Because they are perceived as cheap and unlimited. A recent book called Wilderness and The American Mind details a shift that has been gathering momentum over the past several decades in the way human societies view nature. Whereas previously states, corporations, and individuals viewed nature as a cornucopia of resources to be conquered and devoured, scientific evidence and the growing environmental movement have helped change this view to one of nature as a vulnerable and finite ecosystem in which we must learn to live sustainably. Unfortunately it is only now at a global tipping point of degradation and risks to human society that we are beginning to realize resources are precious and finite. It remains to be seen if we can accordingly change our policies in time.
Some people believe that because they own the land they can do anything they want with it, regardless of any environmental impacts caused by their actions. Others think that humans are above all other forms of life, and are entitled to change the landscape of the earth to suit their needs. Thinking like this has caused much of the environmental problems that we are facing today. Unfortunately people tend to outweigh the short term benefits over the long term problems caused by their actions.
Oil is not an unlimited resource. Neither is safe, drinkable water. Both are limited resources. I can’t believe no one pointed this out already…And cheap, haha, gas prices in California are over $3/gallon, and consider the escalated prices in Europe and don’t even get me started on how expensive purchasing bottle water can become.
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