Introduction to Biology

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Introduction to Biology A biosphere is anywhere organisms live.1 Thus, any place on our green planet, or microcosms within it, is a biosphere--more importantly it is the only one that we know how to live off. A well known fact is that our biosphere is becoming less and less suitable for sustaining our rapidly increasing population. Gross pollution caused by industrialism and technological advances have seriously damaged the part of out planet’s atmosphere made up of O3, most commonly referred to as Ozone. Anytime we burn coal, wood, oil, or petroleum we are releasing into our atmosphere an invisible, odorless gas, called carbon monoxide, which is eroding our atmosphere’s layer of Ozone.2 Methyl Bromide is another culprit in ozone thinning, this chemical is used by most all industrialized nations as a pesticide.3 For us to continue to thrive on this planet’s surface the once unthought of ideal of “zero-emissions” must become a reality, and quick. An article in the March/April issue of Mother Jones entitled, “Nothing Wasted, Everything gained” discusses the ecological progress that a town in Colombia has made. Granted, we live in a very different world than these rural villagers do, we like to think that our world is more complex. As of today cement covers well over one-quarter of the continuous 48 states, most of this cement is in the forms of highways, byways, and interstates. Herein lies our complexity-- we are a nation that is completely dependent upon oil, petroleum, and electricity-- comfort is mistaken for complexity. Fossil fuels are our life’s blood that facilitate our comfortable travel to and from work and school, and all our daily busyness. This article about a “zero-emissions” village in Colombia proves that in fact the opposite may hold true; maybe these villagers are the genius’ and we are the ignorance. Cars do not spew their noxious fumes in this place , instead villagers have bicycles that have, like most other innovations in this small village of two hundred, been altered to facilitate travel over rough roads. For others, outside the most wasteful nation in the world, life is a lot different. Their lives seem simple when juxtaposed over ours, yet they prove to be genius using not a quarter of a million dollar education, but good old common sense. Another important step these villagers are taking is the complete removal of ozone damaging pesticides like Methyl Bromide. They have done this by growing their vegetables and herbs hydroponically. Hydroponic growing is essentially gardening minus the soil, roots are immersed in water and produce perfectly ripened products.
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