What considerations are relevant for the ethics of conserving depletable resources? Do future generations have the same right to the earth's resources as we do? Do other countries have the same claim to resources, such as energy, as we do?

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The primary consideration in the ethics of conservation is the concept of ownership. This question rests on the distinction of property rights and ethical rights.

Strictly speaking, a country has land ownership of its resources as designated by laws. This (in itself) is not an issue unless the resources are depletable. There is no reason that a country "owning" a piece of land also "owns" the ability to drain its resources for perpetuity. Their ownership exists because it is recognized that they occupy it presently, however that recognition came to be. Therefore, considering future populations will also "own" it in their present, ownership does not extend to the ability to strip the resources to the point that it negatively impacts future...

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