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“I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” The Lorax, Dr. Suess. Even a children’s author has recognized the fact that humans harm the environment, and if nothing changes our world will be just like the one in the book. Of course, it is impractical and impossible for us to completely stop harming the environment. Even if we were able to change our lifestyle enough to stop creating pollution, there would still be waste energy and chemicals involved.
Instead, we as a species need to determine the best way to cut down on what goes into the air and earth around us. If we don’t, then this place might not be suitable for us or future generations to live in. To better understand the necessity to reduce our impact on the Earth, we first need to identify the ways humans have harmed the environment. Sadly, there isn’t just one cause of pollution. We produce pollutants by just driving to work everyday, when growing the food we eat, and even mining for that flashy jewel on your ring finger.
In agriculture, the diesel fuel used to run the equipment is produced from . Half of all methane emissions, a gas that is more powerful than carbon dioxide although it doesn’t stay in the air for very long, can be attributed to farming along with many other greenhouse gases (“Prospects”). Even ethanol, an alternative gas produced from corn which harms the environment less, is produced using these machines.
This causes the effect to even out in the end. Farming also uses pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to meet the growing demand to produce as much food as possible. These chemicals are harmful to anything that comes into contact with them and contribute to contamination of water in various areas.
Mining, whether it be for iron, gold, or diamonds, has a completely different set of problems in the same direction. Companies that ignore or aren’t forced to obey environmental regulations that return the area to the original state are another main cause for environmental harm. This could range from erosion, the creation of sinkholes, cutting the trees for the mine to be built, and contaminating the nearby water which is used by people that live there (“Human”).
Landfills are created when whatever doesn’t end up in the recycling gets thrown away. To prevent waste piles from forming everywhere, much of this trash is incinerated, producing greenhouse gasses and waste energy.
Particle matter, otherwise known as air pollution, has been found to negatively affect people with pre existing diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease. People suffering from these were found to be more likely to be hospitalized and have a higher mortality rate after being exposed to air pollution for a long amount of time. It is unknown whether it could cause diseases on its own in the future, but definitely likely if the pollution continues to increase (Anderson). This is just one example of the many consequences to human health we will face in the future if our mindset doesn’t change.
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