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GEOG 4400: Resource Use. Lecture 3 Resource Scarcity. Student Discussion #1. Human Impact Model Environmental Impact = P * A * T Population * Affluence * Technology People Overpopulation. Student Discussion #2. Human Impact Model Environmental Impact = P * A * T

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geog 4400 resource use

GEOG 4400: Resource Use

Lecture 3

Resource Scarcity

student discussion 1
Student Discussion #1
  • Human Impact Model
    • Environmental Impact = P * A * T
      • Population * Affluence * Technology
  • People Overpopulation
student discussion 2
Student Discussion #2
  • Human Impact Model
    • Environmental Impact = P * A * T
      • Population * Affluence * Technology
  • Consumption Overpopulation
student discussion 3
Student Discussion #3
  • Cycle of environmental, resource, and social problems
resource scarcity
Resource Scarcity
  • The unavailability of environmental resources
    • Symptoms include famine and starvation
  • Responses include:
    • Go without; starve
    • Environmental deterioration
    • Frontier expansion
    • Migration
    • Annexation
    • New technologies and substitutes
classification of resource scarcity
Classification of Resource Scarcity
  • Absolute vs. Relative
    • Absolute scarcity: when insufficient physical quantities of the resource are available to meet the demand for it
    • Relative scarcity: when the physical quantites of the resource are sufficient to meet demand, but problems arise over quality of supplies
student discussion 4
Student Discussion #4
  • Absolute Scarcity
    • Egypt’s Plagues
      • Series of tragedies that impacted Egypt
    • Did the plagues really happen?
student discussion 5
Student Discussion #5
  • Absolute Scarcity
    • Little Ice Age in Europe
      • Period of global cooling between 13th and 19th centuries
      • Cooler, cloudier summers reduced crop production and promoted crop rot
      • Major famines across Europe including 1315-17
      • Year Without a Summer, 1816, caused by volcanic eruption in Indonesia
student discussion 6
Student Discussion #6
  • Absolute Scarcity
    • Drought in the Sahel
      • Frequent variability in monsoon activity affects millions of inhabitants of the Sahel
      • Droughts limit crop production, defeat grazing, and help advance desert migration
      • 1984-5 famine in Ethiopia killed almost 1 million
student discussion 7
Student Discussion #7
  • Absolute Scarcity
    • Bison Removal
      • There were government initiatives at the federal and local level to starve the population of the Plains Indians by killing off their main food source, the bison. The Government promoted bison hunting for various reasons
        • to allow ranchers to range their cattle without competition from other bovines
        • to weaken the Plains Indian population and pressure them to remain on reservations
      • The herds formed the basis of the economies of local Plains tribes of Native Americans for whom the bison were a primary food source. Without bison, the Native Americans would be forced to leave or starve.
student discussion 8
Student Discussion #8
  • Absolute Scarcity
    • Overfishing
malthusian vs ricardian
Malthusian vs. Ricardian
  • Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834)
    • Fixed amount of land with environmental limits
    • Costs of production may remain constant up to the time when the resource is fully used
malthusian vs ricardian1
Malthusian vs. Ricardian
  • David Ricardo (1772-1823)
    • Focused on quality of resources
    • Population growth means pressure on poorer resources
    • Determined by prices
student discussion 9
Student Discussion #9
  • Relative Scarcity
    • French Revolution
      • Harsh winters in 1788 &89 caused poor harvests of grain
      • Peasants moved into the cities where they became dependent upon government granaries
      • High taxes on bread were seen as an assault on commoners
      • Potatoes were disfavored
      • Mal-distribution of bread led to the “Great Fear”
student discussion 10
Student Discussion #10
  • Relative Scarcity
    • Great Leap Forward
      • China Premier Mao Zedong promoted industrial growth to put China on par with western industrial nations in mid-1950’s
      • A series of 5-year-plans sacrificed agricultural commodities at the expense of factories and assembly lines
      • More than 15 million perished from misdistribution of resources
    • Famine of 1959-61
student discussion 11
Student Discussion #11
  • Relative Scarcity
    • OPEC Embargo
      • Oil-producing countries limit production to raise prices and gain political control
      • Impact in western countries is devastating
    • OPEC Embargo
types of resource scarcity
Types of Resource Scarcity
  • Physical scarcity
  • Economic scarcity
  • Geopolitical scarcity
  • Other forms of scarcity
physical scarcity
Physical Scarcity
  • Resource base is limited
    • Land, water, minerals
    • Whether resource is scarce depends on quantity within Earth and level of consumption
  • Can fluctuate
    • Cycles of scarcity and abundance
physical scarcity1
Physical Scarcity
  • Depends on technology
  • Actual
  • Potential
  • Possible (speculative)
economic scarcity
Economic Scarcity
  • Supply and demand
  • Lag time
  • Farm prices vs. need for food, water, and fuelwood
geopolitical scarcity
Geopolitical Scarcity
  • OPEC
  • Other measures
student discussion 12
Student Discussion #12
  • Environmental Degradation
significance of resource scarcity
Significance of Resource Scarcity
  • Scarcity and limits
  • Responses
  • Go without
frontier expansion
Frontier Expansion
  • Migration
  • Annexation
student discussion 13
Student Discussion #13
  • Hobbes’ Leviathan
    • Ophuls: 191
student discussion 14
Student Discussion #14
  • End of the Great Frontier
      • Ophuls: 192
student discussion 15
Student Discussion #15
  • Tragedy of the Commons
student discussion 16
Student Discussion #16
  • Altruism Is Not Enough
student discussion 17
Student Discussion #17
  • Democracy vs. Elite Rule
student discussion 18
Student Discussion #18
  • The Ecological Contract