Consequences of resource exploitation

Socioeconomic consequences

  • Higher energy prices as sources are depleted, eg increase in petrol prices and domestic fuel bills in the UK. This can have the result of leaving the elderly and those on low incomes in fuel poverty.
  • The gap between rich and poor becomes more evident.
  • Funding needed for research into alternative energy, and increased costs for exploration and extraction of existing energy sources.

Environmental consequences

Cooling towers in York
Cooling towers in York
  • Increased carbon emissions cause global warming with consequences including climate change and sea levels rising due to melting ice caps.
  • Air pollution from factories as countries industrialise and exploit resources. The economic miracle in China is exploiting resources at a rapid rate and making Chinese cities, such as Beijing, some of the most polluted in the world.
  • Ecosystems such as rainforests are under threat from exploitation as countries (eg Brazil) exploit their resources for development.

Political consequences

  • Global agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon emissions, and a need for international cooperation.
  • Loss of public support for governments from as domestic fuel bills and petrol prices rise. People are forced to change their lifestyle, which is unpopular.