Home / Dystopia / Should We be Scared of Scarcity in the Coming Years?

Should We be Scared of Scarcity in the Coming Years?

by | Apr 19, 2022 | Dystopia, Industry




In the coming years, we will have to wrestle with shortages of freshwater, clean air, hospitable land, depletion of resources and many more. The current climate crisis means that we’re going to have to do with fewer resources and lower our gas emissions even as global middle-class consumption and cities continue to grow. We must take stock of the situation and decide if our consumption is keeping up with the demand.

What is scarcity?

The basic definition of scarcity is the situation when the amount of a certain good or service is limited. When this occurs, it limits consumers’ options and increases the value of goods or services. Sellers of scarce goods or services can charge higher prices because they know that a larger number of people are interested in buying their goods or services.

Scarcity occurs when there are insufficient resources to meet demand. Human beings have an infinite desire for goods and services, but limited resources limit the number of products that can produce. In addition, governments decide what is produced and exported, thereby creating scarcity.

smoke coming out chimney of factory
Photo by Kelly L from Pexels

When there is less supply of a resource, the cost of that resource increases and fewer people have access to it. Some resources, such as oil and gold, are regarded as scarce. Other rare earth materials, such as minerals are in short supply and may become too costly to use. As demand for these resources rises, prices rise as there is limited supply and they are therefore out of reach for many people.

Today, scarcity in the global supply of scarce resources has become a major political issue. China has curbed exports of rare-earth elements and the pressure on other countries is mounting. As a result, it is even harder to find new supplies.

Scarcity of resources

There are many reasons why we face a scarcity of resources. Changing economic conditions can cause scarcity of certain resources. When demand increases, there are fewer resources left for the other people. A simple example of scarcity is oil. If a million barrels are extracted and are sufficient to meet demand, then everything is good. But when demand rises, there is not enough supply. As a result, oil becomes a scarce resource, making it more difficult for producers to meet demand.

According to the UN, the global population is expected to increase from 7.6 billion to 8.6 billion by 2030. Which will increase the demand for major factors such as food, energy and water. During this time, the amount of water and energy consumed will increase by 40% and 50% respectively and agricultural productivity is predicted to decrease by a third in large areas of Africa.

The interconnection of these trends is amplified by the fact that the same economic model is contributing to both resource scarcity and climate change. Although the increasing population of the world is considered a major threat to the environment, the depletion of resources is also a factor.

The amount of fossil fuels being used globally is rapidly increasing. This is resulting in a global water shortage and is projected to increase even further. This problem is made worse by climate change, which alters how we use fossil fuels. Resources are essential for many human activities. A loss of oil could have disastrous consequences, especially for developing countries. It would also lead to increased prices and uncertainty.

With this increase in global demand, countries are increasingly restricting the export of rare earth elements and minerals. In response to this, pressure is mounting on other countries to do the same. As a result, the prices of some commodities are volatile and companies are less likely to invest in discoveries.

Ultimately, this affects supply and prices, compounding the problem of scarcity. So, it is essential to conserve the remaining resources for the future of humankind. Natural resources are those that occur in their natural state and are not produced by humans. While renewable resources can be replenished easily, non-renewable resources are limited in quantity and regenerate over years.

huge excavator loading big industrial dumper
Image by Анатолий Стафичук from Pixabay

The earth has many natural resources, however, they are starting to be depleted. In addition to the dwindling natural resources, humans are increasingly relying on fossil fuels and water for farming. Approximately 70% of the water that humans consume is used for agriculture.

As a result, the global water supply is under threat. Freshwater, for example, accounts for only 3% of the total water supply in the world and only one quarter is available to the human race. Half of that freshwater is locked away in glaciers and other inaccessible stores. The world’s land surface accounts for 11% of crops. And that’s only a small portion of the problem!

Water is necessary for life on earth. But water is in short supply in many parts of the world. It is hard to access clean water for drinking, bathing, hand-washing or even agriculture. Water scarcity is a serious problem that affects billions of people around the world. Currently, one-third of the population faces water scarcity at least once a year.

Scarcity is also a major source of pollution, resulting in global warming. Climate change is expected to exacerbate water stress around the world as rising temperatures lead to more extreme weather events. In this situation, water is used at a rate twice as fast as the global population and many regions are reaching their water service limits.

Water scarcity is a global issue and the impact of climate change can be felt in many ways. Decreased river flows and water shortages may increase the concentration of harmful pollutants. In addition, drought may force animals to seek out human drinking water, which increases the risk of catching diseases. Moreover, water scarcity can increase the risk of wildfires and dust storms, which irritate people’s lungs.

Lack of clean water has disastrous effects on public health and economic development. Not only does water scarcity lead to disease transmission but it also compromises agriculture and threatens the food supply of a community. In such a situation, women and children are especially vulnerable. This makes it critical to take steps to improve water quality and sanitation.

two boy carrying water container
Image by lanur from Pixabay

Without immediate and effective measures, water resources will be depleted before the end of this century. For the sake of the future, the world must make better use of water, improve agricultural efficiency, decrease water use and recycle wastewater. Experts have warned that if global water demand continues at its current pace, billions of people will face severe hunger or food shortages.

In our world, resources are limited and we cannot produce infinite amounts of everything, yet our wants seem unlimited. This is the problem with our current economic system. It’s not just about lack of resources but also about lack of available resources. We need to start thinking about ways to conserve resources now before it is too late.

The UN Environment has launched the International Resource Panel to develop knowledge that will improve resource use globally. The panel is comprised of eminent scientists, highly skilled resource management experts, civil society and industrial organizations. The report lays out a grim picture of how quickly our planet’s resources are being depleted.

The world population is growing at an unprecedented rate and this will eventually lead to a resource shortage. The world population is predicted to hit 9 billion people by 2050. The consequences are profound. The world will be at a tipping point when resources are no longer cheap enough to meet the needs of all.

There is a looming scenario whereby the world’s freshwater supply will be depleted by 2040 and phosphorus supplies will be below by 2030. Food supply will be at risk and livable air will be scarce. The effects of depleting resources will be felt most acutely in impoverished nations.

If we want to keep using our resources efficiently, we have to switch to a circular economy. The problem is that 99% of what we produce ends up in the trash. To avoid this, we need to develop new technologies that reduce waste and ensure that we live within the planet’s means. So we need to change our mindset to avoid reducing our options by innovating and preserving our finite riches.