A Resourceful World
This Earth, the third planet in our Solar system, was formed over four and a half billion years ago. It is the densest of all plants, and the most massive and largest of the known four rocky planets. Our Earth has a total surface area of 510 million km2, of which about 71% is below sea level (i.e. covered with water). This leaves the remaining 29% for the about 7.7 billion people that live upon this Earth.
The prime goal of every living thing upon the face of the Earth is to survive. Whether it is food, water, shelter, security or the wants and needs – each living thing – be it mankind, animals, plants and trees, birds of the air, living things in the ocean – are many and are insatiable.
Focusing on mankind, the 7.7 billion people (and counting) that live on this Earth are spread over seven earth surface areas known as continents. These continents are North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. The land composition and use, physical characteristics, weather, climate, and atmospheric conditions, and natural resources vary considerably from one continent to another.
Considering mineral and natural resources, Africa is reported to be the richest of all the seven continents. Notwithstanding this, no continent has an abundance of every single resource that it needs. In every continent except for Antarctica, there are countries and territories. In the same vein, countries and territories vary in available resources. What a continent or country lacks, another has it in abundance or in excess. It is an obvious fact that no continent, country, or territory has all the resources that its citizens need for survival.
While various natural and mineral resources have been discovered in various parts of the world, some are already being mined, explored, processed, and used in a meaningful and beneficial way. Others are being wasted, while some are not in use at all. What is not needed in one part of the world or in excess in another, is desperately needed in another part of the world. Also, it is a known fact that there are many resources yet to be discovered in every country and continent. Our entire Earth is yet to be 100 percent explored.
So, what are resources and which ones are available in each continent and country? What are their likely uses? In what quantities and forms do these resources exist in those countries and continents? To what extent can these resources be mined, explored, refined, and processed? What is their likely end-products?
These are some of the questions that will be explored in this book. Since no one has it all, knowing about these resources will not only help readers to know where to turn for the resources we need, but it might also help us to manage what we have in a better way.