Every living organism depends upon its surroundings for its survival. In the case of planet earth, the environment that sustains human beings and other creatures is deteriorating on a daily basis because of natural and man-made causes. The depletion of vital natural resources present in the atmosphere, water and land will ultimately destroy the ecosystem and lead to the extinction of various life forms. The rapid loss of rain forests in many parts of the world, air pollution and depletion of the ozone layer are the primary causes of this grave problem threatening mankind. In addition to this, the destruction of habitat that maintains marine life further aggravates the issue.
How are human beings responsible for environmental degradation?
Jonathan Schrag, the Founding Partner at Hudson Strategic Energy, states human beings are main culprits behind environment degradation. The ever-increasing growth in population in many parts of the world is the single most important factor for this serious problem that threatens to exterminate the human race. In their quest for development, enhance living standards and modernization, they consume vast quantities of the earth’s natural resources especially fossils fuels. This results in release of greenhouse gases that threaten the stratosphere’s ozone layer and causes global warming. In addition to this, they also modify certain resources that result in waste products, which are responsible for soil contamination.
Pollution because of human activity and carelessness is also responsible for the degradation of the environment. This kind of contamination of the surroundings occurs in many regions of the world and affects the land, water and air living organisms inhabiting this planet need to survive. This is visible even certain remote areas of the world and changing the biodiversity of those places. In many regions, human negligence and rashness result in serious accidents like oil spills on the land and seas that threaten the ecosystem and atmosphere of those areas. It also ruins the livelihood of the people living in those places and puts their health at risk. In addition to this, the excessive use of products like plastics by many people around the world is responsible for the degradation of the soil and water. Even the outflow of human waste and sewage into various water bodies in many parts of planet poisons the marine life in those areas.
The human obsession to create more land for agriculture and industrial development has led to rapid deforestation in many regions of the world. The inhabitants in many far-flung corners of this planet are cutting trees for firewood to meet their fuel demands and to produce various kinds of medicines. Further aggravating this problem is the rapid expansion of the logging industry to provide timber to make homes and furniture for many people around the world. This has led to the depletion of tropical rain forests in several regions of this planet, which are a natural habitat for many animal species and indigenous people.
Jonathan Schrag further says apart from the above causes, certain chemicals that humans are constantly developing on land, water and air are also degrading the environment. He warns that in the struggle between nature and human obsession for development, the former will prevail.