Talk:Non-renewable resource

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Reversion / vandalism[edit]

I am perturbed to see my suggestions and starting edits were "reverted" as possible vandalism by, apparently (?), a bot, with essentially no discussion or explaination as to why (though I can understand why this topic might be considered one of the more contentious ones!) If a human had taken even a moment to check the TALK page, they'd have seen that I had fully documented the reasons for my proposed changes. So, if Wikipedia wonders WHY they keep losing contributors, HERE is a great example! Ok, Wikipedia. I certainly don't want to be labeled a "Vandal", so I'll just drop my proposed ideas and you can keep your poorly organized article! Touchy, me!?!? Well, apparently, YES. The minor copyediting work that I gladly do -- I couldn't care less about -- revert all you want! But, this? I write on and have peer-reviewed publications on these types of environmenal issues for a living, so THIS particular change DEFINITELY stung! I guess I'll just stick to the fluff stuff till I developthicker skin (and learn how to use the Sandbox). Nice work, Wikipedia. Cynthisa (talk) 19:26, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

New suggestion[edit]

In reviewing this article, I found it still mixes non-renewable RESOURCES and non-renewable ENERGY indiscrimantly. Perhaps the former should be fleshed out (I'll do it if I find time) and the later further minimized. What might also help is exanding the actual DEFINITION of a non-renewable resource and spending MORE time talking about what the non-resources are, and LESS time lecturing on the various pros/cons/evils of non-renewable energy sources. (BTW, I also agree that this entry should NOT be combined with any "energy" topic.)

Two specific suggestions:

1. Water is mentioned in passing at the top of the article as potentially non-renewable, yet the reason for this is not explained. Doing so would be much more helpful (and pertainant) than the discussion on the radiation expelled into the environment by nuclear energy generation (which, technically, is totally off topic here). I'll try to make this addition myself if I can find the time to track down good citations to use for it.

2. It might be helpful to create/expand discussion of the role of "mining" in the context of non-renewable resources as a way of focusing one's understanding of where non-renewable resources come from. More specifically, I mean that the metal ores -- which are "non-renewable" in the sense that they cannot be mined from the earth more than once (leaving aside mining technology advances, fission, supernovas, etc.) And, secondly, adding discussion of the OTHER mineral products that are also non-renewable, though only LOCALLY important. Specifically, this means aggregates - rock, sand and gravel - which are necessary in large portions for building structures, roads, dams and numerous other uses, as well as for making cement, drywall and many other building materials. While plentiful, they are still nonetheless technically non-renewable. And, more importantly, there is a strong economic limit to the availability of such resources making their preservation worth contemplating. Trucking such materials beyond a radius of about 50 miles makes them economically unviable. (The California State Geology Board has EXCELLENT materials online about aggregates, their need for protection/conservation in light of their non-renewable status and the economic implications thereof.) There's a nice natural tie-in between aggregate and metal resources as both are HUGELY important in manufacturing the "stuff" of everyday life (particularly in this computer age!), this might be useful info. (Could also lead to some interesting cross-links to other ideas and article, such as on how ancient marble and stone has been used for more modern buildings, etc. Nicely cross-cultural!)

So, to summarize, perhaps adding/elaborating on some of these concepts might help improve the clarity, focus and utility of this article. Given the increased emphasis on "green" this and that, this article could be made to provide valuable information to the public. Lastly, if there's enough positive support on this idea, I'll try to make some of these changes myself. But, would also be thrilled to see someone else take up the challenge. Enjoy! Cynthisa (talk) 20:04, 26 July 2012 (UTC)


This article confuses "renewable" with "recyclable." Please find OECD's definition below, which is the usage that have been used for long time in academia. Mineral resource is non-renewable even it is recyclable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:41, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

This article confuses resources which are destroyed when used such as coal and oil, with those that are not, such as metals, which can be recycled and which therefore cannot be "used up".ya! John Kingston
Metals can certainly be used up. Iron rusts for example, and you can't build much with rust. Please create a heading for your comments as I've done for you. Richard001 01:02, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Also the article does not bring out the rate of consumption vs natural creation. If a renewable is used faster than it is created then wouldn't it fall into the category of non-renewable? In other words the rate of consumption has made it non-renewable. For example, we are catching so much fish that now we are also catching fish even before they can spawn young fish. At this rate of consumption, fish may become a non-renewable source.[ By Merrill Cassell} —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13:18, 11 April 2009

Double Confusion[edit]

Needs information about oil the fossil not oil in general.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 24 February 2008 (UTC)


how do you find the natural resources that the earth makes? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:24, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Merger with Non-Renewable Energy[edit]

These two articles both cover the same ground - and are both too short, so perhaps effort would best be put into only one of them. Simesa (talk) 07:51, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Support: I would support a merger of NR Energy into this article. That is the short one and falls under the scope of this article. NJGW (talk) 00:58, 24 September 2008 (UTC)


Oppose: True they should not merge —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:32, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Support: Same as NJGW's comment. Both article are of the same subject, and are short enough. Regards. Rehman(+) 08:56, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Oppose: While "non-renewable energy" is a part of the greater subject of "non-renewable resources", it is noteworthy on its own. "Non-renewable energy" ought to be mentioned within this article, AND have its own article. NickCT (talk) 14:55, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Oppose: It will confuse everyone who reads it -Brandon-Megarugrat (talk) 00:49, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Support: This article only deals with non-renewable energy resources rather than with the entire topic of non-renewable resources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by YoungBiddy (talkcontribs) 15:17, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Non-renewable energy[edit]

A nonrenewable energy is a natural resource which can't be produced such as fossil fuels. Nonrenewable energy can't be recycled. These recourses often exist in a fixed amount. Nonrenewable energy can't be produced, grown, generated. They are consumed much faster than nature can create them. They are a good type but I think the fossil fuels and the renewable energy are better. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:23, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Lacking sources[edit]

"Nuclear technology is a volatile and contaminating source of fuel production, with the expense of the nuclear industry predominantly reliant on subsidies. The radioactive waste the nuclear industry collects is highly hazardous, for a prolonged period and storage has risks of containment. Radioactive fuel continues to be controversial and unresolved industry." The article seems to be lacking in sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Global warming and heat emissions[edit]

"The increase in the global air temperature is an inadequate measure of global warming, which should rather be considered in terms of energy. The ongoing global warming means that heat has been accumulating since 1880 in the air, ground and water. Before explaining this warming by external heat sources, the net heat emissions on Earth must be considered. Such emissions from, e.g., the global use of fossil fuels and nuclear power, must contribute to global warming. The aim of this study is to compare globally accumulated and emitted heat. The heat accumulated in the air corresponds to 6.6% of global warming, while the remaining heat is stored in the ground (31.5%), melting of ice (33.4%) and sea water (28.5%). It was found that the net heat emissions from 1880-2000 correspond to 74% of the accumulated heat, i.e., global warming, during the same period. The missing heat (26%) must have other causes, e.g., the greenhouse effect, the natural variations in the climate and/or the underestimation of net heat emissions. Most measures that have already been taken to combat global warming are also beneficial for the current explanation, though nuclear power is not a solution to (but part of) the problem." — Global energy accumulation and net heat emission

"Adding energy to a system isn't the same as raising the equilibrium temperature." (edit) —

The heat (temperature) emissions from 1880-2000 can be measured in energy ("considered in terms of energy"). Nuclear power heat emissions in the form of steam into the atmosphere from cooling towers. "Many power plants, fossil and nuclear, have higher net output in winter than summer .... The cooling in the tower (cooling towers) is by transferring the water's heat to the air…" — World Nuclear Association

"The researchers also point out a flaw in the nuclear energy argument. Although nuclear power does not produce carbon dioxide emissions in the same way as burning fossil fuels, it does produce heat emissions equivalent to three times the energy of the electricity it generates and so contributes to global warming significantly." — Science Daily

RW Marloe (talk) 14:14, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

As an explanation, I deleted the passage on how nuclear energy produces a lot of carbon dioxide as a result of its mining, manufacturing and use for two reasons. (1) The same can be said of any energy source -- that is, ALL energy production facilities have various lifestream-related impacts beyond any direct emissions they may cause. (2) More importantly, this represents, at best, a side argument that has no place under the over-arching topic of "renewable resources." (You can see my other comments under "New suggestions," above, if you want to know what I think about the topic overall.) Cheers! Cynthisa (talk) 20:14, 26 July 2012 (UTC)


Isn't groundwater a non-renewable resource too? (talk) 17:02, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Is Fossil water a non-renewable resource? Jarble (talk) 03:13, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Some surprising predictions were recently added to this article[edit]

@RW Marloe: I noticed that many statements in this article are still unreferenced. Have you found any reliable sources to verify your recent additions to this article? Jarble (talk) 05:11, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

@RW Marloe: You also mentioned that "on a world scale the most common metal ores as a whole are virtually inexhaustible". Can this be verified? Jarble (talk) 05:16, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree these details require citing. I didn't originally write it, but when I moved this information about earth minerals and metal ores to it's own section I read a few articles to expand it. I'll find where I read on the subject and link it, as I should have done at the time.
I think in this paragraph the operable the word virtually. – "common metal ores are virtually inexhaustible … in the terms that the amount vastly exceeds human demand or the capacity to mine them, on all time-frames." I would also add "providing that the ore is collected, processed and is recycled. As a raw material it can be used multiple times, however some ores are more recyclable than others."RW Marloe (talk) 13:05, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't think these sentences could be considered as overt predictions, as this will happen. These sentences are a description of factors, as in a trend estimation and comparing some materials to others, how they are used and the rate of how they can be reused. This is entirely within the scope of the article about non-renewable resources. — RW Marloe (talk) 13:17, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Dr. Benchekroun's comment on this article[edit]

Dr. Benchekroun has reviewed this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:

I can only evaluate the Economic models section.

This sentence is unclear: The rule states that this would lead to a net price or "Hotelling rent" for it that rose annually at a rate equal to the rate of interest,...

'.. because of a number of false assumptions in the above.' rephrase false assumptions.

This statement and the idea in the second paragraph is not widely accepted and needs backing: This is because they are present throughout the earth's crust on a vast scale, far exceeding human demand on all time scales.

We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.

Dr. Benchekroun has published scholarly research which seems to be relevant to this Wikipedia article:

  • Reference 1: Dina Tasneem & Jim Engle-Warnick & Hassan Benchekroun, 2014. "An Experimental Study of a Common Property Renewable Resource Game in Continuous Time," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-09, CIRANO.
  • Reference 2: Hassan Benchekroun & Ngo Van Long, 2006. "The Curse of Windfall Gains in a Non Renewable Resource Oligopoly," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-10, CIRANO.

ExpertIdeasBot (talk) 15:32, 24 June 2016 (UTC)


I feel that helium should be mentioned in this article. Helium vented to the atmosphere is irrecoverable, as it escapes to space, and as a chemical element it cannot be feasibly produced on a large scale. Ergo, it is a finite resource. Magic9mushroom (talk) 10:03, 5 September 2016 (UTC)