The Past, Present, and Future of Earth’s Natural Resources (November 2018)

This essay first appeared in the November 2018 issue of Choice (volume 56 | issue 3).


The future of natural resources is a particularly acute concern today, considering that the human population is growing at approximately 80 million people a year. Most of this growth is taking place in nations that are increasing their natural resource consumption as they build more urban areas. This bibliographic essay will explore the trends in natural resource usage from early human history to today. It will also investigate sustainable options for reducing per capita natural resource consumption without leading to disproportionate natural resource distributions. Selected books will include readings on the history of natural resource use, human population growth trends, alternatives …

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About the author:

Brian Shmaefsky is a professor of environmental science at Lone Star College – Kingwood in Texas. Shmaefsky is the author of several books and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, and serves in various local, national, and international environmental policy organizations.