Impacts of mining on land and water resources Report as inadecuate




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Mining of energy resources and minerals is clearly therunning down of a large but finite, and non-renewable,resource. It is important also to recognise the nonrenewableaspects of food production: in particular, netconsumption of nutrients and soil as well as the directand embodied (manufactured capital, for example) energysources required to convert the soil and water into food(and fibre). The notion that land is being consumed bymining and not by food and fibre production is inaccurateand largely unhelpful if one is to take a whole system viewof resource utilisation. Further, the apparent moral highground of resource utilisation for food as opposed tomining is also questionable. The relative importance of food over shelterand warmth is not clear even at the inner levels of Maslow’s hierarchy ofneeds. This paper gives an overview of demand for energy and minerals,and of potential to supply, to give context for the Australian situation. Somedata are presented to examine the hypothesis that Australia’s contributionto global development is jeopardised by resource utilisation for supplyingenergy and minerals as opposed to food (and fibre). The paper concludesby proposing that the current battle between mining and agriculture inAustralia includes a significant emotional component. This is based on theromantic vision of ploughed and green fields tenderly stewarded by salt-ofthe-earth folk, in contrast to images of earth rent asunder by the ravages ofmining under the assault of savages.

Subject(s): Land Economics/Use

Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies

Resource /Energy Economics and Policy

Issue Date: 2012-10

Publication Type: Conference Paper/ Presentation

PURL Identifier: http://purl.umn.edu/152410 Page range: 52-59

Total Pages: 9

Record appears in: Crawford Fund > 2012: The Scramble for Natural Resources: More Food, Less Land?, 9-10 October 2012





Author: Moran, Chris

Source: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/152410?ln=en



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