Our world is growing and so is the demand for resources to fulfil the needs of our ever growing world. The beginning of the industrial revolution in England and its spreading throughout the world, led to an increase in demand for natural and capital resources to meet the growing demand of the raising standard of livings; especially in the post-World War II period.
Since then proper utilization of natural and capital resources has been a most essential question in front of the modern world. The growing demand for goods at all levels ranging from consumer’s goods to defence equipments and beyond that, has created a stress on natural resources which has depleted its quality and quantity.
Natural resources have played a major deal in the survival of every life form on the earth. Right from the beginning mankind has been depending on natural resources for its every basic to its most complex work. The sense and knowledge of using natural resources to the best of its potential has been the key for the development of humans over the period of time. However, as time passed humans began to exploit natural resources beyond its limits. Natural resources like coal, petroleum products, wood, minerals, etc forms the base to fulfil our energy requirement on household to industrial levels. Over use of these resources has resulted into raising serious concerns about arranging substitutes for these resources on a global level. Non-conventional energy sources can be an effective substitute to balance the energy requirements, while reducing the stress on natural resources. The use of such non-conventional energy sources has been popularized in recent years. Such renewable resources can be used to decrease the over-exploitation of non-renewable resources like coal and petroleum. These non-conventional energy sources include hydro-power, wind energy, tidal energy, solar energy and few others. There is a serious urgency that our governments should understand the importance of preserving depleting natural resources and finding out new ways to complement the conventional resources to satisfy the energy demands while preserving the natural resources. Not only on national or international levels, but initiatives can be taken on even micro levels to conserve natural resources. Use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) should be promoted in rural regions of developing and under-developed countries to stop the use of wood as a major fuel in cooking and other such activities. By encouraging the use of public transportation, decrease in the fuel consumption through private vehicles could be achieved.
Like every other development policy and efforts, associated with it comes a high requirement of capital and technological resources. Nations like U.S.A. ,China, India, Russia and many others spends billions on defence budgets and on housing and urban development, while comparatively only nominal financial resources are diverted towards ensuring preservance of natural resources, that too due to certain international guidelines. It has to be understood that more attention has to be paid on making best possible use of financial resources for the betterment of our tomorrow. Funds should be turned towards using nuclear energy and atomic energy to complement thermal energy resources, instead of developing nuclear weaponry to threaten other countries and the already depleting natural resources.
New technologies are developed every now and then to create a better alternative for making environment friendly energy resources; however investments have to be made in developing such technologies so as to make them globally useful. While plans are made to develop smarter cities, plans should also be made to make smarter natural resources conservation projects. Economically cheaper technologies have to be developed, so as to make them available in rural and underdeveloped regions. Some of the common examples are the ‘Sauryadive’ (solar lamps) and solar water heaters distribution program of Maharashtra State Government in rural regions suffering from electricity shortages or load shading and the programme of Central Government of India to replace tungsten bulbs with LED bulbs in Delhi. Likewise weather departments, Super Computers needs to be developed to monitor the usage of natural resources and thus to keep a check on its exploitation.
Hi-tech processes like 3D painting could be brought in use instead of wood in various fields like construction, furniture making, etc.; so as to reduce the demand for timber and thus protect natural vegetation. The most vital natural resource, fresh water can be used to its best potential by water recycling plants and rainwater harvesting or by constructing dams to store water and also using it to generate hydro-electricity. Efforts should be made to conserve natural resources for future generations, without compromising today’s energy needs. All this requires a high deal of capital and technological resources so that it could be implemented on global scale. However, along with all its required resources implementation of such plans would take a long time.
Natural resources would still stand as a base of human activities even after any level of technological development. There is requirement of finding out a perfect blend of resources, capital, information and technology to make our earth a smarter planet. Till then sustainable development still remains a difficult but not an impossible question which is yet to be answered.
“The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.” -Theodore Roosevelt
CONTEST ENTRY # 4
NAME: AAKASH R. LONDE
JAI HIND COLLEGE
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