A resource is any fundamental or material entity that is scarcely available and through its consumption the user can derive some benefits. Resources are available among others as natural resources which is classified according to renew ability as either renewable or non-renewable. The non renewable can also be termed as exhaustible resource.
A renewable resource is one of the natural resource that can be reproduced or regenerated after use. The rate at which these resources are replenished is far much lower than the rate at which they are being utilized by humanity. In consideration of there capability to be reproduced, the resources will require some sought of accountable and intended cultivation and harvesting so as to ensure that the resources are accessible for the upcoming generations. The resource is beneficial to both the existing and future generations. Some other renewable resources can be further classified as sustainable resources for instance wind and sunlight, since they can be utilized without any worry of them being limited in supply. Some of the renewable resources take a shorter time to be reproduced for instance agricultural produce, others take longer period of time like water whereas others like forest take a much longer time.
Renewable resources can be reproduced through the natural process for example water or through recycling process for example paper. Renewable resources are costly to make. When human beings over use the renewable resource it may take a long time to regenerate and in some cases it may be depleted for instance if people continues to fell down trees without planting they can be depleted in future. Depletion of renewable resources through over fishing, deforestation, and river drawdown and soil degradation comes along with adverse effects on the ecosystem like draught (Stille, 2006).
A non renewable or exhaustible resource on the other hand is one of the natural resource that cannot be regenerated after its exhaustion. These resources cannot be generated, produced, grown or used at a rate that can sustain its usage rate. The resource subsists in fixed amount. With the rate of formation of the exhaustible resource being slow it means that it cannot be regenerated after its diminution. The exhaustible resource is currently being utilized as a source of energy by many human beings because it is cheap to produce. Exhaustible resources include oil, natural gas and coal. When these fossil fuels are burnt they generate energy through the process of combustion.
The resource has a high level of carbon content this fuel therefore releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. As the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere increase it results to global warming through the greenhouse effect. In addition the supply of most of the exhaustible resources have equated its demand since additional resources are being discovered and advanced technologies have increased the efficiency of mineral extraction and processing therefore in the medium term the future generations may not be disadvantaged but later near surface mines will be difficult to find making mining to be difficult. Some of the exhaustible resources such as aluminum can be recycled in such a way that they can be recovered from old aluminum cars, cans and other products to be utilized again (Hartwick, 2002).
In conclusion, renewable resources are free and indefinite in quantity and some through human efforts its quantity can be increased. Non renewable resources are fixed in amount, their formation takes a long time and they are greatly degraded by human activities in quality and quantity. In the recent past most people have shifted from the use of exhaustible resources to the utilization of the renewable sources of energy because of the adverse consequences associated to excessive use of fossil fuels. They have even utilized bio fuels in place of fossil fuels.
Hartwick, J. M. (2002). Non-Renewable Resources Extraction Programs and Markets. New York: Routledge.
Stille, D. R. (2006). Natural Resources: Using and Protecting Earth’s Supplies Exploringscience. New York: Compass Point Books