QUEST CLUB PAPER
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Presented January 13, 1978
BERESFORD N, CLARKE
OUR NATURAL RESOURCES DILEMMA - OPPORTUNITY OR DISASTER
This title implies that a dilemma exists with regard to our natural resources.
The definition of dilemma is that it is a problem "... seemingly incapable of a
satisfactory solution". Are our natural resources, in fact, in jeopardy? If so, are
the solutions available all unsatisfactory? Or is it just possible that out of this
so-called dilemma could emerge an opportunity? It is my intention to try to offer
some answers to these questions, beginning with the first - are our natural resources,
in fact in jeopardy?
It seems to me that the first requirement for answering this question is to
accept that our planet home is finite in both shape and capacity. This finiteness
is accentuated by the fact that we have access to only a very shallow surface layer
of our globe. Obviously, the natural resources that we are considering must lie
either within or on the surface of this shallow layer.
A second requirement for examining this subject is an appreciation and
acceptance of world demographic trends. The same numbers game which describes
geometric progression also describes how our world population is increasing. This
population increase expressed in percent per year is innocuous. When we realize,
however, that the number of human beings in our world will double in the next three
decades, we can visualize the almost infinite demand for resources being pitted against
our finite supply.
Members of the Quest Club authorize the Allen County Public Library to digitize and publish past, present and future Quest Club papers for dissemination on the Allen County Public Library website (Board of Directors of Quest Club, Inc., Resolution of May 2010).