We Only Have One Earth
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Earth is a beautiful place.

There is no other known planet like it and it is unknown if we will ever find another that is capable of sustaining life to such degrees. When you think about it, Earth is somewhat of a magical place with her deep blue seas teeming with life, her lush forestry with trees that reach into the skies, or her complex atmosphere that protects us from the damaging rays of the sun.

The good Lord knew what he was doing when he made this world for us. Each little detail and natural occurrence about our world makes it possible for life to go on, and it has worked as a wonderful home for us for centuries.

However, in the last hundred years, we have not been taking very good care of our home. Whether it be with protecting our oceans, maintaining clean air, or coexisting with other species on the planet, we have been failing at being responsible caretakers of the Earth. This issue has become politicized over the years, and this makes me sad. Wanting to take care of our world should not be an issue that divides people along party lines. People argue over the topics of energy resources, over recycling, and over what kinds of cars to drive, all while the Earth continues to degrade and species continue to die out.

Over the last hundred years, nearly five hundred species have gone extinct. Many of these extinctions have been due to human activity and urban development. Just this year, the Trump administration issued a draft environmental impact statement that predicted a global temperature increase of seven degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100. At such an increase many aspects of Earth would not be able to sustain itself. Coral reefs would dissolve, the acidity of ocean water would rise, many types of agriculture would fail to grow, and horrible heat waves would threaten human life across the world. Today humans make up about 5% of the world's population, however, we produce up to 30% of the world's waste, all while using a quarter of the Earths natural resources.

govtech.com

Wherever you stand on politics, the effects of pollution can be seen in our communities. The diminished and damaged soil has decreased the amount of arable land for growing food in countries such as Brazil, Sudan, and the United States. Respiratory ailments and diseases have seen an increase due to unhealthy air qualities in countries like the United States and China. Interestingly enough, scientists have pointed out that while smoking activities have decreased in the United States, diseases such as asthma and lung cancer have continued to rise due to pollutants in the air.

Human waste continues to contribute to soil pollution and ocean pollution. Despite the fact that 80% of the trash in our landfills could be recycled relatively easily, we continue to pile up these non-biodegradable pollutants. Plastic waste poses some of the worst threats to ocean life. With more than 14 billion pounds of waste being poured into the ocean every year, 100 million sea creatures perish because of these destructive plastic products. Again, much of this waste could be effectively recycled if humans could unite in an effort to combat pollution.

bbci.co.uk

Many people would like to ignore the problems that face our natural world. Whether it be because of political bias, blatant misunderstanding, or simple ignorance, ignoring the effects of pollution on our Earth is not going to work out in the long run. Ignoring the signs of a potentially terminal illness can lead to devastating results, and the same can be said for the warning marks we see in the Earths environment. The first step is acknowledging the problem, the second step is making the necessary changes to deal with it. Until that happens, things are not going to get better. Sooner or later we will get to the point where no one can deny the effects of human pollution, but at that point, it may be too late.

As beings who are given dominion over this land, we have a responsibility to care for it and preserve it for future generations. If we can all work just a little bit to push for reform in our communities, we can combat the effects of negative human activities and pollution. Never doubt your power, because change always has to start with one person making a decision to work towards a better future.

earth911.com

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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