Negative Impact of Humans on the Environment

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The Impact of Humans on the Environment The human population on the planet now tallies in at over 6 billion. Many experts believe this population may double in the next half-century, as expressed in A Special Moment in History by Bill McKibben. Humans are undoubtedly the 'rulers' of this earth, but we have not been good rulers. In fact in our years of monumental growth as a species, our relationship to our kingdom, the earth, can best be described as parasitic. A parasite is an organism that is dependent on another for its existence without making a useful or adequate return. It is not hard to see how well we fit this description. Unfortunately this definition is incomplete in our case. Not only are we dependent on the earth and are depleting her resources at alarming rates, but also we are bringing the earth to her knees by the sheer volume of our by-products; our garbage, toxic wastes and pollution. It would not take a genius to figure out that such a relationship cannot survive; yet the majority of the world's population could not care less. The Greenhouse effect, acid rain, salinization of cropland, soil erosion, falling water tables, shrinking forests, dying lakes and disappearing species are but a few of the warnings the earth has given us. In this paper I will explore one of our highly correctable misdemeanors- the litter problem, and why it is imperative that we correct our callous ways. Modern industry has been a double-edged sword for man, by producing unparalleled prosperity for "us" but at the cost of an immense strain on our environment to support it. As we advance further, our per-capita consumption increases drama... ... middle of paper ... ...e around us. Litter costs us millions of dollars every year, and surely we can change that by taking a few extra precautionary and thoughtful steps. More importantly, litter is costing us our environment by disturbing natural balances in plant and animal life. These costs of these imbalances cannot be assessed and it maybe several years before their effects are even known to us. After illustrating the adverse effects litter has on our environment, I can safely challenge anyone to give me one valid reason as to why we should not immediately stop and correct our litter problem. There is no ready solution to the problem due to its sheer magnitude. Each of us will have to undertake the responsibility of caring for the environment. Environmental stewardship is our only hope to fix these grave problems we have created.

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