Sustainability Of Metallic Mining Essay

970 words - 4 pages

Metallic mining is a vital part of today’s civilization, where so many components of our everyday life put high demands on the natural resources. At current demand and consumption rates the sustainability of metallic minerals is unknown. The article “Assessing the long run availability of copper” and its response “On the sustainability of metal supplies” gives insight to matters that we as a society will be facing in the near future.

Paper 1
Tilton and Lagos make note that an increase in population at the current demand will inevitably lead to scarcity. In contrary, the opportunity-cost paradigm that is made apparent in the article states that copper could become ...view middle of the document...

2007). The article asserts that how we use copper today will change as we develop new and better ways of recycling, more efficient use of copper, technological improvements etc. In concluding the article the author’s point of view is made clear, as they believe we as a society should expend our efforts on ways to achieve a sustainable future for mineral extraction rather than predicting the likely outcomes.


In my opinion both articles give significant insight for the future of mineral sustainability, however I truly believe that the crux to ensuring the sustainability of metallic mining is determined by social behavior. The demand for material objects is now an integral part of our society where the desire for more will inevitably lead to complete exploitation and depletion of our natural resources (Myers 2005). Assenting the response to Tilton and Lagos’s article I think that we need to focus more on changing our social behavior towards sufficiency. Tilton and Lagos’s article is based around our current acceptance of consumption and saying, until the price of a resource like copper is ludicrous we won’t stop consuming. By accepting our social behavior in this manner we never achieve any soloution to the problem, and this ultimately will happen to every exploitable resource.
The book the “Limits to Exploitation of Nonrenewable Resources” states that the ultimate limit to exploitation of earth resources is determined by how much work needed to obtain what is desired. It is our society’s perception that sets these limits on what it is too much work. I believe that if we reach the limits where too much work is needed to obtain our desired resource then than a sustainable future is out of our reach. I reiterate in accordance with the response to Talon and Lagos’s paper that we need to put considerably more money effort into changing our society’s...

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