Life and Humanity
Joshua Burrell, Division 2, 12th grade

Before the industrial revolution humanity and nature coincided with one another. In terms of symbiotic relationships humanity and nature shared mutualism. Now, unfortunately, humanity has become parasitic to nature with sundry companies and business that take from nature and abuse the environment without replenishing what they have destroyed or used. Without a plan to save the environment, then it shall most definitely crumble under the weight of an industrialized society. Some would argue that global warming and climate change are imaginary, yet through the effects of the imbalance of biological cycles on weather and wildlife life may one understand the true effect humans have on the environment and likewise the effect that the environment has on humans. Discovering and utilizing clean energy resources and protecting both ecosystems and wildlife from human destruction may allow humanity to thrive and coincide with nature. Otherwise if humanity does not learn to live alongside nature, then the imbalance between the two will result in detriment to the environment and the eventual depletion of resources on earth necessary for human survival.
First of all, the best manner by which humanity could maintain its survival and concurrently thrive would be to adopt new energy sources to support society’s industrialization. The problem is that our current energy sources involve the burning of fossil fuels in order to utilize the energy that combustion reactions produce. These gases in Earth’s atmosphere contribute to global warming, because a surplus of the greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide cannot be recycled from Earth’s carbon cycle in due time. The carbon cycle is the a biological cycle that takes carbon from water then gives it to plant and animal life which then breath carbon into the atmosphere to then replenish soil with fresh carbon. If these gases are not recycled back into the carbon cycle, then they will remain in the atmosphere absorbing heat and making the surface of the earth hotter due to the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect, like the carbon cycle, is a biological cycle which stands to be imperative to the survival of organisms in the biosphere. Likewise the greenhouse cycle is very fragile and with too much sunlight being trapped by greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere, the temperature of the surface of the Earth may raise causing havoc across the globe. This increase in temperature will contribute to the melting of glaciers in the extreme polar icecap biomes, and once sea level rises coasts will erode and island civilizations who live near sea level will be destroyed, “because up to 10 percent of the world’s population lives in vulnerable areas less than 10 meters (about 30 feet) above sea level.” (Holli Reibeek 2010) With the world population at nearly 7.4 billion, the death toll of rising sea levels would be at minimum 740 million. All in all climate change, due to the greenhouse effect and a surplus of carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere, will result in the raising of international sea levels due to the increase of temperature on the ocean’s surface.
Furthermore, impending and current climate changes due to the imbalance of biological cycles, due to the human apathy and abuse of the environment, affect not only the global weather patterns, but also the wildlife which inhabit various biomes. Few realize that the changes in weather patterns are basically changes in the seasons. What are important about the seasons are the growing and “dying” seasons of the year. The major effect of seasonal changes is the shortening of dying season, winter, and the elongation of the growing season, spring. As the spring gets longer, animals have to end hibernation earlier in attempt to find food sources for the coming growing season. Moreover as the growing season becomes elongated, plants will have to attain more water to survive for a longer period, and with temperatures rising plants will need more water otherwise their water reserves which they absorb may be depleted before the winter comes. The depletion of water in crops will inevitably lead to crop failure, wildfires, and possibly another dustbowl. Inversely, as winter shortens and temperatures rise causing for cooler winter temperatures insects that would typically die in the winter survive the cold. These surviving insects would need a form of sustenance. Most insects find sustenance in plant life, yet with the decrease of plant life due to longer growing seasons/crop-failure partnered with the increase of insects due to a shorter winter, plant life will come closer and closer to depletion as the insect population increases without the winter to kill off the superfluous species of bugs. This absence of plants would kill humans much more quickly than it would kill the insects from starvation, because many insects can live in intense conditions and the insects that survive could be parasitic to plant life like trees which contribute to recycling oxygen into the carbon cycle. Furthermore, insects can be disease carriers; therefore the increase of insects due to correlative increase in global climate may increase the chances of international epidemics, “Insect-borne diseases… Malaria, Lyme Disease and a host of others rely on insect vectors to spread among humans, and a swell in their populations could mean more infections.” (Abigail W. Leonard 2006). Therefore, for humans to continue their destructive practices would decrease the plant population, increase the insect population, and bring humanity closer to destruction.

In summation, humanity has a great effect on the environment. Many people disregard the importance of the environment and clean energy because many see humanity as having the “most” importance in the world. Human industrialization unknowingly affects the sea level, the changes of the season, weather patterns, rain fall, along with plant and wildlife. As humans we are intelligent, yet we depend on these variables of nature which we cannot control. People who fail to realize that this selfishness and apathy to the natural will cause ecosystems to be erased and disease to run rampant also fail to realize that the abuse of the Earth can and may result in devastating repercussions that have the ability to decimate the human race from Earth.
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