By BRANDON SAGLAM
I would not consider myself a tree hugger, but I did believe that we were digging our own world’s grave. I had a new revelation after my research. I noticed how naive we are acting towards our current situation. For about 4.6 billion years, the earth has been continuously changing and the ecosystems it has created have been brilliant.
Now that humans have inhabited the Earth, it has been on a slow decline in an ecological state. Especially with the current rise in greenhouse gases, which are not just pollutants. Greenhouse gases are actually made up of water vapor (H2O), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), which is used to boost gasoline engines in cars, Methane (CH4), which is actually a natural gas that is friendlier than fossil fuels, and Carbon Dioxide (CO2), which is an extremely harmful gas to consume for most organisms and is produced in the burning of gasoline.
This is affecting the environment. Total greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 80% since 1870, according to the Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in the Cambridge press, and though this might seem slow, this is in fact a large increase and is a scary factor when you know what greenhouse gases cause. Greenhouse gases are gases that get caught in the Earth’s ozone layer and capture sun rays which hit the Earth, heating its atmosphere.
Some deny the effects, but it is clearly happening with polar caps melting. Polar caps melting affect the entire ecosystem. Since some organisms have no habitat to survive on and some, like the polar bear are malnourished. Also, there is no land mass for them to rest, and with the extremely low population numbers they might go extinct. Including the melting ice caps, the rising ocean levels are predicted to consume the entire east coast of the United States.
Aside from that, Carbon Dioxide emissions are also causing the acidity in bodies of water to rise. The ocean’s acidity has risen more than 30% and is rapidly increasing. This is a cause for plummeting fish populations and with the mass amount of commercial fishing it is predicted that the last fish will be caught in 2060. This destruction of homeostasis or balance of the environment is sickening, but at the current rate of destruction, the effects of damaging homeostasis could prevent repair in the near future.
Even though the Earth is in our control, we have been destroying it and I have not even mentioned a quarter of the problems that might eventually kill us. In Alaska, the government is having to choose between oil or the ecosystem and ancient Native American customs. The drilling is destroying the environment. Which we have all heard before, but continue to ignore it.
Sure, sometimes science can be wrong, but it must mean something when so many scientists have been pointing out that global warming and other issues are such a common topic to hear about. Sure, I guess that can be ignored to, but this topic is so largely noticed that it is in state issued work books, which I have used in my Biology class. It is hard to understand why so many people including politicians do not believe climate change is a serious issue.
After the research I have done it is saddening to see our lack of care for our world. I hope to see change from my current peers. Though with the damage we have done we may no longer be able to repair the environment entirely.