Around the time of World War II, our resource requirements skyrocketed. Up until 1958, we were largely self-sufficient. “By the beginning of the 20th century, America was the world’s top producer of natural gas, oil, copper, coal, zinc, iron ore, lead, silver, and a host of other critical industrial minerals.” But as our demands rose to huge levels, so did the need for importing from other economies. In 1980, North America (mostly the U.S.) accounted for 32% of the world’s energy consumption.
America’s heavy consumption is accounting for great decrease in natural resources. They have been the leader of consumption for quite some time (as ajbry pointed out above) and are marked at consuming double what the second leader (Europe) consumes in energy.
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