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Overpopulation, overexploitation, and human consumption are all contributing to the downfall of our now extremely misused planet. Dramatic environmental changes that all creatures are being exposed to, is considered a modern concept, considering not only our ancestors but animal and plant ancestors have not experienced for long if looking at the age of the earth. Overuse and overconsumption of natural resources is aging the planet at a rapid pace, decreasing stability in climate and atmosphere. With the increase of the human population and requirement for space, there is an overwhelming need for habitat alteration resulting in the loss of species, natural environments and the resources they provide.
A major issue is the lack of awareness of the current problems along with the absence of drive towards maintenance and restoration of the planet. Many humans view the earth as just a place to live, a place where selfishness takes hold, and careless consumption and waste thrives. We must as ourselves, as a whole, at what point in time did our values of the earth change? And how did we ever allow ourselves to become selfish, independent, and careless human beings?
In their article “Extinction Risk and Conservation of the Earth’s National Animal Symbols” scientists state “habitat loss broadly results from increased human population and consumption growth occurring at the global scale and the associated need to remove habitat to build infrastructure (e.
g., housing) and support food production (e.g., agriculture and livestock” (Neil Hammerschlag and Austin J. Gallagher, 2017). Directly related to only humans, the extinction of natural habitats is due to the need for housing in overpopulated species.
Being the dominant creature on this planet does not supply justification for destroying the planet needed by not only future human generations but all biological creatures.
The importance of other species may seem null and void in most situations, seeing as, without the education or experience, most individuals are unaware of actual contributions created by plants and animals. Somewhere along the evolutionary succession of humans, the desire to be dominant has taken control of the values needed to sustain other species. Ideas of money and greed have taken a toll on the instincts of reproducing and creating. Biologically speaking, the environment that humans continue to destroy is the same environment that is the primary source of food and housing. Trees and plants providing clean oxygen, housing, food, and medicine. Animals providing food, transportation, clothing, and fertilization of plants. What may seem like a Neanderthal-like concept, is still how most of the world survives.
Presently, a common attitude that has been expressed is that nature is severely flawed and that there is not much we can do to restore Earth. But, it is mankind’s duty to attempt the change and fix the environment as well as our philosophies behind it. New fields of study have been created like conservation biology and restoration ecology, which practice saving and fixing ecosystems across our biosphere. Movements in scientific fields, as well as other environmental programs, now strive to restore the Earth back to a plentiful state, with natural resources in tact to enable future generations to live. We must also think deeper about the current state of the Earth, considering all answers to how we got this way.
Our future depends on whether or not humans can become mindful of our planet, to see clearly what is wrong and cause no further harm. In their article “Endangered Species, Ecosystem Integrity, and Human Livelihoods” the authors state the environmental problem as “when resource extraction combines with bad management, it can drive a situation of radical conservation actions, which is nowadays a somewhat common paradigm in conservation texts” (Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, Catalina Lopez-Sagastegui, Marcia Moreno-Baez, Ismael Mascarenes-Osorio, Victoria Jimenez-Esquivel, Andrew Frederick Johnson, and Brad Ehrisman, 2018)
Quicker than expected, the world’s population is nearing ten billion, and our current depletion of food, energy, water, and natural resources is still expanding at a rate that no longer can be maintained. Describing overpopulation, scientists and researches mention “because of the chronicity and complexity of population dynamics, field investigations, and archaeological studies cannot answer whether a species will go extinct or how the population size of a survival species will change after thousands of years” (Zhenshan Lin, Huiyu Liu, 2005). Overcoming these issues will be an extremely difficult task because governments, corporations, and everything in between have ignorance about their own greed.
It is natural for one person to believe that they cannot make a difference in the world, but belief, hope and determination will alter the planet. The process of restoring the physical world will be a step-by-step process, not one person can save the entire Earth, but they can give their effort to help certain causes. If there is not a change made, human extinction will become just as relevant as other species. Concerning human extinction is not a foreign concept in the mind of scientists, “given the rapid pace of deforestation throughout the tropics (10, 11), it, therefore, is conceivable that an event on the scale of a true mass extinction has already taken place.” (John Alroy, 2017).
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