Pollution Essay Research Paper A biosphere is

Pollution Essay, Research Paper

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. By

gardening in this manner the need for pesticides is erased. This is indoor gardening that

we could all learn to master because of it?s simplicity, yet a trip to the local corner store

will produce the same end result. If we are to overcome the ecological damage we have

already done we need drastic changes which include all forms of organic gardening.

And since photosynthesis is the process which changes CO2 to breathable oxygen the

more green plants there are the better off we are.

This project began in 1971 by Paolo Lugari and, ?a handful of Bogota? engineers

and soil chemists…to try to make an unlivable place livable.?4 The village, called las

Gaviotas, Lugari reasoned could be a starting point towards changing the pattern of

ecological existence. Little did Lugari know that one of the hottest topics for the year

1998, but 27 years later, would be the scientific communities, and NASA?s interest in the

population of Mars. Lugari?s project didn?t set out to change the standards of the way

popular culture operates, instead he set out to improve the living conditions of poor

villagers in an empty savanna in a third-world country using the materials at hand and a

large dose of practicality and common sense. If one has ever visited a country outside

of the major power yielding countries (i.e.. the UK, Japan) then Lugari?s quest becomes

ever so obvious, clean malaria-free water is a privilege, truly impoverished peoples live

in ran shack housing, and their immediate surroundings is their biosphere which

provides them with essentials. These truly are essentials, and if these are threatened in

any way then their subsistence may be in jeopardy, it seems like the villagers at las

Gaviotas have come to know this. They are doing more to try to help save the planet

because while rich suburbanites in America may be able to afford purified water and

sheik sunscreen, their economic status is one that if they cannot live off the fruits of the

environment as is, then they can?t live. They are setting the example though, it is

possible, but is America ready to get off it?s addiction to oil? That?s a whole other story.

It requires too much hard work. The people of las Gaviotas don?t dress in Armani and

Hillfiger they work very hard at collecting pine resin to be used in cosmetics, perfumes,

paints, and in medicines instead of petroleum-based substances. The worker in the

pine resin processing plant at las Gaviotas doesn?t make a six figure salary, but he can

go home at night knowing that he has caused no ill effects to the environment. It doesn?t

seem to me that America is ready to make that distinct switch from materialism to


At las Gaviotas the elements which provide so much potential energy have been

harnessed. Solar ?kettles? have been developed by Lugari to sterilize drinking water;

this water can then be heated using solar water heaters to use in the hydroponic

growing systems of this village.5 Also windmills are used to convert the energy of the

winds into consumable energy. The energy potential of the sun and wind has been

known for a while, as have the resources to build homes and automobiles using these

renewable energy resources.6 Incorporating these changes though would require that

some of the most powerful companies loose all their money, and that isn?t going to

happen. It would also require that we alter our suburban landscaped with windmills and

our beautiful houses with ugly solar panels, besides we?ll be different than our neighbors

and we can?t have that can we?


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