Environmental Degradation Facts

Are we destroying our environment?

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Tons of resources extracted from Earth

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TheWorldCounts, 24 April, 2014

Are we destroying our environment?

We may not be doing it on purpose, but our presence is having a negative effect on our environment. 

When we say environment, it means everything around us – our air, our water, the land, our natural resources and even the animals. What we do affects them all.

What is causing the degradation?

The size of the human population has grown exponentially since we discovered a way to cure some of the most common diseases. 

With our population boom, we required more land, more water, more of everything. 

Forests have almost disappeared because we needed to clear them to plant more crops, to give animals a place to graze and to supply us with wood and other raw materials.

Technology and Industry can be blamed too. Vehicle emissions, toxic waste, carbon emissions – all emit toxins into our atmosphere, causing air pollution. These are all by-products of our inventions and ingenuity. This is what’s causing Global Warming.

We didn’t realize that the Earth’s supply was not infinite. It can be depleted, and that’s the state that it’s in right now. 

We are using our natural resources faster than our planet can replenish them. Soon, we will have a shortage when the supply runs out.

Environmental Degradation Facts

  • Every year, we extract an estimated 55 billion tons of fossil energy, minerals, metals and bio mass from the Earth.
  • The world has already lost 80% of its forests and we’re continually losing them at a rate of 375 km2 per day! More: Consequences of Depletion of Natural Resources
  • At the current rate of deforestation, 5-10% of tropical forest species will become extinct every decade.
  • Every hour, 1,692 acres of productive dry land become desert.
  • 27% of our coral reefs have been destroyed. If the rate continues, remaining 60% will be gone in 30 years. More: Threats on Coral Reefs
  • We have a garbage island floating in our ocean, mostly comprised of plastics - the size of India, Europe and Mexico combined! More: Garbage Islands in the Ocean
  • We are using up 50% more natural resources than the Earth can provide. At our current population, we need 1.5 Earths, which we do not have.

The Steps being Taken

If we have the power to cause all these degradation to our environment, we also have the power to correct it. 

Though it’s a huge undertaking, we mustn’t lose hope and just keep doing what we can. Governments, organizations and environmental groups are joining together to correct the mistakes that we have committed in the past. 

From your end, you can make a contribution too.

  • Go Green. Buy products that are environment friendly.
  • Don’t forget to Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. We must stop our habit of wastage.
  • Let people know. Share your views on the degradation that’s happening and raise awareness. Every person you enlighten, counts.
  • Report any kind of activity that degrades our environment such as dumping waste in water bodies, burning of plastic, improper disposal of garbage and the like.
  • Plant trees wherever you can. More plants will mean more allies to absorb and deter the greenhouse effect.
  • Do not buy products that are manufactured in ways that pollute and degrade the environment.

There are so many little things that we can do to save our planet, our environment, ourselves. We must understand and let other people understand that the survival of our future generation depends on what we do now. Do your share. No effort is ever too small.

References

  1. World Centric: Environmental Destruction
  2. Answers: What are the Solutions to Environmental Degradation?

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Number of planet Earths we need

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World population

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Tons of waste dumped

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