Causes Of Environmental Problems Essay, Research Paper
ROOT CAUSES OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS
+ Population growth
+ Abuse of resources
The United States is the fastest growing industrialized country in the world, now increasing by approximately three million people per year. At this rate, the population will double too more than a half a billion within the next 60 years.
Population growth reduces self sufficiency in food, availability of vital natural resources, and standard of living. Consider that 36 million Americans now live in poverty and do not have sufficient food. As population grows all resources become in shorter supply.
The United States with only 5% of the worlds people, uses 35% of the worlds raw materials and the same amount of the worlds energy.
Worldwide agricultural land is lost at a rate of 15 to 17 million acres per year. Half of all tropical mature forests have been cleared to make way for other accommodations. Tropical rain forests house about half of all species on earth and help regulate the global climate. Their destruction could have dire consequences.
A pollutant is a substance or form of energy that adversely alters the physical, chemical, or biological quality of natural systems or that accumulates in the cells or tissues of living organisms in amounts that threaten their health or survival. Pollution can be in the air, the water or the soil.
THE FIVE D’S OF ECOSYSTEM DEGRADATION
1. Ecosystem Damage is an adverse alteration of a natural system’s integrity, diversity, or productivity.
2. Ecosystem Disruption is a rapid change in the species composition of a community that can be traced directly to human activity.
3. Ecosystem Destruction is the conversion of a natural system, such a s a wetland, into a less complex human system, such a s a farm.
4. Ecosystem Desertification is land degradation in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid regions resulting mainly from adverse human impact.
5. Deforestation is the cutting down and clearing away of forests.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES ( advantages and disadvantages)
+ Solar Energy is energy radiated from the sun to the earth.
+ Advantages: Solar energy exists in unlimited supply. It is available everywhere, is non-polluting, conserves natural resources and technologically available for widespread use.
+ Disadvantages: It must be collected over large areas and because it is intermittent, it requires a means of storage. Also, its economic aspect is a drawback. The initial cost can be high.
+ Wind power is harnessing a natural occurring river of air caused by differences in air pressure.
+ Advantages: Clean and perpetual energy source.
+ Disadvantages: Unreliable and intermittent, it varies with climate, season, daily weather condition, geography, and topography. It needs an average of 13 mph to generate an efficient amount of power.
Environmental education seeks to awaken and explore a persons values. It attempts to educate all citizens about the environment and its problems and to motivate them to solve these problems.
Five elements are especially important to environmental education programs. They are an understanding of, and appreciation for, how nature works; An awareness of the interdependence of all life, and of the living and nonliving; an understanding of how environmental problems are caused; an interdisciplinary approach; and action.
These are some of the important facts that have inspired me to become more conscientious of my world. Although this was not written as a formal essay, I wanted to highlight the areas with the greatest meaning to me. This was non-opinionated, but strictly factual information taken from the text. I hope our species and our planet will endure the test of time, so that future life forms will not have to use archeology to determine the fate of our era, but generations past will tell the saga of how we persevered through virtual self-elimination.