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Environmental Issues


Introduction

Environmental issues affect our current and future health and happiness, and the very survival of ourselves, our decedents, and all the other living things with whom we share this world. They also have a very large impact on our economy and on our enjoyment of life, since things as pollution, overpopulation, habitat destruction and climate change can negatively affect our health, housing and recreational choices, and finances.

There are many different environments on Earth and throughout the Universe. Some of these environments are more favorable to life than others, and most forms of life are better suited to some environments than to others. In fact, many plants and animals can only survive under within a narrow range of environmental conditions. We humans are able to live almost everywhere, but only with the help of cloths, heating and air conditioning, and other means.

Currently, the only environments that we know of that can support life are some of the ones that exist here on Earth, and the temporary ones that we have created in outer space. Although I am pretty sure there are others out there someplace. However, we do not know when, if ever, we will find any of these extraterrestrial ones. Therefore, it is very important that we protect the ones we have here on Earth.

Change

Throughout our planet's history, there have been environmental changes. Most of the time, these changes have been relatively slow, and life has been able to adapt. The Earth has gone through at least 5 major mass extinctions. There were 444 million years ago with 86% of species lost, 375 million years ago with 75% of species lost, 251 million years ago with 96% of species lost, 200 million years ago with 80% of species lost, and 65.5 million years ago with 76% of species lost.

Many scientists believe we are now in the midst of our sixth mass extinction. They estimate that a normal "background" rate of extinction is one to five species a year, but we are now losing dozens of species every day, which is many thousand per year. At this rate, we could lose as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species by mid-century. In addition, many of the remaining species will be endangered.

The past mass extinctions are believed to have been due to changing land masses that caused a short severe ice age, changes that occurred when plants first came onto the land, conditions resulting from some massive long lived volcanic activity, a currently unknown cause, and the fallout from a massive asteroid impact. The blame for the current mass extinction rests squarely on the effects of human activity. Our overpopulation has led to pollution, habitat loss and climate change.

Although we will never get back the species that we have already driven to extinction, we do have the ability to save those that are left. All we need to do is to reduce our population and pollution, restore habitats and reverse climate change. Given our current technology and our innovative abilities, we should be able to solve these problems as easily as we created them. However, we are running out of time, so we need to get started right away.

Environmental Content

In the following subsections, I will discuss some of our environmental issues and what I believe we need to do in order to ensure our survival and to create a better future for all living things.

Next Section

Ecology and Habitats - Managing our Ecology and Habitats to give all life a better place to live.

Last Updated:
Friday, December 15, 2017
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