unsustainable use of an intrinsically renewed resource

An intrinsically renewed renewable resource can be harvested to provide a product in a way that is not sustainable.


In this diagram, the original (stock) resource is shown in purple. In time, it grows; its growth is shown green.



When the resource has grown one-quarter (25%) larger, some of it is taken as a product. The amount taken is greater than the amount that has regrown (in green). The rest (in grey) must come from the stock resource.


When the remaining stock resource has grown 25% larger, the same amount of  product is taken again. Because the stock resource is now smaller, its growth is also smaller, so even more of the now reduced stock resource must be taken (in grey) to take the same amount of the product.


When the remaining reduced stock resource has grown 25% larger, there is even less available to be taken as the product, so the resource is quickly destroyed. 


This page is linked from:

The Tragedy of the Commons

Sustaining an intrinsically renewed resource



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