Nature 2 Essay, Research Paper
Thesis: Humans need nature for a since of “otherness”.
Conserving Mother Nature
In the essay, “Very Like a Whale,” Robert Finch’s main idea is that nature should be protected because man ” has a crying need to confront otherness in the universe.” (pg. 97) He also argues that organisms have a right to exist, that humans are in jeopardy of losing contact with nature and that restricting the world to just zoos hurts mankind as well as nature. I agree with Finch, we need to protect nature. However, I disagree with Finch’s reasons. Protecting the environment is crucial because we rely on it for our existence.
Perhaps the most important reason for preserving nature is the benefits we receive from it. Although science and advanced technology are creating better ways for us to live, they have not been able to invent a way to live without the help of nature. In order to survive, we need certain conditions that only a healthy environment can give us. The primary element in those conditions is oxygen. Without it, humans would surely die; nevertheless, deforestation continues to increase. Hundreds of acres of the Amazon Rainforest are lost everyday due to economic and industrial development. What big corporations do not understand, or choose to ignore, is that the Amazon Rainforest produces around thirty percent of the Earth’s oxygen. It not only keeps humans alive, but millions of other organisms depend on it as well. Conserving the rainforest, along with other forests, will only help human survival.
Just as forests give us the oxygen we so badly need, animals and plants provide us with the nutrients we also must have to exist. To abolish a random organism that we think means nothing to us can potentially disturb the entire balance of life and ultimately effecting us in disastrous ways. For instance, when oil companies, such as Exxon or Shell, construct oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, the entire balance of life in the vicinity is disrupted. While nature will succeed in striking a new balance in spite of the structure, the first–almost inevitable–oil spill will destroy the ecological balance beyond repair. What this leads to is an extinction of many plants and organisms, which have a profound effect on the food chain as a whole. The organism, which was once the tuna or the red fish’s diet, has now become extinct. In return, the tuna and red fish die off because of the lack of food, which means humans no longer have them to eat. No matter how insignificant the organism may seem to humans, it plays an important role in our getting food. To ensure that the generations from now to come will have enough food to survive we must protect organisms and plants from extinction.
Oxygen and food are not the only benefits that nature provides for humans. Without the diversity of plants, mankind could not have developed such an extensive range of medicines. Aloe, a plant, aspirin, which is found in bark and Recola, a cough drop which is made from herbal blends, are just a few medications humans have acquired from nature. One of the most significant discoveries happened in 1928. Sir Alexander Fleming, a scientist, discovered a substance that was able to create a bacteria-free circle around itself. Fleming became interested in this substance and conducted many more experiments. Later, he named this material Penicillin; Dr. Fleming would never have discovered it if the fungus Penicillium did not exist. We must preserve the environment, so scientists can find new medicines that will fight diseases that threaten our existence.
Every species that exists forms an ecological equilibrium with the environment they inhabit, except for humans. We are the only species that are capable of throwing the entire balance off, and we are succeeding in that ability. With each tree that is cut down and with each organism or plant that becomes extinct, we are taking one step forward to our destruction. The solution to this problem is found in one word: protection. We must protect the forests that give us oxygen, protect the organisms that help us get food and protect the plants that enable us to fight diseases.