Scarcity of resources

koperOne of the major sustainability issues is the depletion of raw materials.

In fact the risks involved probably are greater than the climate issue. Historically at shortages of essential materials, mankind usually has gone fighting for them. Therefore it is almost inevitable that we will soon do so again.
In addition we are depleting these resources for future generations and even for the living that still are too poor and underdeveloped to  take their fair share of these materials.

However, the concept of scarcity is negotiable. Scarcity often depends on available technology and costs and may therefore be temporary. Short term scarcity is considered by the normal economy and in fact one of the main principles of the law of supply and demand. It is only long term scarcity that is insufficiently considered and increasingly financial speculation systems ruin sustainable and sound price formation.
In various aspects scarcity is an issue heavily related with poverty. The earth’s crust contains enough of most minerals that technically can be extracted, but not at reasonable costs affordable for the poor.

The Oiconomy Foundation will, as much as possible using international agreements, select or develop a definition for the concept of scarcity, keep track of the scarcity of raw materials and lists the materials which shall be considered scarce.
Considered are naturally occurring materials like fresh water, mineral energy sources, scarce minerals and natural plant- and animal species from land or sea.
Fresh water is considered a scarce material, basically if more water is withdrawn from the area than is replenished.
The Oiconomy Foundation will use the typical preventive cost of using the various scarce materials, (e.g. for using alternatives or different ways to achieve the same goal) and transfer these into ESCU’s

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