In the last 10 years or so, there has been a big push to save small increments of our resources — legislating low-flow faucets, banning plastic bags, promoting energy star appliances, mandating light bulbs containing mercury and purchasing Priuses. However, oil, natural gas, coal, copper, lithium, lead, zinc, chromium and even uranium are rare, non-renewable resources; once they are used up, they are gone.
It makes no difference on a global scale and to the people who will live in the future whether non-renewable resources are used up in one century, one-and-a-half centuries or two — in the end they will be gone. And the amount of pollution released will have been the same.
The real problem is the present system of extraction, consumption and endless growth itself; and it will end sooner or later, either by intention of when the resources finally run out. Attempts merely to slow the rates of plunder of the Earth will not change the final outcome. And, in the meantime, panicky, eco-fascistic governmental dictates will only serve to destroy democracy as well.