Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - 11

Chapter 1

fuel. Proven worldwide natural gas reserves totaled over 6,845 trillion (that is
6,845,000,000,000) cubic feet in 2012. That is an almost 10 percent increase in
world reserves, up from 6,262 trillion cubic feet just three years earlier in 2009.
The 2012 U.S. reserve of natural gas had expanded to 334 trillion cubic feet, up
from 237 trillion cubic feet as recently as 2009. Obviously, natural gas is being
discovered much faster than it is being used.iii

Mineral
Aluminum
Copper

SUMMarY
Our natural resources can be defined as objects, materials, creatures, or
energy found in nature that can be put to use by humankind. Some of these
resources are in fairly short supply. Others, such as coal, are plentiful. Some,
such as clean drinking water, can be easily spoiled. and some, like oil, can be
used only once and then are gone.
the most important characteristic of a natural resource is its usefulness.
those things that are useful to us today may no longer be useful in the future.
things in our past that had no usefulness can be very valuable resources today.
custom and technology greatly affect the usefulness of a natural resource.
the United States is a vast country rich in natural resources. however,
many of our important resources are available in only limited quantities.
Managing those natural resources for the long-range benefit of our people is
the challenge facing all of us.

Ā© Cengage LearningĀ®

Years of Proven
Reserve2
222
373

Iron

145

Lead

42

Mercury

68

Nickel

49

Tin

20

Zinc

21

1

estimates are based on current proven
reserves in recoverable mining sites,
current mining rates, existing technology,
and current prices as of 2012. estimates
do not consider recycling, which, in the
case of lead, for instance, provides about
half of all of the metal consumed.

2

Years are calculated primarily from U.S.
Geologic Survey data on latest world
production and estimated reserves.

3

the actual amount of copper in the earth's
crust would last millions of years at current
usage rates. Only a very small portion is in
deposits that are economically feasible to
extract at today's prices.

recreational resources
Certainly, as America has become richer, our people have found more time for
recreation. We have moved from an agrarian to an industrial to a technological
world. These changes place pressures on our time and on our mental capacities.
People need to relax, to enjoy life, to enjoy nature.
Popular recreational resources in this country include forests, lakes, beaches,
mountains, parks, game animals, and fish. As the United States moves further
into its third century, we must closely guard the quality of our ecosystem. We are
not alone on this planet, and we do not own exclusive rights to live here. Beyond
this philosophical reason for carefully managing our environment, we need the
relaxing and inspirational values we gain from unspoiled nature. We need clean
water in which to swim. We need unlittered trails to hike. We need clean parks
in which to picnic and camp.

11

taBLe 1-1 Known World
reservesiv of Selected Metals1

Minerals
Minerals are yet another type of natural resource. The most widely used are the
metals, such as iron, copper, aluminum, magnesium, lead, zinc, tin, and several
others. These metals, although not as vital as some of our other resources, are still
important and need conservation. Improved mining and processing methods are
doing a great deal to help conservation. To get some idea of the known reserves
of some minerals, see Table 1-1.
Geologists generally agree that our undiscovered mineral reserves far exceed
what we have already found, and the possibilities for further discovery are tremendous. These estimates do not take into consideration future technological
advances or possibilities of mining lower-grade ore.

Our Natural Resources



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp

Contents
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Cover1
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Cover2
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - i
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - ii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - iii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - iv
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - v
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Contents
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - vii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - viii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - ix
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - x
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xi
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xiii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xiv
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xv
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xvi
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xvii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xviii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - ixx
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xx
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xxi
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xxii
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Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Cover4
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