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Topic – The Impact of Resource and Energy Use

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The Impact of Resource and Energy Use

It is important to conserve natural resources so they will be available for future use. But there are other things to think about when it comes to resource and energy use. Resource and energy use can have an impact on people and the environment in many ways.

Harvesting or Extracting Natural Resources

Open-pit mine

Cutting down trees affects the environment

The harvesting or extracting of natural resources can have an impact. For example, open-pit mines are used to mine many types of minerals. This means that huge holes are dug in the land to find the minerals. These mines can pollute rivers and streams. They can also add to air pollution.

Logging forests (cutting down the trees) can also have impacts. Habitats for plants and animals can be destroyed. When trees are cut, soil can be washed away by heavy rain and blown away by wind.

Resources are turned into useful items in processing plants. These plants can also add to air and water pollution. They also use very large amounts of energy.

Today in Canada, people are very concerned about damaging the environment. All levels of government have laws to protect the environment. These laws make sure companies lessen their impact on the environment. Companies often develop new procedures to help in this effort.


Coal mine

How are decisions made about resource production? For example, what happens when a company wants to open a mine? One of the most important things that happen is consultation. This means that people get together to give their opinions and ideas about the project. These people may include scientists, environmentalists, politicians, people from the company, and people from the community. Sometimes these consultations can go on for years before a decision is made.

The final decision is made by either the provincial or federal government, or both. To make the decision, the government considers the benefits of the project, as well as the concerns. The resource produced by a mine might be in great demand. If the resource is in demand, the economy of the community will improve. This could mean more jobs for people in the community. It could also mean more money for things such as schools and hospitals.

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