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By Richard Lecomber (auth.)

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As far as non-renewable resources are concerned, these results are of limited significance, being consistent with the pessimist's worst fears. Technical advances in exploitation simply serve to keep down product prices thus encouraging rapid exploitation rather than economy in use. Short-run scarcity is thereby alleviated, but the exhaustion dates may well be brought forward. For while the size of the economically extractable stock is expanded, so is the rate at which it is extracted. Y. ). e. of mining the resource.

On apparently sound practical grounds, remoter costs and benefits are invariably ignored. This would not matter if the omitted items tended to cancel out, but since most environmental effects are adverse and, moreover, interacting, this is unlikely to be the case. g. scenic beauty) are omitted because of difficulties of monetary evaluation. Secondly, in the interests of 'objectivity', orthodox analysis customarily employs a 'willingness-ta-pay' criterion of evaluation, possibly adjusted for income distribution.

42 caused serious alarm at the time, but which were averted by substitution or technical change, often as a direct response to the shortage. (See also [47, 52] and for a rather different view of the process [94]). Barnett and Morse pass to a systematic examination of trends in extraction costs and prices of major resource products over the period from 1860 to 1957. As resources become increasingly scarce, one would expect a rise both in exploitation costs (as inferior-quality resources are pressed into service) and in the relative prices of resource products.

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