Inputs – Materials

  • The UK once had the good fortune to be rich in natural resources – plentiful supplies of coal, iron ore, wool and grain, at least until better alternatives were found abroad

 

  • We also had an empire from which to import other basic resources like cotton and rubber

 

  • More recently, North Sea oil and gas were discovered – they met all the UK’s energy needs and more, and the surplus helped reduce our ‘balance of payments’ deficit

 

  • Sadly, the UK’s natural indigenous resources have either run out or become increasingly expensive to extract

 

  • As a result, the UK’s economy increasingly has had to rely on the wits of its people, much like the Japanese have always had to do

 

  • The only abundant supply of natural resources that we are left with are our home seas, wind and rainfall

 

  • However, our home seas have been overfished by us and our EU partners – there’s no quick productivity gains likely there

 

  • And whilst our wind is being ‘farmed’ both on land and at sea, this is unsightly and expensive, and unlikely to make a large dent in our national energy needs

 

  • That leaves our rainfall – there are many countries in the world desperately short of fresh water – some see fresh water becoming even more valuable than ‘black gold’, perhaps the cause of wars – the UK’s surplus fresh water perhaps could be back-hauled to those most in need using OBO (Oil, Bulk, Ore) carriers after emptying their cargoes here

 

  • Overall, there does not appear to be great scope to improve national productivity levels by better use of our remaining known natural resources 

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