human extraction.
  • Examine potential innovations for future natural resource availability and protection.
  • Identify key ethical issues that bear on the conservation, preservation, restoration, and preemptive care of Earth's natural resources.
  • Discover a variety of ways human beings have historically linked Earth's magnificent resources with spiritual experience as well as teachings and rituals in the world's religions.
  • See environmental actions people are taking around the world to protect natural resources and consider actions you can take in your own community.