A common belief and narrative furthered by environmentalists is that humans are using too much of the Earth’s resources and that we will eventually run out. University of St. Lawrence economics professor Steve Horwitz addresses this common belief and reveals that there are economic reasons why we will never run out of resources.
In a free market system, prices signal scarcity. So as a resource becomes more scarce, it becomes more expensive, which incentivizes people to use less of it and develop new alternatives, or to find new reserves of that resource that were previously unknown or unprofitable. We have seen throughout history that the human mind’s ability to innovate, coupled with a free economy, is an unlimited resource that can overcome the limitations we perceive with natural resources.