Beyond Natural Resources to Post-Human Resources: Towards a New Theory of Diversity and Discontinuity
Are natural resources really so limited that, as Mahatma Gandhi once famously said, Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed ? (TE 2012) This limiting view of natural resources can be contrasted with an opposing view by John Maynard Keynes, who summarized Say's Law as 'supply creates its own demand' but then turned Say's Law on its head in the 1930s by declaring that demand creates its own supply, so whenever a demand exists, there will be resources to create the supply. (EN 2012) Contrary to these opposing views (and other ones as will be discussed in the book), natural resources, in relation to both diversity and discontinuity are neither possible or impossible, nor desirable or undesirable to the extent that the respective ideologues on different sides would like us to believe. Needless to say, this challenge to the opposing views of natural resources does not mean that natural resources are unimportant, or that those interdisciplinary fields (related to natural resources) like conservation biology, environmental management, ecological economics, political ecology, environmental ethics, adaptive management, genetic engineering, Malthusianism, and so on are not worth studying. Of course, neither of these extreme views is reasonable. Rather, this book offers an alternative, better way to understand the future of natural resources, especially in the dialectic context of diversity and discontinuity-while learning from different approaches in the literature but without favoring any one of them or integrating them, since they are not necessarily compatible with each other. More specifically, this book offers a new theory (that is, the resilient theory of natural resources) to go beyond the existing approaches in a novel way. If successful, this seminal project is to fundamentally change the way that we think about natural resources in relation to diversity and discontinuity from the combined perspectives of the mind, nature, society, and culture, with enormous implications for the human future and what the author originally called its post-human fate.