Natural resources were historically an important condition of the successful development of countries. The disparity in the essay on importance of natural resources to natural resources predetermined, to a significant extent, the socioeconomic disparity in the development of Northern countries and Southern ones.
In fact, the economic and technological development of countries and the difference in their development was driven by the availability of natural resources, which stimulated the development of technology and, therefore, economic progress of those communities and countries, which benefited from the available natural resources and the backwardness of those countries and communities, which lacked natural resources. Even though today the process of globalization makes natural resources available worldwide, but the world economy still depends on natural resources and those countries, which have access to natural resources, especially fossil fuels, such as oil and gas, can keep progressing fast, while those, which have limited opportunities to use natural resources are doomed to backwardness. For example, coal mining and the availability of iron to Great Britain allowed the country to become one of the leaders in the world economy and conduct its industrial revolution successfully. At the same time, the significant role of natural resources as the major driver of the economic development becomes obvious, when the availability of natural resources, their use and historical socioeconomic and technological development of countries is compared. For example, early civilizations emerged in Northern hemisphere of the world basically due to the availability of natural resources, such as iron ore, for example, which allowed people to start making first tools as well as weapon.
For example, the beginning of the early production of bronze boosted the technological and economic development of those civilizations. The further introduction of iron, steel and other materials based on the use of natural resources accelerated their economic and technological development even more. Moreover, even the early settlement of people were determined by their natural environment and availability of natural resources, such as water and fertile soil, which people used for their regular life and basic needs. The availability of such natural resources as coal and iron ore allowed them to boost their industrial production and develop transportation system, which, in its turn, accelerated trade within those countries as well as between those countries. At the same time, the rest of the world that had limited access to natural resources remained under-developed and suffered from technological and economic backwardness. In fact, the successful economic and technological development became possible due to the process of accelerated industrialization with the further transition to scientific, knowledge-based industries.
The economic development of nations was therefore determined by the use of natural resources. However, the energy is still an essential condition of the successful economic and technological development as well as it is an essential condition of the maintenance of the competitive position of nations in the global economy. At the same time, the lion share of energy in the world is generated by means of using natural resources, especially fossil fuels, like oil and gas. The availability of fossil fuels becomes the major factor that determines the competitive position of nations in the global economy. This energy war resulted in a profound downturn in the economic development of the US and other well-developed nations.
Today, the dependence of nations on fossil fuels is still very significant. On the other hand, the availability of oil and natural gas allow countries to boost their economic development, even if they are mere exporters of natural resources. At this point, it is possible to refer to countries of the Persian Gulf region, which used to be poor, under-developed nations, while today, they have become prosperous, technologically advanced nations that play an important part in the global economy. At any rate, decisions taken by Saudi Arabia and other oil exporting countries located in the Persian Gulf have a considerable impact on the oil price and situation in the global economy because oil is still the major source of energy, which is required for the fast economic development and maintenance of stable functioning of well-developed economies. Hence, oil is one of the most valuable natural resources today, which is essential for the normal existence of the modern civilization because without oil the current level of the energy production would be impossible, while the modern civilization will not survive without the high level of the energy production at the moment. On the other hand, oil is just an example of the great significance of natural resources in the economic development of nations. For example, the consumption of timber has triggered the deforestation of many regions of the world that raises the problem of the threat to the natural environment.