S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute of Korean Political Studies (한국정치연구소) 한국정치연구 (Journal of Korean Politics) 한국정치연구 Volume 04 (1994)
Environmental Cooperation in Northeast Asia
- Kim, JungWk
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 한국정치연구소
- 한국정치연구, Vol.4, pp. 103-121
- The world economy is expected to grow tenfold in the coming half century due to mankind's strenuous efforts to improve the standard of living and population growth. But the same processes that are intended to achieve the wellbeing of human beings are threatening the very existence of human being on this planet. Tenfold economic growth means tenfold production, and tenfold production means tenfold consumption of resources and tenfold environmental destruction, if human beings insist to keep the present way of living. Does the earth have enough resources and environmental capacity to support such economic growth? The answer is "No" in a word.
The world oil reserves are estimated to be about 1.35 x 10¹² barrels. At the present rate of consumption, the production of oil will reach maximum in the year 2000 and it will be depleted by the year 2050. If the consumption rate increase ten times, the depletion will come much sooner. The coal reserves are estimated to be about 7.6 x 10¹² tons. At the present rate of consumption, the production of coal will reach its peak in 2100 and it will be depleted by 2500.
The world economy is sustained by continuously consuming such resources as mineral resources, soil, water, forest, ocean, and others, many of which are not renewable. Even though some of them are renewable, we are consuming them much faster than the renewal rate, so that we are losing forest, soil, other resources at an alarming rate at present.
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