Renewable Matter # 2 / Numero #2

Over 50 Billion Tons of Matter Wasted Every Year: Resources to Preserve

by Aldo Femia

Given the amount of materials that it mobilizes, the human species is now competing with the most important causes of geomorphological change. Our thirst for fossil fuels translates into a yearly extraction of 45 billion tons of dormant matter, of which only 14 billion are actually used as fuels. Human appropriation of biomasses has reached 27 billion tons, of which 5.5 billion are not used.

The surface of the Earth has always been in slow but constant movement: excavated by waterways and glaciers, eroded by winds, upset by mountain formation and volcanic eruptions, subjected to changes in vegetation and climate. From the 20th century onwards though, a new force of nature has appeared: the action of the human species. For the amount of...

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