Give specific examples of at least two production and two consumption habits humans have related to material resources.Class is Dependence of Men on the Environment/Sophmore/College Level.  

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

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Habits that are general to the entire human population are by definition a little vague but I'll try my best to answer your question.  I'll give two sets of production and consumption habits that are interdependent on each other to make it a bit more interesting.  Humans produce a great many wood based products including furniture, houses, and paper.  As a result, humans consume a great many trees and have for a long time.  In recent centuries, tree consumption has been so great that deforestation has become a real issue.  As a result, the replanting of forests and maintaining regular cycles of tree harvesting and reseeding for future growth have been developed and become a normal part of the wood production/consumption cycle to ensure that there will be enough wood for future use.

Another more recent area of material resource production is electronics and computers.  Since the invention of the microchip we have been producing these in ever increasing numbers over the past few decades.  As a result, we have been consuming increasing amounts of plastic, copper, silicon, and other materials including a set of naturally occurring chemicals called rare earth elements for their production.  Rare earth elements consist of metals such as thulium, erbium, lutetium, and terbium just to name four.  They are relatively obscure resources that most people have never heard of but they have become increasingly important in recent years due to their uses in a wide variety of common modern devices such as medical imaging scanners (MRI, PET), lasers, and portable devices with high contrast color screens such as iPads and iPhones.  While they are not truly "rare" in the same sense as gold or platinum, they are difficult to find and mine from the earth's crust on production scale.  As a result, the locations of the few operating rare earth mines on the planet have become of increasing economic and geopolitical importance.

I hope this helps you.


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