The Earth's resources

Humans use the Earth's natural resources for a number of purposes, including:

  • energy and fuels for warmth
  • building materials for shelter
  • food through farming
  • fuels for transport
  • materials for clothing

The human population is growing very quickly and many people argue that humans are using up the Earth's finite resources at a rate which is too fast and therefore unsustainable.

Chemists try to improve agriculture and industrial processes to provide new products that allow humans to meet their needs. It is essential that this is done in a sustainable way. This means that future generations of humans must also be able to meet their own needs. In other words, we must not use up all of the resources.