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Compose an essay on the following: There are no longer enough natural resources to sustain current levels of economic growth. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Provide examples and supporting evidence to back up your opinion on this subject. Write 250 words or more.
The world population is projected to reach 7 billion people in 2013 by the United Nations (UN). The UN also projected that world’s population will peak at 9.22 billion in 2075. While the number of people is not entirely a key issue, the consumption levels of each individual can be a cause for concern. Between the periods 1000 AD to 1820 AD, advances in per capita income (incomes for each individual on an annual basis) were negligible. Although incomes rose by 50 percent, population grew by fourfold rendering net negative economic growth rates. However since the industrial revolution, incomes per capita have risen faster than population growth rates, raising the overall welfare levels of humankind. However, these improvements in social and economic welfare have not been evenly distributed, and have been disproportionately accrued in the developed economies of the United States, Japan and Western Europe. However, in recent years, especially since World War II, many countries have also recorded rapid economic growth rates. These achievements have come at a tremendous cost. Today’s global society is economically, socially and culturally dependent on natural resources such as minerals and metals. The production patters are driven primarily by the consumption of these resources which continues to rise in the middle- to high-income economies (which include China and India, the two most populous nations accounting for 1/3 of humanity) and is also reaching unprecedented levels in low-income countries, as they integrate further into the global economic system. There is consensus as reflected through various international summits such as the Rio Summit in 1994 and the Copenhagen Summit on climate change in 2009, that current rates of production and consumption are unsustainable. Therefore, although society, maybe able to develop technologies to produce and consume more efficiently and effectively, and more importantly find or invent replacements for the current natural resources, it is likely that there is not enough natural resources to sustain current levels of economic growth.