As I sat before my study table, trying to decide which topic I would choose for my first essay in this class, I decided that the best way to make the choice was by actually looking up the available print and online resources about the topics listed. The topic with the most interesting research material was the one about the environment. The protection of the environment is a cause close to my heart because I spend my weekends volunteering to help clean up beaches and recycling waste material. This is my way of giving back to the environment after all the environment has done for me, for us all.
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The more I read, the more I became more aware. Aware of the fact that we have more than just the commonly known environmental problems besetting us these days. We, the tenants of this planet, end up unknowingly attacking our ecosystem in more ways than one. The attacks that we know of, we can somehow control and even prevent. However, it is getting harder and harder to protect our environment these days because of the selfishness and irresponsibility of man. We tend to have short attention spans and not think about the future of our planet or the people who will live in the future that we are creating for them today.
Needless to say, I agree with the statement that protecting the environment is the most important problem facing the world today. My agreement is based upon the following reasons: (1) We are constantly developing ways and means to simplify our lives without realizing that we are affecting our environment in the long run. (2) Our population is growing at an alarming rate, putting a strain on our natural resources. (3) We constantly fail to look ahead to pre-empt any future environmental problems. Even though we do not consider all the challenges to the symbiotic relationship between man, animal, and nature to be a problem, we have to face the reality that left unchecked, even the smallest environmental action can prove to be a huge problem ten or 20 years down the road.
We seem to forget that nature does not provide us with an endless supply of resources and as such, we should try and economize on our use of these hard to replace natural products. According to Sara (2001) “It is well-known that the industrialized world simply consumes in a way that is not sustainable. And the developing world is rapidly imitating the model. Sustainability in the most compelling sense is about long-term solvency. The way we live now is borrowing against the future. Reducing consumption, and smart consumption, are both necessary ” Ever since the dawn of industrialization, we have been developing more and more gadgets that help make our lives easier but cause an imbalance within our environment. Our need for an industrialized world is fast proving to be a non-sustainable quest which often results in man consuming more than what should be his ample share of nature’s gifts.
A clear example of the aforementioned situation is the fact that pure drinking water no longer exists in some parts of the world. this lack of water has already caused a war to break out in some waterless regions of the world. Sara (2001) further explains that “Our global reserves of drinkable water are a fraction of 1% and 1 in 5 humans does not have access to potable (safe) water.”
Protection of our environment should be a huge concern for people because our population is doubling, no, tripling faster than our environment can keep up. that doubling of the population according to him will lead to massive, irreversible environmental problems, the likes we will never have seen nor will ever see again. Dr. Anthony (2001) explains that “Ecological problems grow faster than the rate of population and the growth of the world economy. For instance, a simple compounded growth of 3% per year will double the world’s problems in 25 years; growth of 6% in 12 years! It is not surprising then, that the present generation of school children will experience change as never witnessed before and never to be witnessed again, as humanity exhausts some of its most precious resources, while also causing serious trauma to the environment. ”
Keeping mind the aforementioned information, I see absolutely no reason to not agree with the topic basis of this essay to the fullest extent and implication of the question. For the others to fully understand the gravity of the environmental situation, and persuade them to help protect our natural resources, there needs to be a constant reminder of the reciprocating relationship we have with nature. Remember that the resources available need to be conserved, replenished, and protected if our species is to remain in existence on this planet. Speaking of species endangerment, that is one of the major concerns that require the preservation of our environment. As the habitat of animals is torn down or worn away by the needs of man, we create an imbalance in nature. Such an imbalance, of course, has a tremendous global impact. Man loses a valuable food source, nature loses its great balancer between the (animal ) hunter and prey. All of which work hand in hand towards creating a balanced ecosystem that should benefit everyone involved.
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However, protecting the environment is not just about making sure that we have enough resources to last for generations to come. On the contrary, it is also all about ensuring that man will continue to live healthy and productive lives. Our current environment is truly toxic and it is not because nature made it that way. Rather, it is because a man was careless enough to allow the environment to deteriorate to such a level that the very things we created from nature to help ease our lives, end up poisoning and killing us in the process. Our air is constantly polluted b gas emissions, water is contaminated by battery acid leaking from landfills, or hazardous waste products are carelessly thrown into our oceans, poisoning the fish that we eat. It amazes me that, considering the almost nonexistent way we care for nature, it continues to give us life-sustaining products.
Protecting the environment is a colossal task that cannot be undertaken by one person or group alone. Major environment protection groups such as the United Nations Environment Program and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change exist to help us address the loss of environmental protection on a worldwide scale. Their job is to help trickle down the information about environment protection to the grassroots level via the smaller scale, yet hard-working Non-governmental organization groups such as the Earth Charter Initiative, Global Footprint Network, Greenpeace, The Climate Project, Wild Conservation Society, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and World Resources Institute. To an average person, those names would sound foreign. Their job description would be vague and lost upon most people. Not realizing that those groups are the ones that do their very best to ensure that we will not run out of natural resources. These groups, which are sometimes termed as radical environmentalists, are the very reason why industries are constantly being forced to find and strike that perfect balance between conserving and protecting our environment alongside economic and industrial growth. These are the people who help spread the word about the gravity of the environmental problem. It is through their patience and innovativeness that ways and means are found to protect valuable resources while still allowing the man to get what he needs from the needed resources.
Every man-made threat to the environment is also a direct threat to human life. The reason being that these actions have a direct effect on our way of living. We may live in the most luxurious of comfort in the 21st century, but at what cost? The cost is qualitative as we demand more and more from our natural resources at an exceedingly shorter period. The result is that our environment practically has no chance to recover and recoup from the demands that have been forced upon it.
Protecting our environment is a global responsibility that cannot be ignored. We need to slow down our rate of technological and, as in the case of countries like China, rein in economic growth as well. The reason behind the slow down action is quite simple. By slowing down the economic growth of a population, there will be lesser demands on natural resources. Thus giving our environment a chance to recoup at a pace closer to the growth of the population. Stretching our natural resources to the point of scarcity will not help anybody. Developing technology that releases poisons into our natural resources such as the air, water, and in certain cases, results in contamination of our food resources also limits, if not ends the chance of our environment to effectively cope with the changes that we insist on inflicting upon it.
There are ten very important environmental issues, according to Sara (2011) as listed in the website Webecoist, that require our attention and ideas towards protecting our environment. In no particular order, these issues are:
- Climate Change
- Land Management
- Ecosystem and Endangered Species
- Science of Public Health Issues
As one can see from the aforementioned list, protecting the environment must truly be a priority for everyone because our very existence depends upon the survival of our planet. It is only by protecting our natural resources from over usage and ensuring that we can limit our carbon footprints upon the planet that we can probably find the proper balance between our survival and the proper ecosystem.
It is not going to be an easy task. We are constantly locked in an industrial and technological battle that requires us to consider what our future will be like without technology. But what will our future be like if we have no environment left to live off of? Right now, we must realize that the industrial and technological revolution has reached a pinnacle of sorts and must take a backseat to the more pressing issue. That is the issue of protecting our environment so that we can continue to evolve as a species. We should all get on the solution to this problem now before it becomes too late for everyone and everything involved.
Anthony, J. Floor. (2001). Seafriends: Summary Of Threats To the Environment. Sea Friends New Zealand. Web.
Guo, Longlong. (2008). Conflict Between Developing Economic and Protecting Environment. Journal Of Sustainable Development. 1(3):2-7.
Sara. (2011). 10 Of Today’s Most Important Environmental Issues. WebEcoist. Web.