WOLFRAM SYSTEMMODELER

NR_Resource_Utilization

Utilization of non-recoverable natural resources

Diagram

Wolfram Language

In[1]:=
Click for copyable input
SystemModel["SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3.NR_Resource_Utilization"]
Out[1]:=

Information

This model describes the utilization of non-recoverable natural resources. In the model (created in the early 1970s), the non-recoverable resources considered are mostly metals. They are thus measured in metric tons.

From today's perspective, it might make more sense to concentrate on the remaining fossil fuels, which is not the approach that Meadows and his coworkers took. Yet, the effects of the dwindling resources on the overall economy are comparable, whether we can no longer produce goods, because we lack the raw materials or because we lack the energy to do so, results ultimately in the same predicament. Due to the laws of exponential growth, we are running out of all kind of natural resources (fossil fuels, minerals, fresh water) almost simultaneously.

In the case of minerals, recovery is partly possible, as discarded materials can be recycled. However doing so requires energy for the re-concentration of these scrap materials. The materials themselves don't get used up. They only get dissipated further and further, until their density is so low that they cannot be collected any longer within reasonable cost limits.

In the case of fossil fuels, these truly get used up. These resources are non-recoverable within human time constants. They were developed over many millions of years and essentially represent "fossil sunshine." Humanity is using all of these resources up within the very short time span (in geological terms) of a few hundred years. Peak Oil, i.e., the time when we shall have used up 50% of the available oil, and when supply can no longer keep up with demand, is now just around the corner.

The fantastic recent developments of technology and the medical sciences, accompanied by an unprecedented growth of human population, would not have been possible without these resources, and won't be maintainable, once they shall have been used up.

Whereas the earlier WORLD2 model only accounted for the dwindling resources themselves, the newer WORLD3 model offers a second state variable representing technological change. Through more advanced technology, it is possible to use the available resources more efficiently, and that effect is accounted for by the second state variable in the model.

In the WORLD3 model, the natural resources themselves are measured in metric tons, whereas the technology change has no units.

Public Parameters (9)

des_res_use_rt_DNRUR

Value: 4800000000.0

Type: Real (ton/yr)

Description: Desired resource utilization rate

nr_resources_init

Value: 1000000000000.0

Type: Real (ton)

Description: Initial available non-recoverable resources

p_nr_res_use_fact_1

Value: 1

Type: Real

Description: Default non-recoverable resource utilization factor

res_tech_init

Value: 1

Type: Real

Description: Initial non-recoverable resource technology factor

t_policy_year

Value: 4000

Type: Real (yr)

Description: Year of policy change

t_fcaor_time

Value: 4000

Type: Real (yr)

Description: Year of capital allocation to resource use efficiency

tech_dev_del_TDD

Value: 20

Type: Real (yr)

Description: Technology development time

p_fr_cap_al_obt_res_2

Value: {1, 0.2, 0.1, 0.05, 0.05, 0.05, 0.05, 0.05, 0.05, 0.05, 0.05}

Type: Real[:]

Description: Non-renewable resource fraction remaining

p_res_tech_chg_mlt

Value: {0, 0, 0, 0}

Type: Real[:]

Description: Resource technology change multiplier

Connectors (7)

ind_out_pc

Type: MassInPort

Description: Per capita annual industrial output

population

Type: MassInPort

Description: Population

pc_res_use_mlt

Type: MassOutPort

Description: Per capita resource utilization

s_fr_cap_al_obt_res

Type: MassOutPort

Description: Fraction of capital allocated to resource use efficiency

ind_cap_out_ratio_2_ICOR2T

Type: MassOutPort

Description: Industrial capital output ratio

industrial_output

Type: MassInPort

Description: Annual industrial output

res_intens

Type: MassOutPort

Description: Resource utilization intensity

Components (19)

NR_Resources

Type: Level1b

Description: p.387 of Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World

NR_Res_Use_Rate

Type: RRate

Description: p.389 of Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World

Sink1

Type: Sink

NR_Res_Use_Rt

Type: Prod_3

Description: p.389 of Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World

S_NR_Res_Use_Fact

Type: S_NR_Res_Use_Fact

Description: p.390 of Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World

P_Nr_Res_Use_Fact_2

Type: SMTH3

Res_Tech_NRTD

Type: Level1a

Res_Tech_Ch_Rt_NRATE

Type: Rate_1

Source1

Type: Source

Res_Tech_Chg_Rt

Type: Res_Tech_Ch_Rt_NRATE

P_Res_Tech_Chg_Mlt_NRCM

Type: Tabular

P_Res_Tech_Chg

Type: P_Res_Tech_Chg

PC_Res_Use_Mlt

Type: Tabular

Description: p.390 of Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World

NR_Res_Fr_Remain

Type: Gain

Description: p.393 of Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World

P_Fr_Cap_Al_Obt_Res_1

Type: Tabular

Description: p.394 of Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World

P_Fr_Cap_Al_Obt_Res_2

Type: Tabular

Description: p.394 of Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World

S_Fr_Cap_Al_Obt_Res

Type: S_Fr_Cap_Al_Obt_Res

Description: p.393 of Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World

Ind_Cap_Out_Ratio_2

Type: Tabular

Res_Intens

Type: Division

Used in Examples (11)

Scenario_11

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

Influencing the future 10 years later

Scenario_10

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

Influencing the future 20 years earlier

Scenario_9

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

Combining the measures of Scenarios #6 and #8

Scenario_8

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

More abundant non-recoverable natural resources, birth control, and stable industrial output

Scenario_7

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

More abundant non-recoverable natural resources and birth control

Scenario_6

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

More accessible non-recoverable natural resources, pollution control, land yield enhancement, erosion protection, and resource efficiency

Scenario_5

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

More accessible non-recoverable natural resources, pollution control, land yield enhancement, and erosion protection

Scenario_4

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

More accessible non-recoverable natural resources, pollution control, and land yield enhancement

Scenario_3

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

More accessible non-recoverable natural resources and pollution control

Scenario_2

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

More abundant non-recoverable natural resources

Scenario_1

SystemDynamics.WorldDynamics.World3

Original WORLD3 model