Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:50 PM
RESOURCE REALITY: SCIENCE, ECONOMICS, POLITICS, AND HUMAN NATURE
Pressure for sustainable development comes from a variety of sources including government and regulatory agencies, insurance rates, financial institutions, NGOs, employees, and even a segment of the general public. In the context of working toward a sustainable society, what will the global demand for mineral and energy resources be during the 21st century? At present, the trends seem upward as both the developed and developing worlds increase their consumption of resources. Nature, of course, may provide the ultimate limiting boundary but what is the current knowledge of the mineral and energy resource base and how will science expand our understanding? How do we get the mineral and energy resources necessary for a healthy society over the next 100 years and how do we sustain their supply for the future with methods that are compatible with a healthy environment?
Industries are becoming more interested in sustainable approaches to their businesses but there are still wide chasms among communities involved in issues of resource development, usage, and sustainability. There are major communication barriers between the mineral and energy mineral industries with a jargon developed over centuries and those communities developing sustainability frameworks, policy, and a new lexicon.
What are the policy issues that will need to be addressed to ensure progress toward a sustainable future supported by sustained supplies of minerals? What are the options, tradeoffs, and implications that need to be presented to serve as input into policy-making decisions, at a global scale, based on resource reality?