The world’s natural resources are depleting at an alarming rate. This is owed to a number of factors which cannot be summed up into one entity. Some factors are closely related, while some are far apart thus making it even more difficult to single out the exact reasons which can account for a rise in the pace at which natural resources are diminishing. For example, the rise in the population of humans is one of the major reasons accounting for an increase in the rate at which natural resources are being used up.
The higher the population, the more food is required to sustain it, and the more natural resources are required to meet the needs of such a population.
Another compelling reason that can explain the continued soaring rate of depletion of natural resources is climate change, which is forcing humans to use up certain natural resources in a bid to cushion against the effects of climate change.
This is a mere scratch on the surface of the actual truth lying behind the depletion of natural resources by man. It reflects the minor details which embody the actual truth of the subject. It is actually safe to assert that this is the standpoint of a lay person with basic information on the subject.
But, social ecologists have a different view altogether. While they are willing to side with the rest of the world on issues pertaining to the depletion of natural resources, they have a different view altogether. According to the fundamentals of social ecology, the current social problems can be linked to ecological problems.
This notion is largely expected based on the fact that social ecology was founded on the theories of Murray Bookchin who believed that ecological problems are as a result of social problems which arise from hierarchical supremacy between humans. In his earliest writings, Bookchin had qualified his statements by adding that capitalism is largely to blame for the current ecological problems. According to him, the ecological crisis stems from the fact that humans are forced to pounce on natural resources at all costs in a bid to satisfy the demands of the dominant forces of the society. Such ideas are based on the notion that the dominant individuals of the social hierarchy tend to coerce humans lying on the lower end of the hierarchy to use natural resources almost at all costs. The natural resources are converted into commodities to meet the needs of the market consumers and the humans sitting on top of the social hierarchy.
Environmentalists and social ecologists both agree that the rate at which natural resources are diminishing is extremely alarming. But, could there be any chance that these individuals are exaggerating the true picture of the current state of natural resources for reasons that are best known to themselves? This is an interesting question, deserving of a good answer and explanation.
Deforestation; the number of trees cut every day is not comparable to the number of trees that are being planted for purposes of replacing the trees. Actually, the number of trees that are being cut is almost four times the number of trees that are being planted. It is actually safe to say that the tree population has a deficit which exceeds 300 %. This is a ridiculous deficit that calls for urgent action if the trees of the global village are to survive. Such statistics should not shock anyone since dozens of forests are replaced by modern structures on a daily basis.
Biodiversity concerns in Europe; although the EU has been working tirelessly to curb the rate at which the natural resources of that continent are being depleted, a lot still has to be done to attain certain milestones. For example, a number of farmland and forest birds lost their habitats in Europe as a result of environmental degradation. Further, many others lost their lives following the degradation of their natural habitats. According to statistics from an EU organisation that is responsible for keeping such statistics, the population of farmland birds declined by 12.7 % in the last 15 years. This is despite the many efforts that have been put in to curb the trend.