The Human Race and Nature
Increases in the human population have had dramatic effects on the environment. Constant demand for new materials, changing industrial and rapid economic growth have all contributed to „environmental stress“. The presence of a mixture of gases in the Earth´s atmosphere is fundamentally important to us.
People are polluting the planet which we live on. Pollution is damage to the air, sea, rivers or land caused by chemicals, waste and harmful gases. Pollutants include toxic waste, pesticides, and fertilizers. Pollution takes many forms:
ŘWater – becomes polluted when waste poisons water. People, animals, and plants need clean water to live.
ŘLand – becomes polluted when waste materials poison the ground. Some poisons leak into underground water.
ŘAir – becomes polluted when fumes poison the air. People, plants and animals do need clean air to live.
Human beings have basic life sustaining needs. We need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, and space to live and move. Our home planet is changing all the time. As more and more people live on Earth, it becomes more crowded. The air, water and space is shared by more people.
Water pollution is spreading. Streams, rivers, lakes and oceans are being polluted. Trash, sewage, waste and chemicals are all being discharged into or seeping into water. This pollution can poison the water that people drink and that supports plant life.
People are producing more waste, and the space for disposing of this waste is diminishing. This waste can pollute the ground and the groundwater below it. New techniques make some landfill areas usable again.
The biggest polluter today is the car. Exhaust fumes are the main cause of bad air guality. The numbers of cars is increasing every year, and this causes serious congestion. Wilderness areas are not immune to air pollution as it spreads.
The greenhouse effect is caused by harmful gases, known as greenhouse gases. They are produced when we burn fossil fuels, especially coal burned in power stations to produce electricity. The ozone layer´s is being damaged by chemicals, especially CFCs, and when hole appears in the ozone layer, harmful light form the Sun reaches the Earth.
Acid from factory smoke contributes to harmful acid rain, which causes damage to trees, rivers and buildings.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. These three important words can be learned by children. People should reuse materials they can and recycle materials they can´t use.