A new basis for assessing the sustainability of natural resources

Jowsey, Ernie (2007) A new basis for assessing the sustainability of natural resources. Energy, 32 (6). pp. 906-911. ISSN 0360-5442

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2006.10.005

Abstract

Natural resources are generally referredto as ‘‘depleteable’’ and‘‘renewable.’’ The term ‘‘renewable’’ typically refers to ‘‘biological’’
resources, such as fish and forests. Other renewable resources, including hydro, solar, tidal, wave and wind power are not explicitly
addressed by existing economic theories. Identification of the physical and economic characteristics of natural resources enables the real
cost of natural resource use to be identified, providing the basis of a single unifying theory of all resources based on a user cost function.
Two key considerations emerge: firstly, in relation to resource depletion, it is necessary to explore the role of rate of consumption relative
to rate of supply as a quantitative aspect of resources; secondly, in relation to pollution, it is necessary to investigate the role of rate of
change of entropy as a resource is utilisedas a qualitative aspect of resources. Once the true costs of resource use have been established,
natural resources can be classified in a systematic way. Clear differences between different types of natural resources emerge, leading to
new terms being proposed to describe different resource types.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
L100 Economics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
Depositing User: Ernie Jowsey
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2012 12:25
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:29
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6508

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