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Natural Resources are materials on
or near the earth
• These materials only become resources when
society has a use for them: cultural definition of
• Like everything, they are unevenly distributed
around the earth
• Usually divided into three groups
– Renewable – can be replaced through nature: trees,
– Non-renewable – cannot be replaced once they are
removed from the earth: iron and other ores, fossil fuels
(oil, natural gas, coal)
– Inexhaustible Energy Sources – unlimited in quantity:
sunlight, geothermal heat, winds, tides