Invironmental issues

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Impact of Environmental Barriers on People With Disabilities

Physical barriers can come from the natural environment or also from human-made changes within the natural environment. The natural environmental barriers can be as diverse as the terrain and climate to human-made changes including things such as walkways and other things built into the environment. 

Able-bodied people give little thought to these barriers but it becomes a problem in people with disabilities when trying to navigate with a walker or a wheel-chair. These barriers also vary depending on if the person with a disability lives in cities or in rural areas. Environmental barriers affect rural respondents more than their city-living counterparts (Visagle et al. 2017).

The United States has made significant strides in improving the lives of people with disabilities in regards to environmental barriers. Reasonable accommodation is ensured with the establishment of the American with Disabilities Act 19. A research agenda, “New Paradigm of Disability” was established by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to help improve lives of people with disability. The Institute of Medicine has established disability as the basis of its research agenda, and they have placed importance on environmental barriers in people with disabilities as addressed in their report, Enabling America, 21. Also, there is a growing international interest in disability issues and the importance of environmental factors. This is not just a United States problem but a global problem. The United Nations (UN) has also focused attention on disability and established the Disability Year 25 and Disability Decade.

There are many different disabilities but a group looked at barriers seen in people with spinal cord injuries and found there were five main barriers in this disabled population. These top barriers in descending order include environment, transportation, help at home, health care, and governmental policies (Whiteneck et al. 2004). Quality of life is likely adversely impacted as well due to the environmental factors, however, the authors did not perform a systematic review of that effect. The environment is a major barrier with people living with traumatic brain injury and includes physical barriers such as stairs, hills, roads, and buildings (Whiteneck et al. 2004). These physical barriers are more of a substantial problem in older adults than with younger adults but affects all populations to some degree (Brainline). The older population has problems with finding transportation either lack of transportation or limited access to transportation. There are also barriers in their surroundings that affect life such as poor lighting, too much noise, crowds, cold temperature, too much rain, steep hills, etc. (Brainline). Although these barriers were specifically addressed in people living with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries, they may have an effect on anyone living with a disability.

Many of these environmental barriers can be mitigated by providing adequate transportation. It is also important to design and layout buildings keeping in mind the needs to accommodate people with disabilities. The natural environment is not as easily manipulated or changed as temperature, terrain, and climate are more stationary or unadjustable. Lighting and noise can be managed or adjusted to help accommodate these individuals. Many of these adaptations can easily be made to improve the environment for individuals with disabilities.

The environment can create barriers for participation and inclusion. These barriers include things as simple as not having accessible building which could be lack of an elevator for someone with a walking disability or who is in a wheel chair. People living in poverty may not have access to drinkable water or sanitation which provides an added barrier to someone with a disability. Policy changes need to be enacted to help improve conditions and provide proper buildings and building layouts, technology including Braille or hearing-impaired services, signage, and opportunities for people with disabilities.


Can disability be prevented? There are preventative measures that can be taken to help reduce the potential for disability. These measures include providing education and adequate nutrition, preventing diseases, providing safe water and sanitation, improving safety on the roads and in the workplace (Caulfield et al. 2006). These preventative measures fall under the realm of public health and have three different prevention approaches. The first is primary prevention which provides education to help promote health, an example would be educating people about HIV (Maart and Jelsma 2010). The secondary prevention detects a problem early on and provide a cure or reduces long-term effects, an example would be to provide screening for breast cancer in women with disabilities (McIlfatric et al. 2011). Finally, the tertiary prevention reduces disease-related complications, an example would be rehabilitation for someone with a musculoskeletal system impairment where they might receive physical or occupational therapy services (Atijosan et al. 2009). 

Environmental Issues of West of the USA

Pollution is an ongoing issue for the entire nation, and particularly in the cities of California where they are mostly developed in valleys or plains surrounded by mountains.


The issues of air quality and air pollution are not a new, dating back to the first one hundred years of the United States existence, where most problems were addressed by litigation rather legislation. Air pollution was viewed as a common law nuisance and courts addressed them accordingly. It was around 1881 in Chicago, IL and Cincinnati, OH when the first legislation was enacted specifically declaring the emission of smoke to be a public nuisance. The first state legislation providing policies aimed at reducing and eliminating smoke pollution was introduced in 1910. While the issue of air pollution was receiving little national consideration, it was in 1943 when the first recognized episodes of smog occurred in Los Angeles, CA. Residents began experiencing itching eyes, burning lungs, and nausea from the incidence termed a “gas attack” and the occurrence was attributed to a nearby synthetic rubber making plant. However, after the plant shut down the haze remained prompting the residents and local officials to push for a solution and in 1947, the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District, the first such body in the nation, was formed with the objectives of regulating power plants and oil refineries. The concern for the health of citizens called for Los Angeles, local industry, and later the State of California to expend millions of dollars for research as to the cause and a cure for the smog.

In 1950, Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit, a scientist, determined that airborne hydrocarbons from gasoline and oxides of nitrogen produced by internal combustion engines, the two chief constituents of automobile exhaust were to blame for the smog. His research, highlighting the reaction of sunlight with automobile exhaust and industrial air pollution, became the foundation upon which today’s air pollution regulations are based. California began to take action statewide, forming a Bureau of Air Sanitation within the California Department of Public Health, and requiring that department to establish air quality standards and set necessary controls on motor vehicle emissions of air pollutants. The California delegation in Congress felt that air pollution research efforts and cost should be endured nationally and in 1950 the California delegation initiated federal legislative action. The issue of air pollution and air quality gained national concern becoming not just a problem for California, but for the country jointly. Air pollutants not only impact humans, they have a negative effect on other environmental things such as crops, animals, forests, and bodies of water.

Evidence of a Problem

I struggled to find actual results of research conducted prior to the first federal legislation pertaining to the control of air pollution, the Clean Air Act of 1963. I have therefore provided three relative research and findings suitable to the issue of air pollution. The first, The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences conducted research over the past thirty years showing a variety of health issues as a result of exposure to poor air quality from pollution in the form of respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and even death. A further study by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, one of the six entities within the California Environmental Protection Agency, found that the prevalence of asthma and bronchitis symptoms were about 7 percent higher in children in neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic pollutants compared with other children in the study. The study, which involved air monitoring and a health survey of about 1,100 students at 10 Alameda County elementary schools located various distances from major roads, found moderately higher rates of asthma and bronchitis symptoms (such as wheezing and excessive phlegm) in children residing and attending school in neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic- related air pollution. Scientists from OEHHA and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory collaborated on the study, which was published in the The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. “Our studies underline the importance of California’s continuing efforts to reduce motor vehicle emissions,” OEHHA Director Dr. Joan E. Denton said. “There is a growing body of evidence that children exposed to high levels of traffic pollution may be more susceptible to asthma and bronchitis symptoms.” The preliminary results of the two studies formed part of the scientific basis for a 2003 state law (Senate Bill 352 by Senator Martha Escutia) that limits the construction of new schools near busy roads. Finally, The Children’s Health Study (CHS) conducted research on the effects of air pollution on children in conjunction with the California Air Resources Board, The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Hastings Foundation. The study begun in Southern California in 1993, and was one of the largest and most comprehensive investigations of the long-term consequences of air pollution on the respiratory health of children. More than 6000 public school children were recruited into the CHS from 12 different communities, which maximized the diversity in air pollution concentrations and mixtures across the region. In total, nearly 4000 children in the 4th, 7th, and 10th grades were recruited at the initiation of the study in 1993, and an additional 2000 4th grade schoolchildren were recruited in 1996…As a means of characterizing air quality in each of the 12 study communities, ambient concentrations of O^sub 3^, PM^sub 2.5^ (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter), PM^sub 10^, NO^sub 2^, and acid vapors have been measured at central monitoring stations. The main findings, lung function growth was approximately 10% slower among children living in communities with higher NO^sub 2^ levels and other traffic-related pollutants, including nitric acid vapor and particulate matter. This result was replicated in the second cohort of 4th-grade schoolchildren enrolled in 1996, and the effect was observed among both normal and asthmatic children. These findings are consistent with longitudinal and cross-sectional findings of other investigations. An improvement was seen in lung function growth rates among children who moved away from the more polluted communities to areas of lower PM^sub 10^ concentrations, and growth rate retardation was observed among those moving to areas with higher concentrations.

The Air Pollution Problem is Recognized

California was the first state to implement a statewide pollution control act. Governor Earl Warren signed the California Air Pollution Control Act (CAPCA) into law on June 10, 1947. This law authorized the creation of Air Pollution Control districts out of every county, including Los Angeles County, which was one of the largest and most polluted areas in the nation. Also key to this event was the fact that Eisenhower would later appoint Earl Warren to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1953, thus changing the judicial view of air pollution. As previously noted, the California delegation in Congress along with many other state and local governments that had started to pass their own air pollution control laws, believed the issue of air pollution research efforts and cost should not be exclusively the obligation of the states but rather the responsibility of the federal government. After three failed resolutions to acquisition more funds for research from Congress, Senators Thomas H. Kuchel (R.-Calif.) and Homer E. Capehart (R.-Ind.) sponsored Senate Bill S928, The Air Pollution Control Act, in early 1955 seeking more funds for research and assistance to the states. The Senate placed it under the control of the subcommittee on Flood Control-Rivers and Harbors and air pollution was added to its agenda hearing on Water and Air Pollution Control in April 1955. The bill was reported out on May 3, 1955, passing the Senate and authorizing $3,000,000 annually for 5 years for air pollution research, training, and technical assistance. When the House committee reported out the bill in June it increased the authorization to $5,000,000 annually for five years. The House passed the bill on July 5, 1955 after making some amendments and the Senate agreed without debate, to the bill as amended by the House. On July 14, 1955 President Eisenhower signed The Air Pollution Control Act to law, the first of its kind providing federal funds for research, training, and technical assistance to states and local control agencies. The Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 became the primary statute from which all future clean air legislation acts would originate, all as amendments.

In a September 1963 staff report to the Senate Committee on Public Works Air and Water Pollution, it was informed that dirty air had been responsible for heavy damage to property – estimated at $11 billion a year. The damage estimate included the cost of extra cleaning of clothes and furnishings, metal erosion, rubber cracking, damage to precision instruments and other equipment, damage to buildings from smoke and corrosive compounds, and damage to agricultural crops, livestock and forest resources. Attempts to limit air pollution have been hindered by the excessive costs for equipment to control pollution by industries and by the lack of technological knowledge. State and local programs to prevent or control air pollution have been in existence for 15 years or more, and in 1963 there were 33 states and numerous communities with some type of air pollution programs. However, expenditures for state and local programs in 1961 amounted to only $10.1 million and more than half of that total was spent in California alone.

On March 18, 1963 the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce backed House bill HR 4415 to strengthen, and accelerate programs for the prevention and abatement of air pollution. Supporters of the bill, Under Secretary Ivan Nestingen, Charles Wilbar Jr., President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers, and David Buckson, spokesman for the National Association of Attorneys General, said “the bill would provide the federal government the authority to enforce control measures.” J.O. Julson, representative of Weyerhaeuser Co. and Daniel Cannon, spokesman for the National Association of Manufacturers, opposed the bill stating “the role of the Federal Government should be one of research and advice, that communities are entirely capable of carrying out effective air pollution control programs without federal enforcement.” House bill HR 4415 amended reported as HR 6518 on July 9, 1963 and provided power to enforce abatement measures and authorized $90 million in federal appropriations over a three year period. Floor action followed on July 24, and the House passed the bill.

On September 9, 1963 the Senate Public Works held hearings on S432, the companion bill to HR 6518. Supporters of the bill, Senator Edmund Muskie and Senator Abraham Ribicoff, “Our population is increasing and our standard of living is going up. Our industries, homes, and office buildings and motor vehicles take the air, combine it with fuels and return the polluting compounds to the air. The more we prosper, the more we foul the air we breathe.” Outside of California, there had been little increase in measurable changes to contest air pollution at the state and local levels the last several years. On November 19, the Senate passed HR 6518 after substituting the language of its own bill S432, it authorized $182 million in appropriations for fiscal years 1965-1969. The Conference Committee report on December 5, 1963 concerning bill HR 6518-House Report 88-1003 conferred acceptance of Senate bill except to change grant authorization from $182 million over 5 years to $95 million over 3 years. The December 10, Conference report was adopted by Senate voice vote and by house, after some debate. On December 17, 1963 President Johnson signs (PL 88-206 'Clean Air Act of 1963) (HR 6518) (77 Stat 392) (42 USC 1857 et seq.).

Since the implementation of the Clean Air Act in 1963, there have been several amendments. The amendments passed in 1965, 1966, 1967, and 1969 all authorized the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to set standards for auto emissions, expanded local air pollution control programs, established air quality control regions, set air quality standards and compliance deadlines stationary source emissions, and authorized research on low emissions fuels and automobiles. The 1970 Clean Air Act amendment established new primary and secondary standards for ambient air quality, set new limits on emissions from stationary and mobile sources to be enforced by both state and federal governments, and increased funds for air pollution research. Finally, in 1990 the Clean Air Act was amended to address the issues of air-quality standards, motor vehicle emissions and alternative fuels, toxic air pollutants, acid rain, and stratospheric ozone depletion. The law set out to strengthen and improve existing regulations. ,

California was a main staple the legislation adopted by the federal government, setting the tone for air pollution legislation for years to come. California’s efforts to control air pollution were recognized in 1970 and they were authorized to set their own separate and stricter vehicle emissions over and above those of the federal government. Since the creation of the California Air Resources Board, they set the nation’s first tailpipe emissions standards in 1966, catalytic converters in the 1970s, on-board diagnostic in 1988, Zero-Emission Vehicle regulation in 1990, the nation’s first greenhouse emission standards for cars in 2002, and California’s Advanced Clean Cars Program in 2012, which reduces both conventional criteria and greenhouse gas pollutant emissions from automobiles.


Pollution is an ongoing issue for the entire nation, and particularly in the cities of California where they are mostly developed in valleys or plains surrounded by mountains. However, there has been success in reducing and controlling the problem and improvement of health issues in those living in and around the highly populated areas. Santa Barbara County has experienced nearly a fifty percent decrease in smog-forming emissions between 1985 and 2015 with fewer high smog days even as they received a growing population. Ozone exceptions lowered to three days in 2016 vs. ninety-seven days in 1991. Smog alerts dropped from 148 in 1970 to zero in 2000. A twenty year study by USC Children’s Health, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, measured lung development between the ages of 11 and 15 and found large gains for children studied from 2007 to 2011, compared to children of the same age in the same communities from 1994-98 and 1997-2001. The gains in lung function paralleled improving air quality in the communities studied and across the Los Angeles basin, as policies to fight pollution took hold. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that from 1970 to 2014, the aggregate national emissions of the six criteria pollutants dropped by an average of sixty-nine percent. Air Quality in America published results of a study showing the nationwide levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide declined from 1984 to 2007 by thirty-one percent, sixty-one percent, and seventy percent, respectfully.  

Protection Against Water Pollution

Water is essential to all life, whether on land or in aquatic environments. Living organisms can potentially survive months without physical food, but cannot last more than a week without receiving water in some capacity.


Water’s availability to people and organisms should not be taken lightly, seeing that this Earth is not promised a clean water supply for eternity. The supply of water remains constantly in motion through the hydrologic cycle, but its imperative to taken into consideration the amount of clean, drinking water that is being harmed and degraded. To understand regulations put in place to protect and preserve clean water sources, its important to understand the different types of pollution sources that put clean water at risk.

Keywords: Water, pollution, nonpoint source, point source, federal regulation, hydrologic cycle.

Water Pollution

Water covers about 85% of planet Earth. Water is essential to all life, whether on land or in aquatic environments. Living organisms can potentially survive months without physical food, but cannot last more than a week without receiving water in some capacity. Water’s availability to people and organisms should not be taken lightly, seeing that this Earth is not promised a clean water supply for eternity. The supply of water remains constantly in motion through the hydrologic cycle, but its imperative to taken into consideration the amount of clean, drinking water that is being harmed and degraded.

Although there has been a significant increase in the usage of water in the United States—this is largely due to population growth causing a need for more indoor plumbing, increased industrial demand and greater agricultural use—and other countries in the past 100 years, the amount of water readily available remains the same due to the hydrologic cycle. This cycle describes the transformation and circulation of water in nature. The actions of the hydrologic cycle include evaporation, precipitation, infiltration, storage, and runoff. The cycle begins when water is evaporated—this can be from land surfaces, the ocean, or surface water bodies—and becomes apart of air in the atmosphere. This moisture in the air causes clouds to form, which returns to the water to the Earth’s surface through precipitation. Forms of precipitation include hail, snow, sleet, rain, fog , and dew.

Precipitated water returns to oceans, lakes, and rivers on the surface. Water is sometimes intercepted by plants and returned to the air through a process called transpiration. Surface runoff water returns to the air through the evaporation step of the cycle. Water that has infiltrated can percolate deep into the Earth’s surface to be stored as groundwater. Groundwater can be present in soil or bedrock. Underground water bearing formations are called aquifers. Ground water is the primary source of drinking water for the United States, and it also serves to be a backup to surface water supplies when a drought occurs. When said groundwater discharges as surface water, it evaporates into the atmosphere and completes the hydrologic cycle.

In the past 10-15 years, the abuse and use of water in the United States has began to decrease due to conservation efforts, rising water prices, and the emergence of water-preserving technology. The United States’ current use of water is for agriculture and electricity production. The processes used to turn water into power are hydroelectric and thermoelectric process. Thermoelectric power is generated by converting water into steam by heating it with nuclear or fossil fuels; water is used to cool. Hydroelectric power is generated by allowing water from dammed reservoirs to flow by gravity to move turbines. The production of electricity uses more water than any other industry. To understand regulations put in place to protect and preserve clean water sources, its important to understand the different types of pollution sources that put clean water at risk.

Primary Sources of Water Pollution

Point Sources

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines point source pollution as “any single identifiable source of pollution from which pollutants are discharged, such as a pipe, ditch, ship or factory smokestack” (Hill, 1997). Manufacturing plants and sewage treatment plants are two commonly recognized examples of point source pollution. Industrial facilities—counting oil refineries, paper plants, and chemical, hardware and automotive producers—often times release one or more pollutants in respective waters. There are a few production lines that release their effluents directly into bodies of water. Sewage treatment plants treat human waste and send it into steams or rivers. Another way that a few manufacturing plants and sewage treatment plants manage waste is by combining it with runoff in a combined sewage works. Runoff is used to refer to the stormwater that runs over surfaces like driveways, and as water crosses these surfaces, it acquires chemicals and toxins. This untreated, contaminated water goes directly into a combined sewage. Unregulated discharges from point sources can result in water pollution and drinking water that’s not safe for consumption.

Nonpoint Sources

A somewhat generic definition of nonpoint source pollution includes everything that would not be considered a point source, or not associated with points of discharge. Nonpoint source pollution generally results from land runoff, precipitation, drainage, seepage or modifications to hydrologic cycle. Nonpoint sources of pollution are caused by rainfall or melted precipitation moving through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground water. Nonpoint source pollution is the leading remaining cause of water quality problems. The effects of nonpoint source pollutants on specific waters vary and may not always be fully assessed. However, we know that these pollutants have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife.

Federal Water Pollution Control/Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act began as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and has since been transformed and statutes added. In increase in public awareness and concern for controlling water pollution led to Act’s amendments in 1972. With this amendment, the law became known as the Clean Water Act. The original goal was to restore the integrity of the water in the United States to a quality that is capable of being swam and fished in, and totaling eliminating discharges of pollutants into waters. It also placed an emphasis on individual effluent discharging. The Clean Water Act gave the EPA the authority to introduce pollution control programs. It worked to maintain already existing requirements to set water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters. It also made it unlawful for any person to discharge any pollutant into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained under the Act’s provisions.


  1. Ferrey, S. (2019). Environmental Law: Water Pollution. New York: Wolters Kluwer.
  2. History of the Clean Water Act. (2017, August 8). Retrieved April 28, 2020, from
  3. US Department of Commerce, & National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2004, December 19). Nonpoint Source Pollution. Retrieved April 28, 2020, from
  4. What is Nonpoint Source? (2016, November 28). Retrieved April 28, 2020, from   

Consequences of Water Pollution for Humanity

Becoming more aware of the consequences water pollution has towards life in both sea and land, life can become more safe and prosperous for future years to come.

As technology advances over the years, there has been an increasing amount of people using products that are more durable and convenient. Around “1,000,000 plastic bottles [are bought by humans] every minute [and] it is estimated that four trillion plastic bags are used worldwide annually” (Earth day 1). However, most products are made out of synthetically made material which are often not able to break down naturally and are not recycled. “Only about 23% of bottles [made] are [actually] recycled, only 1% of plastic bags are returned for recycling, [and] Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags annually [which is] about 307 bags per person” (Earth Day 1). Therefore, discoveries of trash islands, consisted of mainly plastic, have been located in at least three major oceans. This increased amount of trash in our oceans has become a major problem in water pollution that concerns both sea life and humans safety that could be solved with simple solutions such as recycling, volunteering at beach clean ups with friends, or following safe disposal practices.

Trash islands are islands that are composed of discarded matter that have piled greatly from the mainland. They are transported through various ways such as sewers, animals, the environment, and of course, humans. These islands found all over the world could vary by size with the largest being located in the Pacific Ocean referred to as “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Pacific trash vortex, spans waters from the West Coast of North America to Japan. The patch is actually comprised of the Western Garbage Patch, located near Japan, and the Eastern Garbage Patch, located between the U.S. states of Hawaii and California. Overall, most patches consist of large piles of man made products largely consisted of plastic materials. With this continuation, researchers have estimated that, “by the end of this century, ...the surface waters of the ocean could be nearly 150 percent more acidic than they are now” (Denchak 2). If not taken care of immediately, ocean waters would be more contaminated causing the ocean to become difficult to sanitate anything exposed to the waters, affecting both sea and human life.

Plastic has become a popular source of material to several areas around the world. They have been incorporated into our daily lives that one does not realise how harmful it can possibly be. For example, take something that is commonly found in households such as a water bottle. People rely on water bottles as a source of containment for liquids. However, people have developed a mindset that once the liquid is gone, the bottle is trash thus forgetting that the water bottle is made out of plastic that is recyclable. Many people have adapted to this mindset that once something is finished, they should automatically throw it away that they forget that there is such a thing as a recycling bin where the bottle should end up instead of the ocean. Americans alone “purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging about 13 bottles per month for every person in the U.S” (Earth day 1). This would reveal just how much plastic has become such a necessity to many lives

The trash ending up in our oceans would then cause many sea life to be affected greatly towards a negative direction. At least 100,000 marine animals and 1,000,000 seabirds die every year simply because they have eaten something they shouldn’t have (Ocean Crusaders 1). According to the national Geographic, “Albatrosses mistake plastic resin pellets for fish eggs and feed them to chicks, which die of starvation or ruptured organs” (National Geographic 3). This would only show a few out of the several animal populations in the ocean that are affected, reflecting on how animals are being a main target from water pollution. Especially since animals do not have a voice in asking for help. They are only able to speak for themselves sadly through horrible incidents such as the death of a whale in Thailand. At first, the whale was holding onto life but unfortunately died even through the efforts of vets. However, once the whale was examined for the cause of death, marine officials discovered that the whale had “...80 sopping wet, black plastic bags...pulled from the stomach of a [dead] whale…” (Raphelson 1). The whale autopsy reflects how even the largest mammal on the planet is even affected by the trash being thrown into the ocean. Animals are only able to show need for support through such tragedies which humans could prevent by becoming aware of the need to stop the water pollution. If not taken into action, most animals would more than likely be affected and are more than likely have a higher chance of becoming extinct simply because of the mistakes of not picking up after oneself. In addition, the sea life found in the coral reefs are being affected because, “more-acidic waters also contribute to the bleaching of coral reefs and make it harder for some types of fish to sense predators and for others to hunt prey” (Denchak 3). Coral reefs are an essential habitat towards many animals which means if they are affected, a long chain of affects are implemented on the surrounding animals leading to another way of animal death. Thus, action towards water pollution is needed to be implemented now before it leads to animals not having a habitat for themselves or for its future generations because their homes are either being destroyed or they themselves are being eliminated.

Moreover, animals are not the only living creatures being affected but humans as well. Humans spends lots of time in the ocean as a getaway not realising how unhealthy the water has become. “According to the National Survey on Recreation and Environment (NSRE), more than 143 million people in the U.S. [itself with], 61% of the population over the age 16, use surface waters to engage in non-motorized water sports” revealing that several people come into contact with the ocean (Beachapedia 1). Furthermore, it is stated by Raphelson that, 'Every minute [there] is the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic going into the ocean...' (Raphelson 3). This means that humans are swimming in water that carries several particles of trash debris that are very unsanitary and are more than likely unhealthy for the body. Thus, it leads to human exposure to unknown or harmful chemicals that can lead many to become very ill with at least “1 billion people” falling ill because of unsafe waters (NRDC 8). For instance, “disease causing microorganisms, called pathogens, are associated with a range of enteric and non-enteric illnesses” (Beachapedia 1). “These illness would reside in the human intestines causing AGI or in other words “acute gastrointestinal illness” (Beachapedia 1) causing symptoms such as “nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, and fever”. This creates serious pain to the human body, preventing many from enjoying or doing everyday things (Beachapedia 1). It is even stated by the UNDESA that, “Every year, more people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war”. In 2015 alone, water pollution caused “1.8 million deaths” according to the study from The Lancet (NRDC 8). Hence, showing how critical water pollution has become that human lives are now beginning to be greatly affected. However, ocean water is not only polluted through water or by land but also through airborne sources. An example would be “Coal-fired power plants [or] chlorine factories [that] release mercury into the air [that would] eventually settle into the ocean” (Thank You Ocean 6). This mercury being released into the environment is a dangerous toxin which then enters the systems of marine organisms and “bioaccumulates, or increases, as larger fish eat smaller fish contaminated with mercury” (NRDC 7). Consequently, this would lead to the consumption of contaminated fish which would greatly affect humans because mercury “can cause serious damage to the brain and nervous system” (NRDC 7). Furthermore, edible fish such as “tuna and swordfish, often have the highest [concentrations] of mercury”, indicating that most humans are presently becoming contaminated through this food source without much knowledge of the negative effects it may have on their bodies (NPR 2). For this reason, doctors recommend limiting the consumption of some types of fish and shellfish in order to limit the amount of mercury consumed into one’s body. All inclusive, there is a need to take immediate action in order to prevent any more damage to human health not only for the present generation but for the health for generations to come. Their future greatly depends on the actions we implement now which should be to create a more sanitary ocean for them to be in, eat, and enjoy.

In fact, many people worldwide have begun to notice the importance of protecting our oceans from water pollution. California alone has begun to protect one of its important assets to the state with its coastlines having “beach visitors spend over 10 billion dollars each year” (Thank You Ocean 8) . California began to monitor and regulate the ocean through a series of volunteer programs that helps clean up the coastlines beaches. It is estimated that around “100 million dollars has been invested in California” alone to fund local projects that reduce the amount of trash on the coastlines (Thank You Ocean 8). In addition, California has passed a bill that eliminates the use of straws helping prevent straws from entering the ocean especially since plastic is of the major items commonly found in the ocean. Although such action is taken, many believe it's unnecessary to ban or prohibit many items or actions implied on the people. This situation could be viewed with the controversy of banning straws in California. It has been stated that if people violated this “banned” item, there might be federal consequences such as jail time for a waitress or bartender serving someone a straw (San Francisco Chronicle 1). Many view this as unnecessary and cruel punishment for someone who is simply doing their job. Many even note that California should focus more on their ways of handling pollution that is presently in front of them such as the piles of trash that are on sidewalks and roads instead of a “little straw”. However, focusing on the smaller problems would help prevent the bigger problems of water pollution. Straws being a product made out of plastic, is one of the main contributors to the present pollution that is at stake. Straws are commonly found in the ocean and in several cases found as a cause of damage towards sea life. An example of this would be of a sea turtle that had a four inch plastic straw stuck completely in his nostril. Two researchers tried to extract the straw only causing a stream of blood to flow out of its nostril (Plastic Pollution Coalition 2). This shows how many people do not view a straw as a harmful device when in reality the sraw, or basically anything thrown into the ocean, is a threat to sea life no matter the size. Even though it may seem like strict laws, these steps are needed to protect our oceans from danger because many do not take the problem seriously until reminded through the law thus not hurting any living creature by preventing any damage from human innovations.

Furthermore, in order to maintain stability of the chemicals being put into the ocean, factories or any source that releases large amounts of pollution should make sure that their waste is being thrown away correctly. This would prevent the ocean from attaining any form of unhealthy chemical to worsen the safety and health of the ocean. Also, since the air could also be a factor towards water pollution, implementing renewable energy sources in companies, especially large ones, in order to obtain their energy in a more eco friendly way rather than in a manner that pollutes the air and water. For example, “solar energy, wind turbines and hydro power are all pollution free methods of obtaining power from the earth's natural resources without harming the earth's existing natural resources to obtain this energy” (Whale Facts 5). In addition, people making the switch between harmful chemicals to more eco-friendly chemicals that are little to no harm when they come in contact with water. Additionally, the toxic fumes that can be spread through heavy rainfall into several water systems, should be “filtered, rerouted and cleaned before making their way to the atmosphere” (Whale Facts 6). People can help contribute with lessening water pollution through simple everyday tasks. For example, “Keep your car well maintained and immediately service it if you notice any oil leaking from the car” or “Purchase environmentally friendly cleaning products that do not harm the land if they happen to be flushed or emptied into a drain” (Whale Facts 7). Also, not letting water run when not in use which would help conserve water that is already safe to being misused. Additionally, recycling cans, bottles, paper, or even other items such as clothes because it would allow the items to either be used once again or to be created into new resources instead of floating trash in the ocean. All together, such changes or solutions can help restore the ocean’s safety and sanitation from water pollution for all living creatures on the sea, air, and of course humans.


In conclusion, by becoming more aware of the consequences water pollution has towards life in both sea and land, life can become more safe and prosperous for future years to come. There are several solutions being explored worldwide in order to stop or prevent the water pollution from spreading. Most importantly, there are various simple ways all the people could help to contribute towards helping the ocean become much cleaner such as the examples mentioned because if measures are not taken as soon as possible, many animals, plants, and humans would suffer many consequences such as illness as unfortunately for plants and animals, the brink of extinction.  

Water Pollution and Agriculture Contamination

The cause and effect of rising water pollution across the world, mostly in a geographical area with a dense human population or impoverished countries, experience difficulty in maintaining a healthy and progressive life.

Pollution, whether it be in the air we breathe in, the water we drink from, or the soil where we grow our crops from is undoubtedly an aspect of our life, affecting the environment across the globe. What exactly defines pollution? It is the presence or introduction of a substance or thing that has harmful or poisonous effects on the environment. There are different types of pollution varying from light pollution, noise pollution, thermal pollution, radioactive pollution, and many other harmful ones. However, of all of them, pollution of air, water, and the soil are the primary concern to our existence and progress in life; nevertheless, water pollution will be the main focus of this research. 

The cause and effect of rising water pollution across the world, mostly in a geographical area with a dense human population or impoverished countries, experience difficulty in maintaining a healthy and progressive life. The introduction of water pollution into the human body can cause failure or permanently damage the respiratory system and cardiovascular system or introduce other diseases that can cause deafness, blindness, bacterial infection, and can lead to the development of cancer. Most of these effects of water pollution come from various sources such as the inadequate disposal of industrial and human waste, and the usage of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture. There has been an increase in the global population that is bringing in excessive use of natural resources and disposing of them irrationally, ending up in bodies of water. 

The rising of water pollution could bring in unfortunate consequences throughout various places in the world, bringing humanity in the future with an unstable society and higher mortality rates. Although many solutions have been developed and implemented, the results are still the same, the water is polluted, and people do not care. The management of water is essential to our longevity and survival in life to live a long healthy, and peaceful life without worries; without it, humanity will perish within days from dehydration. The main factor of water pollution is agricultural use of chemicals, despite there being many other important point-sources, this factor will be the main focus of the research. Because we have a high demand for food, our inability to control hunger can determine the level of pollutants that enter our waterways. 

Agriculture uses up to 70% of the world's accessible freshwater from rivers and groundwater, revealing the high demand for food production. However, some 60% of this is wasted due to mismanagement of water irrigation systems, leading runoff of contaminated water guiding itself into streets, storm drains, and water sources like ponds and streams, eventually into safe drinking supplies. These chemicals that are used in agriculture vary from nitrate, the most common chemical contaminant in the world's groundwater aquifers, and nutrients along with phosphorus that ends up accumulating over time, creating what is known as eutrophication, a green-like field of water-induced from excessive growth of algae. Due to the unavailability of water in some regions from severe water pollution, at many places, the land has become infertile and inadequate for agriculture use that limits crop productivity, which leads to starvation in some parts of the world. These agrochemicals varying from fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and others have given rise to widespread contamination of waterways and ground waters, in turn affecting plants, wildlife, humans, and animals. Once they have been sprayed, they do not disappear completely, and the chemicals end up mixing with the water and seep into the ground while the plant itself absorbs the rest. 

As a result, the local streams that are supplied water from the ground become contaminated, as do the animals that eat these crops and plants. According to the Water Research Center, nitrate is an inorganic chemical that is highly soluble in water and is essential for all living things, but high levels of nitrate in drinking water can be dangerous to health, especially for infants and pregnant women. 

Additionally, according to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Science, a high enough concentration of nitrate in drinking water can be lethal to infants, resulting in a temporary blood disorder called methemoglobinemia, commonly called 'blue baby syndrome.' In severe, untreated cases, brain damage, and death can occur from the result of a lack of oxygen; some symptoms vary from headache, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and blue-gray or pale purple coloration around the area of the lips, eyes, mouth, hands, and feet. 

On the other hand, the excessive richness of nutrients in a lake or other body of water (eutrophication) can cause marine life to suffocate due to the growth of algae, taking up all the oxygen for themselves, creating 'dead zones' that are incapable of supporting life. Some of these villages rely on certain waters, and if these villages become contaminated, drinking water and crops will become scarce. Although we live in an advanced world with water treatment facilities, some developing countries do not have the luxury to own these facilities, and these chemicals eventually become suppliers of drinking water. These ongoing activities using multiple agricultural-related chemicals could worsen future generations and lead to more cases of waterborne diseases. The chemicals that find their way to bodies of water provide life to numerous waterborne illnesses that have disastrous effects on humans. 

According to the Conserve Future Energy website, they state that waterborne disease is one of the leading causes of mortality in the world that inadequate sanitation can lead to deadly diarrheal diseases, including cholera, typhoid fever, botulism, giardia, leptospirosis, and other waterborne illnesses. Around 2-4 million people, mostly in Africa, die from severe cases of waterborne diseases due to a lack of proper medical facilities and training, impacting people's daily life who are living under poor conditions. Also, according to the CDC, they state that over 1.9 million children die each year from drinking unsafe water where they die because the water they are drinking causes diarrheal diseases that lead to poor nutrition and other problems. Unsafe drinking water is the second largest cause of child mortality worldwide and contributes to 15% of child deaths. The leading cause of this devastating disaster is due to the flow of ignorance around us, where the problem lies primarily with a group of people living in a more prosperous country. We as people living in a more technological, healthier, and wealthier lifestyle often overlook water pollution and its pollutants and mostly not care for those in despair because of the accessibility we have within our well-established community, not being self-aware of the reduction of earth's water supplies. 

For many people, they think to themselves that earth provides and recycles an unlimited amount of safe, freshwater for use and consumption, well, that is not the case. Most people around the world, about 41% live in river basins that are under water stress and due to some portion of being polluted. There are many possible solutions to reduce pollutants that pollute water bodies caused by agricultural activities, including watershed efforts, nutrient management, cover crops, buffer zones, tillage management, livestock waste management, and drainage management. The collaboration between state governments, farm organizations, communities, and other institutions can play vital roles in improving water quality by helping each other rather than keeping a distant communication. Also, managing nutrients by adding the proper amount at the time of the year with the right methods can decrease potential runoff of nutrients guiding itself in lakes or rivers. Furthermore, planting certain grasses, clovers, or grains (cover crops) can help recycle excess nitrogen and reduce the eroding of soil. 


By combining buffer zones such as planting trees, shrubs, and grass around the fields, especially close to bodies of water, can help by absorbing and filtering nutrients before they reach the water. More importantly, reducing conventional farming methods (tillage) can reduce soil compaction and erosion, can also increase soil organic matter and reduce pollution runoff. Preventing animals' waste from entering rivers, streams, and lakes help keep chemicals such as phosphorus and nitrogen out of the water, making the environment healthier. 

A solution for local communities would be investing in a more sustainable water drainage system, recycling and filtering out poisonous chemicals that help prevent the degradation of the water in local bodies of water. There are many other solutions for agricultural management in efforts to prevent water pollution, but these are the most meaningful and practical solutions.

Impaired Waterways and Water Pollution Within Craighead County Arkansas

Water pollution occurs when harmful substances—often chemicals or microorganisms—contaminate a stream, river, lake, ocean, aquifer, or other body of water, degrading water quality and rendering it toxic to humans or the environment.

Environmental Issue

My hometown of Jonesboro, Arkansas is located in the geographical area of Northeast Arkansas and within the boundaries of Craighead County. The rural areas are flat and mostly used for agricultural purposes. Most of the Farmers I know use either wells, flumes and local bodies of water for irrigation of their crops. Those waters used by the farmers are subject to regulations set forth by our government. As stated by the Environmental Protection Agency and in accordance with the Clean Water Act of 1972, the regulations for pollution discharge into our bodies of water are defined as: 33 U.S.C. §1251 et seq. (1972)

The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. 'Clean Water Act' became the Act's common name with amendments in 1972.

Under the CWA, EPA has implemented pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry. EPA has also developed national water quality criteria recommendations for pollutants in surface waters. The CWA made it unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained. EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls discharges. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters (Clean Water Act of 1972).

Once a body of water is tested for pollutants, the reports are listed on the EPA website. A 6.026 mile stretch of the Cache River, within the boundaries of Craighead County, tested impaired for four designated human and animal uses:

  1. Water that is designated for agricultural applications.
  2. Our fisheries within Craighead county that would use water from The Cache River.
  3. Industrial supply water.
  4. Recreational Waters (EPA, 2019).

The assessment also detected lead within in the Fisheries designation, without Total Maximum Daily Load parameters listed (Epa, 2019). Even lead, in small amounts can cause a slew of very serious health issues, especially in kids. A few of the many adverse issue’s children can suffer from can be learning and developmental delays, abdominal pain, seizures and even death,

The agricultural industries require expensive incentives to restore the landscape. In December 2017, $5,059, 429 was allocated to the USDA Financial Assistance Program in Craighead County. The Environmental Quality Incentive Program, which helps agricultural producers confront those challenges all while conserving natural resources like soil, water and air is one of those programs. Without using this financial assistance wisely to reverse or slow down the water pollution coming from the farming industry, Craighead county is going to continue to require assistance and incentives that are going to increase each year and add to an already huge financial burden (FY17, Financial Assistance by Program and County, 2017)

Expanding our research into water pollution, from a social and political point of view, yields some surprising results. In 2016, Gallop published its annual Environmental Survey. The survey indicated that 61% of Americans are concerned with polluted drinking water (McCarthy, 2016). In addition, we have begun to demand our politicians touch upon issues related to the environment. In the 2016 Presidential Election, candidates were forced to highlight and explain their stance on policy regarding our environment (McCarthy, 2016).

Sustainable Solution

Science has recognized the urgent need to find sustainable solutions for curbing water pollution and finding methods to conserve our already stressed supplies of fresh water. One solution that has been recommended by the scientific community is implementing the process of water reclamation. In the past, wastewater that had been used for human needs, within our society, was labeled as sewage. During the majority of the last century, treatment of sewage focused on three issues, when cleaning the wastewater:

  1. Combating Pollution.
  2. Health concerns from diseases.
  3. Removal of bacteria and microorganisms that can cause disease and illness, organic waste and any overloads of nutrients (Levin & Asano, 2004).

The use of reclaimed water can be very sustainable in order to meet demands on our water sources. The treated water can be used in irrigation, industrial applications plus residential and direct consumption. Reusing wastewater also lightens the energy consumption required for other management solutions such as desalination and inter-basin transfers (Garcia-Cuerva, Berglan, & Binder, 2016). In my opinion, not only would we be conserving water, but we also are liming the discharge of pollutants into our bodies of water by treating and removing toxins from water designated for recycling.

The advantages and disadvantages of using reclaimed water are still being researched. One issue with reusing sewer water is there is an associated fear of contamination and sickness from wastewater that has been reclaimed and used for drinking and watering of food crops. Such an aversion has been extremely difficult to overcome (Garcia-Cuerva, Berglan, & Binder, 2016).

Until people are comfortable with the thought of using recycled water and cities, counties and states have adopted the practice, the research must continue. We must also adapt to changing technologies as they become available.

Since the programs are usually directed at the state level, the cost of implementation varies within each area. One source of monetary support can come from the Water Research Foundation, With a $700 million-dollar portfolio, there is huge potential for funding for the projects. Also, The EPA has offered funding at the state level that serves as a sort of bank that allows states to borrow monies for water reuse study and application. Information about The Clean Water State Revolving Fund is the available at

Water insecurity, within the coming years, has the potential for creating social and political upheaval, battles for water supply control and waterborne diseases. There is growing support for finding new technologies for treating wastewater. (Reddy & Lee, 2012) Each day we are depleting our water supplies and polluting our natural sources of water. Without intervention, we are headed towards a global water crisis. Support from the scientific community suggests that water reclamation and reuse is one sustainable solution, in an ongoing issue.

Personal Impact

One personal habit I have that contributes to polluting our waterways is choosing to use a supermarket, instead of a farmer’s market, for our food needs. The EPA states that agricultural practices add to the problem of water pollution by adding excess nutrients into our water sources. Products used in farming or animal waste gets washed into a body water by runoff from rainfall or waste being washed into bodies of water (Sources and Solutions: Agriculture, 2017).

Choosing to buy products that are locally sourced and raised on a smaller scale, lessens the byproducts of waste, from larger farming operations. Another idea I could implement is starting a container garden and growing our own produce. One of the best ways I can promote sustainable and practical solutions within my local community is continuing my education in Environmental Science with Natural Resources and Wildlife Conservation. I will be able to enter the workforce and use my education to research and implement new ways to conserve our natural resources.


  1. EPA, (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2019, from
  2. FY17 Financial Assistance by Program and County. (2017). Retrieved From
  3. Garcia-Cuerva, L., Berglund, E. Z., & Binder, A. R. (2016). Public perceptions of water shortages, conservation behaviors, and support for water reuse in the U.S. Resources, Conservation and Recycling,113, 106-115. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2016.06.006. Retrieved from
  4. Levine, A. D., & Asano, T. (2004). Peer Reviewed: Recovering Sustainable Water from Wastewater. Environmental Science & Technology,38(11). doi:10.1021/es040504n. Retrieved from
  5. McCarthy, J. (2016, March 17). Americans' Concerns About Water Pollution Edge Up. Retrieved from
  6. Reddy, D. H., & Lee, S. (2012). Water Pollution and Treatment Technologies. Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology,02(05). doi:10.4172/2161-0525.1000e103 Retrieved From 2161- 0525.1000e103.php?aid=5843
  7. The Clean Water Act of 1972. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2019, from
  8. The Sources and Solutions: Agriculture. (2017, March 10). Retrieved February 20, 2019, from

Recycling Has Its Ups and Downs

Recycling is a matter of life or death. Not only affecting products, recycling can restore the air we breathe, the health of humans and animals, and the amount of time that we have on this earth

If we ignore this and do not recycle as much as possible, then life as we know it will end. The air will get harder to breathe, water will become toxic, trees and plants will die off, and animals will become extinct. Last will be humans. Recycling is a circle that can either keep going around or eventually come to an end. It is up to us humans to decide on what we want to happen to the future. If we make the wrong decision or think that this is being exaggerated, then we will all have a big wake up call. Recycling is important. It not only proves that life can be restored, but also that small things can make a big difference.

The products that are produced every day affect us in many ways. Resources like coal, oil, and gas are overproduced and instead could be reduced by just recycling. These energy sources are considered to be nonrenewable because it takes longer to reproduce or replenish in the time it takes to need again. Crude oil, like petroleum, is used to make things like gasoline, diesel fuel, and oil that heats homes. Natural gases like propane, butane, and ethane are also found in oil and considered to be fossil fuels, which were formed millions of years ago from the buried remains of plants and animals. If we were to recycle all the renewable products, then we could save over two-trillion trees a year. We could potentially heat 50,000,000 homes for twenty years if we recycled all the wood and paper that was thrown out each year (40 Interesting Facts).

Not only does not recycling affect our natural resources, but it also takes effect on our environment. One of the biggest problems is that trash is primarily thrown into landfills, which is very hazardous. Landfills contain toxins that will eventually leak into the soil and groundwater. Not only does it take years for the trash to break down, but the substances will release arsenic, acids, and lead which will eventually end up in our environment and threaten our public’s health (Bausback).

Another issue with using landfills is that when the landfill waste breaks down and water filters through the waste, a liquid chemical called Leachate is formed. The biggest cause of this is rain falling down on the landfill, forming groundwater with many harmful chemicals. As this liquid Leachate seeps down through the decomposed waste components, chemicals like Methane, Carbon Dioxide, Organic Acids, Alcohols, and Aldehydes are formed, creating a toxic “cocktail” in the air surrounding it. All of this will produce greenhouse gases that is twenty times more powerful than carbon dioxide and will create a lot of trouble for our environment. Methane itself is flammable and in these large applications in the landfills, can be very dangerous.

For years, recycling has been seen as a hobby. Many people did not believe that it was necessary to reuse everyday products or even think of sorting their trash to recycle. It was nice that all they had to do was throw their trash in a bag and put it out to discard. It was too much work to sort things or even take them to where they needed to go to be recycled. This is the main reason that we have issues with recycling. It is because people feel like recycling is not worth the work since they do not receive money for what they turn in, or that they feel it would not make a difference if they did recycle. The fact is that one person can make a difference just because of the amount of trash that is produced every year from each individual.

Recycling has been well-known for useful ever since the ninth century. Japan was the first to realize that paper could be reconstructed after use and be made as new again. This became a trend and the recycled paper became more valued because of how it proved that life could be restored (A Brief History). In the 16th century, the New World began recycling linen and rags made from cotton. These materials were produced to make Bibles and newspapers. By World War II, there was a lot of need for tin, rubber, steel, and paper to save money for the war. In the 1960s, yard waste, metals, and paper were first seen being left at the curb for pick up. The 1970s were a big part of the recycling movement. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 and the recycling symbol was created. In 1976, Massachusetts was the first state to receive an EPA recycling grant, allowing to implement weekly curbside pickup with a $20,000 residential recycling truck. All of this led to what we have today with recycling. It is even more common than it was back then and making a difference in not only our environment, but also our health because of less being thrown into landfills.

There are a lot of things that can be recycled, reused, or even composted, rather than just being thrown into a landfill. Paper is the most popular thing used that could be easily recycled. Paper and cardboard are both things that would help save the lives of trees if they were recycled, as they are 34% of the most common waste. There are a lot of things made out of these two things and most can be recycled, like gift bags, gift boxes, wrapping paper, and boxes. The biggest issue is that those that products that have coating, like a lot of wrapping paper, isn’t recyclable (How do I recycle). The best thing to do is to always look for the recyclable picture when buying products so that less of the other types will be made. When sales are lacking on a certain product, then companies will make fewer and concentrate more on what is selling. That is why it is very important to look for recyclable items when shopping.

Plastic is another issue we have with recycling. There is a lot that has the recycling symbol, but even more that doesn’t. All plastic will have symbols on them, identifying what kind of plastic resin was used in producing the product. Not every type is recyclable because of the chemicals that were used in the production. In 2015, out of 35 million tons of plastic that were made that year, only 13% would not be recyclable, yet only 9.1% of those materials were recycled. Water bottles are a very common plastic that is bought in bulk. While the bottle part is nearly always recyclable, the plastic around the bottles generally are not, and neither are the caps. Caps are known to clog the machines used in recycling and the wraps are made from a plastic that is not considered to be recyclable.

Glass is something that is said to be able to be recycled continuously, but most recycling places will only take a certain type because they are “impractical” (Baskind). The best to recycle are bottles or jars that have the symbol on them, but compact fluorescent lightbulbs are usually fine as well. However, they do contain a small amount of mercury so it would be important to check with the recycling centers to see how they need to be dealt with. Glass is a good thing to recycle because it is cheaper for companies to use recycled glass instead of raw materials.

Aluminum is very commonly used, especially for cans. Aluminum is recyclable and used for a lot of things, like fruit and vegetable cans, foil, and baking pans. Although aluminum is a metal, it is very easily melted and used over and over again. Most metals are recyclable and those are the ones that are in the most demand. Things like steel, tin, brass, copper, iron and even aluminum can usually be taken to places who will buy the metal to be remade into useful products. Metals are very commonly used in a lot of things, including automobiles, appliances, buildings, instruments, and medical devices. They are materials that will always be recyclable as long as they are used and returned.

There are a lot of things that are recyclable but even more things that are considered to be nonrecyclable. This is either because of how they are made or because it is too complicated to recycle in bulk amounts. A lot of things would need to be taken apart and separated, washed, coded, or arranged by types. All of this is a lot of work that recycling centers do not want to mess with because it slows them down or could potentially damage their equipment. This is the case with water bottle caps. Even though they are plastic, they are made from a different type which is harder to break down than the bottle itself. If the bottle caps are combined with the water bottles, then they would slow the process down or even jam up the equipment so they must be separated and considered to be not recyclable.

Even though a lot of products cannot be taken to a recycling center, there are a lot can be recycled or reused in your own home. One common thing that is done is cutting down ripped towels and making them into wash rags. Also, a lot of people will reuse common jars, like mason jars, and use them for the canning process of fruits and vegetables. Aerosol cans are technically not recyclable because of the chemicals that were inside them but depending on the facility, there are some that are okay to be recycled. Household glass is also something that has some recycling issues. Although glass is considered to be always reusable, there are a lot of types that are not recyclable. It is considered to be impractical because of how many different types there are and the separation of the product. Things like light bulbs are too big of a risk because of the mercury that is inside them. It would be a lot of work to separate everything, so these are considered to be non-recyclable. This is the same with tires. Even though the rubber can be separated and used for a lot of different things, it is a lot of work to do it and not very common to be recycled.

According to “Recycling: The Good, The Better, The Best”, the average family throws away six trees worth of paper per year. This may not seem like a lot but trees affect our environment in a lot of ways. Tearing them down and not replacing them could cause the extinction of a lot of insects and even animals. They also state that every ton of paper that is recycled will save seven trees, along with a lot of things like water and landfill space. Recycling has been proven to save our environment in a lot of ways, including adding jobs. For every one job created because of recycling, it adds four jobs to the team because of the extra work that is involved with recycling. In gross annual sales of recycling plants, which averages to be around $236 billion, $37 billion of that is annual payroll to those who work in the industry. It will continue to grow as more people start to recycle, not only saving trees but the economy as a whole.

Recycling is something that can save and renew a lot of things. It has a lot of advantages that would affect our life as a whole because recycling affects so many areas. Not only does it help things keep growing, but it adds jobs, teaches responsibility, promotes wellness, allows creativity with art and recycling, and makes technology smarter. If we did not recycle everything that we could, landfills would grow and the smell that surrounds them would escalate. Prices for things we buy would increase if we didn’t recycle because the costs of producing would keep going up. This would happen because trees would get harder or costlier to get, drinking cans and bottles prices would increase, and even medical expenses would rise because of the cost to pick up garbage would be so big.

Even though a lot of people recycle, it still isn’t enough to slow down the use of landfills. We may not be able to recycle every thing that is used, but we can reduce a lot by learning how things could be reused or recycled. It is our job as a society to work toward saving Earth as much as we can and teaching the younger generation to see how serious of an issue this will become. It is important that we continue to research ways to reuse or recycle the common things that cannot be recycled right now, like batteries, chemicals, and Styrofoam. If we do not learn how to deal with these things, then it will eventually affect everyone.


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“A Brief History of Recycling.” American Disposal Services,

Baskind, Chris. “23 Things That Aren't Recyclable.” MNN - Mother Nature Network, Mother Nature Network, 31 May 2018,

Bausback, Brian. “The 3 Most Common Landfill Problems & Solutions.” Handex Consulting & Remediation, 27 Apr. 2016,

Factors Affecting Gasoline Prices - Energy Explained, Your Guide To Understanding Energy - Energy Information Administration, 8 Aug. 2018,

“How Do I Recycle?: Common Recyclables.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 7 Nov. 2018,

“Recycling: The Good, The Better and The Best.”,

Should Recycling be Mandatory In the U.S

With more and more countries, states, and cities catching onto the recycling trend the question of whether or not recycling should be mandatory in the U.S. is being brought up often. 

This topic is being pushed frequently since some link waste and pollution to global warming. Some believe recycling should be mandatory due to the positive effects it can have on the environment like, reduce waste, and preserve energy. However, some do not because of the possible costliness, its can be unsafe or unhygienic, and the sorting process is difficult.

On the one hand, recycling should be mandatory because it would reduce waste, benefit the environment, and preserve energy. Only a few states in the United States have adopted a mandatory recycling law. When it became a popular topic in the 70’s, it had a positive impact. It was around the time regulations had been put in place. “More than 100 landfills that were handling as much as 90 percent of New Jersey’s waste a few years ago have been closed,..” (Sullivan, Joseph). Since the law had shut down many landfills in New Jersey, a similar law should do the same for the other states. This law would reduce waste because not as much trash would end up in dumps and landfills. The trash would go to a recycling plants, here it would be processed instead of being sold and shipped to other countries. Usually the materials are then dumped in the ocean or forgotten in landfills.

A country that has recently picked up on mandatory recycling is China. Instead of importing trash from other countries like the U.S and Germany, they have decided to ban imports of many types of waste and started to focus on their own country’s waste and enforce the regulations. “China recently banned imports of 56 types of solid waste, including paper and household plastics, which means that recycling plants are now looking to domestic sources” (Chenyu). China is one of the countries that dumps the most trash, but now they have also started to make cuts hopefully completely condemning it eventually. By enacting mandatory recycling the number of landfills would be reduced, along with the amount of waste in each. Not only would the law reduce landfills but also reduce the waste U.S. exports to other countries, not minding the end result.

Mandatory recycling would help save the environment. It would reduce the amount of trash that ends up in the ocean and an land. This waste harms animals, plants, ocean quality, and materials. Many animals are found dead or harmed from either ingesting trash, becoming entangled in it, or chemicals ruining their environment. “While many trees are felled everyday, recycled paper manufactured from specific trees is continually utilized to reduce deforestation” (Rinkesh). Mandatory recycling would greatly decrease the amount of deforestation because of the increase amount of paper that could be reused. This would also conserve energy. “Taking steps to conserve natural resources like minerals, water and wood, ensures sustainable and optimal use” (Rinkesh). By using recycled materials raw materials can be conserved and only used when needed. Implementing mandatory recycling would create an abundance of materials. Land and oceans are not only habitats to humans but also plants and animals, they are not capable of protecting and preserving their own environment from waste, deforestation, and pollution.

Required recycling would preserve energy. Recycling uses less energy, money, and time than extracting the materials. “A lot of energy is used to process raw materials in the course of manufacture. Recycling plays a big role in reducing energy consumption, which is vital for large-scale production, for instance, mining and refining.” (Rinkish). Mining depletes the amount of natural resources, and the machinery required uses an abundance of energy. By enforcing mandatory recycling in an entire country a massive amount of energy can be conserved since there would be an abundance of waste to recycle.

On the other hand some believe that, mandatory recycling should should not be enforced because it is expensive, separating materials is difficult, and it can be unsafe and unhygienic. The cost of recycling is higher than people think. It will cost billions for the sites to be built, the machinery, and trash that overflows and can not be processed soon enough is sometimes shipped away or put into a landfill. Since there will be less landfills, dumping prices will go up, this is what's happening in Australia. “The report says that in most states it was not economically viable to send recyclable materials to landfills due to waste levies, which were as high as $141 a tonne in metropolitan NSW.” (Topsfield). Since Australia had to sell materials to other countries to stop the overflow of trash, the expense of dumping was high. Then China banned importing recyclable materials, causing Australia to be stuck with landfill expenses. Citizens might have to pay to help the cost. “The research found two-thirds of Australians were willing to pay $1 to $2 extra a week in council rates to help cover the cost of curbside recycling” (Topsfield). Although most Australians seemed agree with possibly paying extra, some Americans may not feel the same. With being so unsure of the expense, people are hesitant.

Recycling should not be mandatory because the sorting process is difficult. “Most people are trying their best to recycle plastic- but the many different ways in which recycling is collected by councils across the UK has left them confused over what can be recycled and what can’t” (Stephenson). Not only is it troublesome for the recycling plants to sort plastics but, it is also troublesome for the community. This causes it to be even more difficult for the sites because it is not possible for people to sort plastics correctly without being supervised, which is impossible. A lot of recycling bins do not require sorting and leave it to the recycling plant, causing it to be very time consuming. “In recent years, however, recycling companies are struggling with higher processing cost, due in part to newer, larger recycling bins that don’t require user sorting…” (EarthTalk). The more of a struggle sorting is the higher processing cost become. Some fear that if the sorting process is not done correctly the expense would be treacherous.

Another other reason some believe recycling should not be mandatory in the United States is because of sanitary issues. Recycling produces harmful waste, whether it is gases from the incinerator or “toxic sludge”. “Most recycling processes generate large amounts of hazardous waste. In the final analysis, what’s more worrisome - old newspapers buried in the ground, or the toxic sludge generated in the process of de-inking them for recycling?”(Taylor). These forms of pollution usually end up in the environment also. When people put their waste into its bin, most people do not clean them. This results in chemicals, rotting foods, and liquids piled together waiting to be processed for weeks or months accumulating bacteria. Sometimes other things get through too. “If there are impurities or toxins in the original material-say lead paint from an aluminum spray can- they’ll usually make it through the recycling process and end up buried in the new product, say, a soda can” (Handley). This could kill, or harm many people. An even worse example being, “-hundreds of buildings in Taiwan made from recycled steel had been giving people gamma radiation poisoning- and not the good kind- for the past twelve years.” (Handley). The mistake made in Taiwan is what many people are concerned about. A mistake from a recycling plant could cause death or severe damage to people. For some, that is too much to risk.


After considering both sides, I believe recycling should be mandatory in the U.S. because because it may decrease the amount of harmful waste in our environment, however, we need a more effective plan, to prevent landfill pile up from overflowed recyclable materials. An increase in cost to recycle would make the country uneasy. There needs to be more effective sorting methods and tests to make sure materials are safe. Strict policies with rigorous penalties if the standards are not met would be needed. These needs will need to be met for mandatory recycling to be efficient and working. The topic of mandatory recycling is globally significant because the United States is not the only country that should consider cleaner choices.         

The Consequences of Not Recycling in Missouri

Not recycling results in pollution that will affect the planet future. The state of Missouri is working to ensure the environment is cleaner, safer, and healthier.

The planet Earth is truly astonishing. The Earth recycles everything and reuses the material from dead plants and animals to feed new plant life and to make new soil to replenish itself. But some things that are man-made take hundreds of years for the Earth to decompose. Humankind should try to do the same thing the Earth does: recycle. Trash has been overwhelming landfills and filling the lakes, ponds and rivers in Missouri and across the world. It’s up to humans to prevent this and ensure a better future.

Missourians generate 6.15 pounds of waste daily. That’s 37 percent above the national average of 4.5 pounds. According to the Missouri Department of National Resource’s 2006-2007 Waste Composition Study, nearly 45 percent of the municipal solid waste deposited in Missouri landfills could have been recycled. Some of the wastes in landfills included metals, paper, plastics, and glass. The study estimated that each year more than 1.9 million tons of recyclable materials were disposed of in Missouri landfills. That’s 1.9 million tons of materials that could have been recycled. It’s important to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to get these numbers down and keep landfills from containmenting the environment. Ways to do this are donate old furniture, clothes, and other items to charities, start composting, take cloth bags to the store instead of getting plastic bags, and recycle anything that can be recycled.

Illegal dumping has become an issue in Missouri. Abandoned piles of garbage can threaten the health of humans, wildlife, and the environment. These open dump sites can sadly be found throughout Missouri. They are often found at the bottom of ravines, in empty lots, in pastures, and along roadsides. If these dump sites are allowed to remain, they will grow larger and attract more dumping by others. These open dumps create a public nuisance and divert land from more productive uses. They also pose many health, safety and environmental threats. They can cause fire and explosion and they damage plant and wildlife habitats. They can contaminate streams, rivers, lakes, soil, groundwater, and drinking water wells. It’s important to report illegal dumping to make sure it doesn’t continue to happen.

Despite all of the advantages of recycling, there have been disagreements and attacks on it. Some people claim that the environmental benefits of recycling are overrated because it can lead to pollution. The recycling process alone produces a lot of pollutants and during the sorting process, metals and other chemicals may leach into the land and water. Some people say it is too costly. Manufacturing plants need to built and trucks are needed to haul the recycled materials. It costs $4,000 in the United States to recycle one ton of plastic bags. People argue that recycled products are often of lesser quality and are often too fragile or overused. They say products made from used and repurposed materials don’t have the same quality of new material. Contamination is also a big problem in the recycling industry. If there are any impurities or toxins on the original material, they’ll often make it through the recycling process and end up in the new product. Although these disadvantages exist, it’s still vital to reuse materials and improve and start new recycling programs.

When comparing what happens to items that are placed in trash cans with items that are placed in recycling bins, it’s clear to see the economic benefits that recycling has over landfilling. Trucks are needed to collect both trash and recyclables. Trash is hauled to a transfer station and then sent to a landfill. Recyclables are sent to a Materials Recovery Facility. The collection and hauling process is the same for both, but what happens after is what makes their economic impacts very different. The City of St. Louis for example spends $33.98 per ton to send trash to a landfill. If it goes to a recycling facility, only $15.60 per ton is spent. The reason for this is recyclables have value as a commodity, and that offsets the cost of processing them into marketable products. The money that is saved by recycling can then be used to cover the rising cost of providing Refuse Division services. It can also prevent the need to increase trash collection fees. Once trash is buried in a landfill, any value it may have had is lost. It also builds up and doesn’t always decay.

Items still have value when they are recycled. Manufacturers can recycle them into new products and then sell their products to consumers. This helps maintain and create jobs in both manufacturing and retail sectors. Recycling not only helps the environment, it helps the economy as well. Recycling sustains more jobs than landfills. On a per-ton basis, sorting and processing recyclables sustain 10 times more jobs than landfilling. In a study conducted by the University of Missouri, they found that there are approximately

16,000 people employed in 1,500 recycling businesses in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. This includes businesses involved with recycling collection and processing, salvage, manufacturing, retail, education and composting. The more we recycle, the more businesses are able to grow and continue to contribute to the local economy.

Electronics can take hundreds of years to decompose. Glass alone is estimated to take up to a million years to decay. Some electronic scraps can be classified as a hazardous must be regulated as a hazardous waste. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources recognized the e-scrap management problems. They took steps to in order to reduce the risks on human health and the environment. The workgroup developed a strategy called e-cycle Missouri. E-cycle Missouri is a program designed to provide the public with information that is needed to recycle electronics. The program provides electronic equipment recyclers with best management practices for collecting, processing and transporting e-scrap in Missouri in a way that will protect the environment. There are also laws against electronics being discarded into landfills. It is recommended that electronics should be recycled or donated.


Not recycling results in pollution that will affect the planet future. The state of Missouri is working to ensure the environment is cleaner, safer, and healthier. To protect the wildlife and many lakes and other bodies of water, it’s essential to recycle. To read more about recycling in Missouri, visit the MORA website at www.MORA.. Humans must do their part to take care of the earth and recycle to guarantee a greater future for Missouri and the planet.

Critical Analysis Research Paper: Deforestation

To many of us, Forests are essential to our sacred ecosystem. However in the 21st century they are at a huge risk due to the heightened levels of deforestation that is part in many places all over the world. 

Deforestation is a crisis which requires immediate attention so that its consequences cannot reach levels that are unmanageable. They provide shelter to millions of both animals and plants species, and when they are destroyed through deforestation, there is a risk that some of these species may be rendered extinct. In the past, a lot of emphases have been put in the advocacy of protecting forests and vegetation cover, but still, the forest is being destroyed in pursuit of development (Bala, 6553). Crisis discipline as defined by Soule is the ability to responding appropriately to environmental signals relevant to the wellbeing of human civilization and natural biological systems. In simple terms crisis discipline ability to enact the relevant legislation, policies, and regulations which will contain various processes than endanger the environment mostly due to the high pursuit of human civilization. Therefore, crisis discipline is the best way of handling the problem of deforestation. “Crisis discipline” is a key term that illustrates the importance of conservation and protection of natural resources to prevent environmental degradation which in turn leads to climate change; deforestation is a menace that is destroying rainforests, and in this case, palm oil production is discussed in details regarding its promotion of deforestation.

The environmental degradation is getting out of hand, and the major cause of this degradation is deforestation, and it is a major threat that has the potential of eliminating tropical forests and species within a short period. Crisis discipline is a mixture of art and science which are all intended at preserving and protecting the environment, and it requires updated information to maintain relevance. Deforestation is clearing forests at a massive scale, and it is also damaging the quality of land (Alkama, 603). Forest cover approximately 30% of the world land area, and under the current rate of deforestation, the forest cover could completely vanish within a very short period. The main drives of deforestation are socio-economic activities such as agriculture, mining, logging among others ( Malhi, 170). The rate at which we are losing forest is alarming and devastating because these forests regulate the climate and water sources, meaning that we are in for a big crisis in the future. All over the world, there are companies which are formed solely for the utilization of the forest resources, and they have gone to the extent of displacing the indigenous communities that live around the forests. It is a fact that around 1.5 million people in the world rely solely on the forests to earn a living, with a significant number of these people rely on the same forests for survival. Crisis discipline has a huge role to play when it comes to deforestation because regulations, laws, and policies need to be implemented to contain this crisis which is endangering rainforests and many species of animals and plants.

In places such as China, forests are disappearing at a fast rate, and indigenous trees are being replaced by fast-growing eucalyptus plantations. Ancient forests play a vital role and are crucial to biodiversity because they provide habitat to many native species of plants and animals. If preventive measures are not implemented, it can have severe consequences with irreversible effects such as desertification and global warming. Illegal logging is the biggest problem so far and this due to the high demand for pulp, paper, and timber which are necessary to meet many needs of human beings (Gorte, 5). Human civilization has brought a lot of devastation to the environment, and there is a need for regulation of the human activities which pose a danger to our forests. The aspect of crisis discipline is effective in this juncture because it brings sanity between preserving the forest cover and empowering human civilization. In many regions around the world, governments have enacted laws, policies, and regulations to contain this deforestation menace.

According to research deforestation accounts for one-fifth of the entire greenhouse gas emissions. If more logging is done this emission of greenhouse gas will increase and this will escalate the rate of climate change. This means that if the current scenario persists global temperatures will rise and this will, in turn, lead to drought and forest fires. All these consequences are irreversible and pose a big danger to the alienation of many species of plants and animals all over the world. In some countries, such as Thailand and Indonesia deforestation is a major problem since large acres of forest cover are lost annually. This indicates that quick regulations and laws need to be enacted in these areas because rainforests are endangered. For example, palm oil one of the products that is highly demanded as it is used in preparing processed foods (Lawrence, 26). It is a cheap and versatile product, but it has severe environmental consequences. The industry of palm oil is booming, and this has led to cutting down of million acres of rainforest especially in Norway.

Countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia palm oil production are high, and they account for 88% of the global supplies of palm oil. In Norway, palm oil production tripled in the year 2000, and this usage continued to escalate over the years and in the year 2012 a campaign was formed which was addressed as ‘stop eating rainforest’ (Buizer, 8). This campaign was launched to expose the link between palm oil production and deforestation. The nation also set out regulation of production of foodstuffs with palm oil, and now the regulations are that large-scale companies should not use palm oil, and if they have to use it, they must use it in very tiny amounts.

Palm oil production has been on the spotlight for a long period now, and it is also responsible for human rights violations mainly because the companies that produce it have gone to the extent of removing indigenous people and communities from their lands. This presents modern-day slavery especially in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. The demand for palm oil is skyrocketing in the whole world and this has led to massive destruction of the rainforests and this crisis has been addressed in many forums and the only solution that has been formulated is to replace the usage of palm oil with the controversial trans fats (Nepstad, 1120). According to research palm oil production is the number one leading cause of forest destruction, and this problem is no longer a local problem it is a global problem which requires joint efforts to control and regulate it. What is happening in many countries is that people are clearing forests to expand plantations and these plantations are pushing deep into the heart of some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems. Also, the clearing of forest to pave the way for plantation is releasing globally significant carbon pollution which has the potential of causing climate change.

To me palm oil production is a disaster in the making, and if it is not prohibited or managed, we will all pay a huge price for it. This is the reason such organizations such as Rainforest Action Network is putting more efforts in ensuring that the major companies responsible for the massive production of palm oil withdraw their products from the shelves. The effects of palm oil productions are severe, and the stakes are high, and thus the crisis requires urgent attention and the government and other agencies responsible for the conservation of rainforests have the mandate to ensure that this crisis of deforestation due to palm oil production is mitigated. The only way of managing this crisis is by adopting stronger responsible palm oil policies which will regulate the biggest snack food producers to use alternative means to produce their products other than palm oil (Nobre, 10760). Many companies so far have adhered to the calls of changing their practices to reach zero deforestation commitment in all industries, and this means the use of alternative methods of production. It is by joint efforts that this problem of excessive deforestation in pursuit of palm oil will be addressed, and the role of everyone to ensure that they play their part in ensuring that biodiversity is maintained and protected.

The conflict of palm oil production has been in the spotlight for a long time, and a lot has been said regarding its destruction of the rainforests and its effects into the environment in the future. Crisis discipline as mentioned in our book, also embraces care discipline (Pezzullo and Cox, 17). This is why I believe the concept of crisis discipline comes in, and entails regulations and policies which stops the exploitation of natural resources such as rainforests for the advancement of the human civilization. Illegal logging and palm oil production go hand in hand as both target rainforests, and they also create massive destruction to the forests. The challenges of implementing these policies and regulations are that companies are not willing to find alternative methods of producing their products.

The fact is that people are using tree products without moderation and this unethical in nature because humans are aware of the consequences of deforestation. People tend to ignore the problem of deforestation because it does not have direct effects on them but the long-term effects are extensive and severe. Crisis discipline has the mandate to ensure that natural resources such as forests are used in moderation in a way that is manageable without degradation of the environment and other future effects such as desertification and climate change. Deforestation is a means by which animals homes are destroyed, but people are busy cheating themselves that they are creating a more diverse world, but this is delusion by itself. For example, people are wasting paper products and what they are failing to understand is that they are wasting forests. In my example, palm oil production may be a booming business, but on the ethical part of it, it can be viewed as destruction of the rainforests which take years to replace. However, reforestation is not the solution to deforestation because before the new forest matures, damage has already taken place, and some of the species has already been lost. Therefore, the only solution to deforestation is by stopping the rampant destruction of the rainforest and put stringent measures that will stop issues such as illegal logging and palm oil production among others.

Deforestation is flourishing due to the economic benefits it brings to the local people, companies and other firms that use rainforest resources to further their businesses. Due to these economic benefits, more people are venturing into illegal logging, palm oil production among others. In fact, a significant number of people depend on rainforest to earn a living. Agriculture and logging are the leading economic activities that promote deforestation, and therefore crisis discipline has the mandate to enact laws, regulations, and policies that govern the manner in which these economic activities. The demand for materials such as timber, palm oil, and pulp is increasing and if these laws and regulations are not implemented the rainforests will get diminished, and this will have severe consequences on the environments.

The demand for wood and palm oil will only escalate in the future because of the growing population in the world. This means more destruction of the rainforest if preventive measures are not put in place in the form of laws, policies, and regulation. Crisis discipline, in this case, is very important as it helps in containing activities which destroy the environment such as deforestation. Food processing companies have been relying on palm oil in their production because of its availability, but on the ethical part, it is not right because of the activity of obtaining palm oil results to the destruction of the environment. I firmly believe the future of our planet is in for a big change because of the process involving deforestation. These changes include; rainforests turning into desert-like regions, and unpredictable and varied temperature and a great amount of greenhouse gases. Also, low biodiversity is likely to occur, and extremely nutrient deficient land is a possible result of deforestation.

To me deforestation is a huge problem that goes under the radar. It causes environmental degradation and climate change, and there is a need to treat it as a crisis and also find several ways of managing it. Crisis discipline is the best way of handling this problem as it involves the ability to respond to environmental signals which are relevant to the civilization of humans and natural biological systems. There are many reasons why people cut down trees and the main reasons for commercial purposes because a significant number of people depend on forests for their livelihood and survival. One of the biggest contributors of deforestation is palm oil production, and this is due to the high demand for palm oil by food processing companies. Palm oil production has led to massive rainforest destruction, and a lot of enactments have been made to control and reduce its production. Also, movements have been formed to counter the same since the effects are catastrophic. In this case, a lot is in stake because the rate at which forests are being destroyed and exploited is high and climate change such as desertification of places to be rainforests. Also millions of species will go to extinction if crisis disciple in not brought into action to curb this menace that is destroying rainforests.

Work Cited

Alkama, Ramdane, and Alessandro Cescatti. 'Biophysical climate impacts of recent changes in global forest cover.' Science 351.6273 (2016): 600-604.

Bala, Govindasamy, et al. 'Combined climate and carbon-cycle effects of large-scale deforestation.' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104.16 (2007): 6550-6555.

Buizer, Marleen, David Humphreys, and Wil de Jong. 'Climate change and deforestation: The evolution of an intersecting policy domain.' (2014): 1-11.

Gorte, Ross W., and Pervaze A. Sheikh. Deforestation and climate change. Congressional Research Service, 2010.

Lawrence, Deborah, and Karen Vandecar. 'Effects of tropical deforestation on climate and agriculture.' Nature Climate Change 5.1 (2015): 27.

Malhi, Yadvinder, et al. 'Climate change, deforestation, and the fate of the Amazon.' science 319.5860 (2008): 169-172.

Nepstad, Daniel, et al. 'Slowing Amazon deforestation through public policy and interventions in beef and soy supply chains.' science 344.6188 (2014): 1118-1123.

Nobre, Carlos A., et al. 'Land-use and climate change risks in the Amazon and the need for a novel sustainable development paradigm.' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences113.39 (2016): 10759-10768.

Phaedra C. Pezzullo and Robert Cox, Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere, 5thedition. London: Sage, 2017.  

Deforestation Kills More Than Trees

Deforestation, clearance, or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land which is then converted to non-forest use. 

In the late 1960’s Brazil began chopping down the Amazon at an alarming rate, to this day Brazil has cut down 18% percent of the original Amazon, this is about the same area as France. Brazil tried to bounce back from their losses, We depend on forests for our survival, from the air we breathe to the wood we use. Besides providing habitats for animals and livelihoods for humans, forests also offer watershed protection, prevent soil erosion and mitigate climate change. Yet, despite our dependence on forests, we are still allowing them to disappear”(We Need to Safeguard Our Forests). Essentially this is showing how humans depend on forests for their survival. Forests are homes to the majority of animals in the world and homes to many indigenous tribes of people. “Looking at it beyond our narrow, human – not to mention urban – perspective, forests provide habitats to diverse animal species. They are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, and they also form the source of livelihood for many different human settlements, including 60 million indigenous people”(We Need to Safeguard Our Forests). This is explaining how vital forests are to humans and the biological species all over the world. These humans and biological species wouldn’t even be able to survive without the mass amount of oxygen that these forests produce.

Forests are an immense piece of the percentage of oxygen produced each year, and if they were to dissipate this would cause most of our civilization to die off until there would be the least amount of people to survive without trees producing oxygen. Rainforests alone are a gigantic part of the oxygen production not even counting all of those other forests across the other world. “The world's rainforests are responsible for producing between 20 and 30 percent of total the oxygen produced in the world each year” (How Much Oxygen Does the Rainforest Produce). This is displaying that rainforests are almost 1/3 of the world’s oxygen production and without them, humans would only have 2/3 of their oxygen remaining. If people were to continue destroying forests it will become much harder for people to breath. The amount of oxygen produced by an acre of trees per year equals the amount consumed by 18 people annually. One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year” (Tree and Rain Forest Facts). This shows how the number of oxygen in the air available for everybody is decreasing drastically. On top of losing most of the oxygen humans will lose most of their pharmaceuticals derived from plants.

There are more than one hundred pharmaceuticals across the globe that are gleaned from plants if forests were to get completely deforested all of these medicines would evanesce. There is still a great majority of rainforests that have not been tested to be a medicine and there is a huge chance that some of these plants that haven’t been tested could provide a resolution to some of the most recent diseases. “Currently, 121 prescription drugs currently sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. And while 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less than 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists” (Tree and Rain Forest Facts). This is basically saying that there is a huge amount of helpful drugs that are created from plants and there are still many to come. Not only that these drugs derived from plants will save many lives and produce, relief for many people, but these pharmaceuticals will create an immense amount of jobs. “Nearly 90% of human diseases known to medical science can be treated with prescription drugs derived from nature. The benefits to humanity of nature-derived medicines are incalculable in terms of longevity, relief of suffering, and an increase in the quality of life. And think of the hundreds of thousands of jobs provided to those that discover, grow, harvest, process, and market these medicinals” (Torrence). Essentially, this is saying that on top of helping many people recover from their diseases it will provide many jobs for people. On top of providing care for an enormous amount of people, forests provide 20% of humans for their livelihoods.

20% percent of people on Earth rely on forests for forest goods that nature supplies people with, and supplies most animals with homes. If these forests were to be destroyed it would cause more than harm to the environment it would cause billions of people to move away from their livelihoods. “Forests are essential for life on earth. Three hundred million people worldwide live in forests and 1.6 billion depend on them for their livelihoods” (Forest Habitat). Essentially, this is saying that more than 1 billion people depend on forests so that they can make a living and continue having a stable income. Without these forests, most of the animals on earth wouldn’t have a place to live and would most likely become extinct. “Forests also provide habitat for a vast array of plants and animals, many of which are still undiscovered…” (Forest Habitat). Basically, this is saying that there are many animals and plants that haven’t been discovered and never will be if humans continue on with deforestation. Even though deforestation comes with many faults there are still a few pros to deforestation.

It may be true that deforestation produces many jobs, however, there are more jobs created in sustaining the forests that are being destroyed. The number of forestry workers in 2011 was almost 50% more than the forestry workers in 2015, compared to more than 2 million people working to preserve these forests. “The National Park Service (NPS) is a massive federal agency that includes no less than 400 national parks and a workforce of more than 28,000 employees (and that’s not counting the more than 2 million volunteers)” (Career Paths With the National Park Service). This shows that there is more than 40 times the amount of jobs in national park service over deforestation. Forests produce more than 10 million volunteers with all of the different jobs combined. The formal timber sector employs more than 13.2 million people” (Forests Generate Jobs and Incomes). This is showing that all the forestry jobs create more than 260 times more jobs than deforestation jobs. These two pieces of evidence show that forestry jobs produce way more jobs than deforestation jobs.


Even though there is a lot of money and a few jobs created by deforestation, is it really worth it if it results in humans losing the majority of their oxygen, more than 1 billion people will need another way of having a comfortable life. People will no longer have all of those medicines that comfort them when they are sick, last off people will no longer be able to survive. Forests aid humans in breathing every day, and they help people with the majority of the pharmaceuticals that they use. Without forests, one-fifth of the society would have to find another way to create their livelihoods. Humanity needs the society to come up and go against these corporations that are destroying the forests that are sustaining the planet, and help them support and help these forests.    

Air Pollution Affect Human Health

Every year, there are 7 million people die because of air pollution. Although many natural phenomena, such as volcanoes, fire, and so on, release the pollutant in the atmosphere, human activities are the main reason to result air pollution. 

Since the industrial revolution, the environment has become different from before. According to the WHO's study, it is air pollution that results major reason of death and disease. Some professionals analyzed short-term exposure in air pollution on mortality. They found the daily mortality has a connection with the level of air pollution. There are about 4.2 million premature deaths. WHO's study shows 29% of those die from lung cancer, 17% of those die from acute lower respiratory infection, 24% of those die from stroke, 25% of those die from ischemic heart disease and 43% of those die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (Data from WHO) There are some pollutants in the atmosphere, such as particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, heavy metal, and ozone, that can damage human's health. There are a variety of pollutants in the earth. This pollution is not only damaging our environment but also harming people's heath. Air pollution affects human respiratory system, and cardiovascular system.

Respiratory System

The quality of the air affects human health of respiratory system. The air includes not only oxygen but also many pollutants. The respiratory system is highly irritated by these pollutants. Plenty of studies show that air pollution can harm a human respiratory system. Lungs play an important role in the respiratory system. They are used to absorbing air and promoted air delivery. According to World Health Organization(WHO) statistics, when people are exposed to air pollution, it increases twice as much risk of pneumonia and other acute lower respiratory tract infections.

On Adult's Respiratory System

In 1991, the Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung Diseases in Adults (SAPALDIA) indicated long-term exposure in air pollution has strong connection with adult's respiratory symptoms. This study focused on 18 to 60-year-old adults at eight study sites in Switzerland. This study considered testers for never, former, and current smokers. Tester's age, body mass index, gender, parental asthma, parental atopy, low education, and foreign citizenship were controlled by the researchers. In 2002, they did further study. This study wanted to know the effect on human respiratory system when people exposed in traffic pollution. The researchers controlled testers for socioeconomic and exposure and health-related factor. They also controlled testers living in different distance of the main streets in traffic pollution. This study wanted to know the effect on human respiratory system when people lived in air pollution area. Traffic pollution is the reason of air pollution. Because of the development of traffic, the air pollution is becoming worse and worse. This study indicated it increased the rate of respiratory health effects because of nearing the main streets in traffic pollution. (SAPALDIA Team, 2006) In 2008, there was a research surveying 9488 Rome residents. This research analyzed 25 to 59-year-old Rome residents who lived near air pollution area. The researchers found the residents were easy to suffer respiratory disease because they lived more approaching high air pollution area. This research pointed out that the respiratory disease especially rhinitis has high connection with air pollution. (Cesaroni, Badaloni, Porta, Forastiere, and Perucci, 2008) Hence, we know even though people do not smoke, they still infect respiratory disease because of air pollution.

On Children's Respiratory System

Not only adults but also children are affected by air pollution. We can know more and more children infect respiratory disease. Air pollution in children is more serious than in adult. Because children's respiratory systems do not completely develop, when children inhale the same amount of pollutants as adults, they suffer more serious effect. An increase respiratory neonatal mortality because of the high level of air pollution. Pollutants has been proved to enlarge allergen, enlarge the risk of worsening asthma and reduce lung function. Pollutants also affect the growth of children's respiratory system. Furthermore, pollutants enter embryo body though the mother. (2007, Salvi) According to this book called 'EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION ON CHILDREN'S HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT', particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone in air pollution affect children's respiratory systems. In this book, the author provided much research to prove these pollutants affect children's respiratory systems. Some research showed particulate matter causes more serious effects on asthmatics. A part of this research furthermore showed it causes significant disadvantage effects on lung function. Some research showed long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide affects prevalence, incidence of asthma, allergic rhinitis or atopic eczema. Therefore, we can conclude that asthma diagnoses and symptoms have high connections with asthmatics. Nitrogen dioxide in respiratory causes bronchitis and cough. This research showed nitrogen dioxide reduce the function of lung. Although there is no obvious research for negative influence of long-term exposure to ozone on the prevalence and incidence of asthma, some research shows ozone affect the function of lung. One large study showed asthma children living in high ozone concentrations area increase the rate of incidence. Therefore, we can conclude air pollution results effects on children's respiratory systems. It also affects embryo though the maternal inheritance.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the number one cancer of death. Although smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer, numerous studies prove outdoor air we absorb such as, emission from the vehicle and industrial sources, can cause lung cancer. Every year, there are above 200,000 people death because of lung cancer in air pollution. Large size of particle pollutants affect human's health, but puny size of particle pollutants is more harmful. Larger one can be defensed by our natural defenses such as tears, sneeze, and cough. However, puny one cannot be defensed by these natural defenses. These harmful particle pollutants will enter our body and damage our health. WHO said particulate matter in the air causes lung cancer in 2013. There was an 8-year-old girl who was diagnosed with lung cancer in the same year. She was the youngest person with lung cancer. Her doctor claimed she suffered from lung cancer because of air pollution. In the same year, International Agency for Research on Cancer identified air pollution is the reason of the lung cancer. This agency found tiny dust-like particles called particulate matter, or PM, are the key of air pollution. The tiniest particulate matter is less than 2.5 millionths of a meter across, called PM2.5. It causes the lung cancer. It increases the risk of suffering lung cancer when people expose in high level of PM2.5. (American Lung Association, 2016) Some research in the United States, Europe, and Asia shows air pollution has high connection with air pollution. One American research in 2009 is about 5% male and 3% female with cancer who have connection with air pollution between 1970 and 1994. Another research about the urban air pollution in Europe shows the risk of suffering lung cancer is probably higher. It is up to 10.7% people with lung cancer who expose in air pollution. (GRANT, 2009) 

Why Air Pollution is Bad For Your Health

Air pollution is when toxic substances such as particulates and natural particles are presented in the world's atmosphere, the phenomenon of pollution is activated, and these toxic substances are called air pollutants. 

These pollutants may exist in the form of concrete wastes, liquid droplets or gas. Together, any component that gets introduced into the air which may have harmful effects on the people and the environment is a direct component to the cases of pollution. Waste burning is undoubtedly aggravating the existing scenario of pollution. More than 40 percent of the world's waste is burnt at such fires, emitting gas and molecules that will considerably impact human well-being and climate change, as calculated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The main cause of this problem is the use of hazardous chemicals in industrial processes. The most common type of toxic chemicals are, led, cadmium, and arsenic which are found in many industrial products. They have been linked to cancer, heart disease and stroke. These chemicals are most used to make steel, glass and other materials. What are the health risks associated with both indoor and outdoor air pollution and what can be done about it?

Pollution is defined as the addition of several dangerous chemicals, particulate matter, harmful substances and natural organisms into the world’s Air. There are several factors causing pollution. According to the survey conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, it has been discovered that business contamination accounts for about 50% of the pollution in the United States. There are many important ecological implications and health hazards associated with industrial pollution. Indoor pollution and bad urban air quality are named as two of the world's worst harmful contamination issues at the 2008 Blacksmith Institute world's worst Polluted space study. ( According to the 2014 World Health organization study, pollution in 2012 had the deaths of near 7 million people worldwide (WHO.) The assessment roughly echoed by one from the International life office. (New York moment.)

Human actions pollute environmental media (gas, water or earth). All human business, rural, activity, and national activities are capable of presenting “contaminants” to the environment, thereby negatively affecting the atmospheric gas, food and land. That impacted media may subsequently represent risks (material or physical) to humans, wildlife and plants. Physical gas and water pollution are caused by physical events, either temporary or constant. The contamination taken by these natural causes is minimal as compared to human generated reasons. “volcanic gases like sulfur dioxide can cause global cooling, while volcanic carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, has the potential to promote global warming. isolated regions may take the seepage of some harmful gas like Radon or CO2 etc. resulting to pollution” (USGS.) These gases can be dangerous for human health and for animals. They cause a lot of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and many others which are harmful to human beings. It is important to note that there are no known ways of preventing this problem, but we can try our best to reduce the amount of pollution in our environment.

Pollution in China and other nations of Asia is a serious environmental issue. Smog, induced by communication and particularly burning coal, causes pulmonary and eye diseases. But recent research shows that it might still be able to initiate geological catastrophes. (Bressan, David.) in addition, pollution in the atmosphere has been linked with the development of asthma. According to the world health organizations, the number of deaths caused by air pollution is estimated to be between 10 million and 20 percent of all deaths worldwide. The main cause for air pollution is human activities such as burning of fossil fuels, which are responsible for the depletion of ozone layer. In fact, the amount of carbon dioxide released into earth's atmosphere is increasing every year. This increase in carbon dioxide cannot be stopped because it is a greenhouse gas that traps heat from the sun. As a result, global warming is causing more damage to the environment than any other factor. This is because humans have become so dependent on these gases.

The World Health organization estimated at 2014 that each year pollution causes the untimely killing of some 7 million people worldwide. (WHO.) India has the highest dying rate because of pollution. India likewise gets more deaths from asthma than any other country according to the World Health organization. In December 2013 pollution was calculated to destroy 500,000 people in Taiwan every year. There is the constructive correlation between pneumonia-related deaths and pollution from motor transport emissions. It is also possible that pollution can be caused by human activities such as burning fossil fuels or using natural resources. However, the most important factor for reducing pollution is to reduce its use and consumption. Pollution is a problem that affects all aspects of life.

Some people, when they think of pollution, they will most likely think of smog and automobile emissions. That is what is called outside pollution, but it is more harmful when it turns into indoor pollution. Indoor pollution occurs when certain air pollutants from molecules and gas pollute the atmosphere of indoor areas. These air pollutants may cause respiratory diseases. Removing these air pollutants will improve the quality of the interior air. “Exposure to pollution is associated with the increasing population of cities, but people who live in rural areas are also at risk. Burning solid fuels indoors makes the air inside a home dangerous to breathe. Globally, one in three people face unsafe air both indoors and outside. Air pollution is now the fourth leading cause of death worldwide, weighing in just below smoking, and the top environmental health risk. Pollution contributed to an estimated 6 million deaths in 2017.” (Detrick, H). Indoor air pollution is pollution of the atmosphere in the interior environment. Indoor pollution is often the result of chemical, natural, or even physical pollution of indoor air, and is frequently distributed throughout the house by filthy or old ductwork. Indoor pollution is the air level concern for both technical and residential buildings. When indoor air becomes contaminated with contaminants of any kind, it will bring severe health implications for any inhabitants or people who regularly find this place. It can also cause serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and other respiratory illnesses and death. Indoor air pollution is a major problem in our homes and offices because it causes many health risks to our bodies and minds. Indoor air pollution is caused by: Dust mites, mold spores, and other harmful chemicals that are found in the air.

According to Talha Burka indoor air pollution is a big issue and can cause many health issues especially in young children whose respiratory systems are not as strong as adults. Burka says, “According to WHO, 2 million people die as a result of the smoke generated by open fires or crude stoves within their homes every year. In those places where the use of solid fuels prevails, however, these conditions rarely apply, and the consequences can be severe. [...] research into the subject began recently and is far from comprehensive.” She writes that indoor fires can cause severe respiratory issues when stoves are not properly cleaned. Burka then writes, “More than 900 000 people die from pneumonia caused by indoor air pollution every year. 500 million households worldwide-roughly 3 billion people-rely on solid fuels, such as wood, animal dung, or coal, for cooking and heating. These fuels are usually burned in a rudimentary stove, or in a traditional open fire. It need not be a problem, at least in terms of health. But only assuming the fuel is completely combusted-wood must be dry, and the stove must work efficiently-and there is plenty of ventilation, a spacious chimney, or a sizeable window. In those places where the use of solid fuels prevails, however, these conditions rarely apply, and the consequences can be severe.”


Air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, is harmful to human, animal and plant life and should be taken seriously. I interviewed My mother, Donna Jones, for my research because she has tried to learn as much about it to try and keep it from happening in her home. She had a friend whose daughter now has severe respiratory issues because she lived in a house with poor ventilation. My mother said, “indoor air pollution is scary because you don’t know if there is something wrong with the air you are breathing and it could kill you before you realize something is wrong.” while there isn’t anything we can really do about the natural causes of air pollution we can do something about the manmade pollution and indoor pollution.      

This Earth is on fire

This Earth is on fire

The world is progressively warming at an exponential rate in which soon it could completely catch on fire. Well maybe not that far, but the consequences sure are scary. Global warming-or climate change- is a severe problem in the modern world that was caused by humans and is leading to the death and even extinction of many species eventually including humans too. Some people may deny that global warming is a problem or even real, but science has proven its existence and many people have seen its aftermath themselves. There are quite a few factors that led to this warming of the Earth, and almost all are caused by humans.

Global warming is a real problem that the world has been dealing with and is continuing to get worse as time progresses, and the main cause of it is the human race. There is a shielding layer in the atmosphere protecting the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation-or UV radiation- called the ozone layer. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) themselves have said that UV radiation can cause cancer and damages crops and marine life. So logically humans would want to protect this layer to try and stop the damage it can do to all life on Earth, but instead, humans are tearing away at it. Research done by the EPA has proved that the ozone layer is being depleted beyond natural cause due to the use of many industrial products such as aerosols. But there is another factor that is somehow more damaging than the deprivation of the ozone layer, and of course, is also caused by humans. That is the drastic increase in greenhouse

gases in the environment. As state by the EPA, greenhouse gases are gases that heat up the atmosphere by absorbing the energy from the sun, and these gases include: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. And mankind is mass producing all of these gases. Most production of electricity for the world produces dangerous numbers of these gases as a result, transportation, and even agriculture are giving the same effect. And the reason why climate change was never really a problem in the past is that most of these contributors to the making greenhouse gases are very new and a result of industrialization but come with this great problem. As the United States very Environmental Protection Agency said, these gases are “thickening the Earth's blanket.” Global warming is a very real and serious problem that is only getting worse and worse. Humans are the root of this problem and must make an effort to end the dangerous warming of the globe.

Global warming has done terrible damage to the Earth and its inhabitants, and it plans on doing much worse. Endless species of animals have been knocked down by global warming forced to change their homes and behaviors. However, some were incapable of this and thus have gone extinct. According to environmental scientist Christine Dell’Amore, two amphibian species have already completely died off and gone extinct with climate change holding responsibility. Along with these two extinct species countless other species are in terrible danger and are losing their homes as a result of global warming, and mankind seriously needs to end this. Not only is global warming directly damaging these animals, but there as also side effects that can also lead to problems. Rebecca Selden, a marine ecologist, said that climate change is causing marine life to migrate and different preys and predators are encountering each other for the first time and as Selden said, this can cause “some big ecosystem effects” which are not necessarily good. Global warming is bringing a dark future that can and will include complete extinction for all animals on Earth, and this does, of course, include humans. In Mark Lynas’ book “Six Degrees” he walks the reader through what the world would be like as it heats up one degree at a time, but as said in the title it only goes up to six degrees. This is because Lynas believes there is no point to continue after six degrees because after the global average temperature rises six degrees there will be no life left on Earth to known what it will be like. From the destruction of coral reefs to all life on Earth being wiped off like a rag cleaning spilled water. Global warming quite possibly will lead to the end of the world, unless it is stopped.

Lots of damage has already been done to the world and there is still a lot more to come, but how can it be stopped or at least halted? Society probably is not ready for massive changes all at once which although that is what the Earth needs, it is a bit unlikely. The best place to start would be by decreasing the production of harmful aerosols and to stop relying on foam insulation. But even NASA agrees that what will really help out is by cutting down as hard as possible on the production of greenhouse gases. This would for one mean finding a viable energy solution to replace burning fossil fuels. Solar energy, geothermal, and even wind turbines all have the potential to be solutions to this problem. Along with that agriculture and transportation need to be changed to produce less greenhouse gases. Pollution is another big contributor that needs to stop, plastic is being produced and then simply thrown out at unbelievable levels and this is only causing more and more problems that could and should be ended. Along with all that deforestation needs to also end, not only is it taking away the homes of animals but also destroying the Earth’s natural way of converting the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the oxygen we breathe, something mankind cannot achieve but desperately needs to be done. With the Earth warming at frightening rates, endless consequences are to come, but they can and really need to be stopped.

Mankind is heating up the Earth to the point that the damage done is already irreversible with only more and worse damage to come. Global warming is real and it is a crisis that has killed off entire animal species and crippled countless others and is now coming after humans. But there actually is still hope, society does not need to adapt it needs to change their very environment and fight back against the deprivation of the ozone layer and fight back against the greenhouse gases so life can do what it was meant to do and live on.

Works Cited

“Basic Ozone Layer Science.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 24 Sept. 2018,

Dell'Amore, Christine. “7 Species Hit Hard by Climate Change-Including One That's Already Extinct.” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 5 July 2016,

“Global Climate Change: Effects.” NASA, NASA, 28 Nov. 2018,

Lynas, Mark. Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. National Geographic, 2008.

“Overview of Greenhouse Gases.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 31 Oct. 2018,

WILKINSON, ALLIE. “As Oceans Warm, Predators Go North.” Science News, vol. 193, no. 9,

May 2018, p. 9. EBSCOhost,

Government Programs to Reduce Carbon Emission to Prevent Global Warming

The Greenhouse Effect is described as the heat trapping mechanism that radiates from gasses across the Earth’s atmosphere. Without the Earth’s surface being heated up by this phenomena, it would be a cold place to live (National Research Council, 2010). While it is essential, the concern is that anthropogenic causes lead to unprecedented amount of heat is being trapped in our atmosphere, the scientific evidence of changing the global climate at unprecedented amounts is no longer up for debate. In terms of the importance of this topic to conservation biology: if humans don’t make appreciable effort to reduce impacts, now, the current options will be more difficult to implement later. Governments can control human activities at a larger scale than they can environmental flows, and as such the proper governing solutions toward human activity should be implemented to see through the successful impact on the environment (Reyes & Gilbertson, 2010).

This being an issue for human and ecological sustainability is no longer up for debate, as consequences of rising sea levels, cost of losing essential ecosystem services become apparent, actions to reduce and alter behavior are necessary now more than ever (Stavins, 2008). It is not compelling that dominant source of emissions and contributor to the Greenhouse Effect is carbon. The U.S alone contributed over 1.46 million metric tons of carbon in the atmosphere second only to China, the majority of it due to burning fossil fuels (Quéré, Peters, Andres, Andrew, Boden & Ciais 2013). The controversial nature remains in the effectiveness of the programs implemented to reduce emissions.

The Kyoto Protocol is the most notable international effort to reduce emissions, but it fell short on garnering support from major polluting countries but these countries are making moves in the right direction on their own (Kollmuss, Schneider, Zhezherin, 2015). The diversity of ways in which energy is supplied and used such as transportation provides ample opportunities to reduce energy-related emissions.

Two examples are Carbon credits, or setting a limit and offsetting emission impacts through other reduction activities is one way to reduce emissions. This method recognizes the inevitability of pollution and provides incentive to act in order to reduce impacts (Wara, 2007). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an institution of scientists that recognizes these players in determining how to pursue carbon and other pollutions emissions providing a balanced view respecting environmental and economic needs. The other method is carbon sequestration to achieve the removal of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere by injecting them beneath the earth or by planting forests for long term storage (IPCC, 2014). For all methods, achieving reductions faces because it involves considerations of human behavior and preferences; economics; multiple time frames for decision making and results (National Research Council, 2010) , the myriad stakeholders seek make it difficult to project future sustainability.

Ultimately engaging in carbon reduction practices will increase the price of nonrenewable energy, reducing consumption and jobs for lower wage earners in those industries (Bauer, 2013). This is an important sector of the economy especially in the U.S, China, India in the E.U, and other industrialized nations. As a result, politicians are understandably hesitant to actively pass legislation to protect constituents and interests groups and seek to provide sufficient time for the industries to adapt to policies (Shaffer, 2010). The E.U is the exception to the rule because they are continuously aiming toward a local European objective of lower emissions and they enjoy the health related benefits indirectly provided, not a global one. E.U’s policy and other nations’ lack thereof highlights how government activity plays the largest role on curbing emissions. Since the air we breathe isn’t limited to a geopolitical area, governments are responding to reflect their concern for the health of their people, first (IPCC, 2014).

By creating an artificial market where some permits are freely given and others are sold, proponents claim that this solution is the most efficient for businesses and will guarantee the most measureable results (Kollmuss, Schneider, Zhezherin, 2015). This bodes well for large fossil fuel and natural gas producers who can both reduce emissions and earn revenue in the form of credits for future use. Consequently, the question in management method comes to play. In Russia and Uzbekistan, carbon emissions rose 2.3% as well as increase in harmful pollutants that weren’t included in their plan. This is perceived as a flaw of the plan, sustainability requires an overall approach, and offsetting a large quantity one harm for the opportunity to increase the use of another do not neutralize each other. Environmentalists that disagree with cap and trade leave a wide margin for corruption, an example being the Russian and Uzbekistan initiative which actually lead to more pollution being produced.

In the U.S, the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act has been charged with developing pollution regulations to protect human health and then the environment. The argument has been made by Energy lobbyists that reducing carbon and its byproducts emissions have resulted in job loss, and has not helped clean the air (Wara, 2007) has little merit, considering that better health and innovation achieved by increasing standards for efficiency and controlling for carbon and other pollutions after regulations implemented since the 70s resulted in a net benefit to the growth of the economy overall (Stavins, 2008).

Developing countries, business people, free market economists and politicians who are hesitant to apply emissions control are primarily concerned with the method, the cost, and the effectiveness of controlling emissions. Countries that do not have infrastructure to track, reduce, and continually monitor must import the methods or rely on international support to do so (Reyes & Gilbertson, 2010). To counter the argument that these economies cannot be competitive is to ask them to reconsider what valuable resources they can capitalize to maintain the integrity of their air quality with renewable energy.

What can be done, in the U.S, is follow local examples while the federal and international actors catch up. Theirs is a combination of cap and trade incentives that has resulted in a net reduction of carbon emissions and revenue to fund further research and development of renewable energy and emissions reduction. Schaffer looks at the effect of long-term implantation of a carbon emission reduction program, the analysis reveals that such taxes would generate revenues equaling $21 trillion to $32 trillion by the end of the century (Schaffer, 2010). That translates to a net economic benefit of around $20 trillion, in addition to potentially staving off the worse impacts of climate change and providing citizens with cleaner air and water. The profits from carbon taxes are being used for green-energy projects and climate adaptation efforts.

What I think needs to be done and a lot of people agree up is something more powerful than government setting limits on industries and pollutants. No doubt, if regulatory bodies did not set standards for pollution, they would not be lowered as they were. The larger the scope of the governing body, the more difficult it is to manage as corruption and communication of objectives become blurred. In the U.S, the current subsidies for oil and natural gas are too significant to diminish the value perceived by the public in reducing carbon heavy utilities (Lazo, 2014).

Literature Cited

Bauer, N., Mouratiadou, I., Luderer, G., Baumstark, L., Brecha, R. J., Edenhofer, O., Kriegler, E. (2013): Global fossil energy markets and climate change mitigation – an analysis with REMIND. Climatic Change, Retrieved from

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Groups. (2014). Climate change 2014: synthesis report. Summary for policymakers. InClimate change 2014: synthesis report. Summary for policymakers. IPCC.

Kollmuss, A., Schneider, L., & Zhezherin, V. (2015). Has Joint Implementation reduced GHG emissions? Lessons learned for the design of carbon market mechanisms.

Lazo, Alejandro (2014, September, 28th) “How Cap-and-Trade is working in California” Retrieved from

Le Quéré, C., Peters, G. P., Andres, R. J., Andrew, R. M., Boden, T., Ciais, P., ... & Yue, C. (2013). Global carbon budget 2013. Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss, 6(2), 689-760.

National Research Council (US). Committee on America's Climate Choices. (2010). Advancing the Science of Climate Change: America's Climate Choices. National Academies Press.

Reyes, O., & Gilbertson, T. (2010). Carbon trading: How it works and why it fails. Soundings, (45), 89-100. Retrieved from

Shaffer, G. (2010). Long-term effectiveness and consequences of carbon dioxide sequestration. Nature Geoscience, 3(7), 464-467.

Stavins, R. N. (2008). A meaningful US cap-and-trade system to address climate change.

Wara, M. (2007). Is the global carbon market working? Nature, 445(7128), 595+. Retrieved from

How Aesthetic but Non-Eco Friendly Choices Influence Global Warming

Aesthetic Choices and Global Warming

Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? It is a theory purposed by a mathematician called Edward Lorenz, who claimed that a hurricane can develop from the slightest motion in air, even caused by a butterfly flapping its wings. The first time I heard about it was in a science fiction movie, thus I didnt take it too seriously because of its unrealistic content. However, gradually over time, I have come to realize that this theory is also a powerful metaphor that even the slightest action you take may change the world in an unexpected way. Have you ever imagined that perhaps a decision you make today could greatly affect our society in the near future? Have you ever thought about it a second time before buying new notebooks with silky-smooth, white paper, or the consequences of owning a beautiful set of furnitures created by rare wood? Did it ever occur to you that the red cups at college parties are unnaturally vivid and red? While there are extreme cases where people completely dismiss the idea of man-made global warming, the majority of the people are simply unaware of the daily aesthetic choices which are harmful to the environment. The main cause of global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, are largely caused by humans with wasteful mass production and pollution. Therefore by reviewing the everyday aesthetics of non-eco-friendly consumer choices, this serious threat we face can be slowly but surely brought to downtempo.

Our atmosphere is made up of gases, such as nitrogen, oxygen, and CO2; some of these gases absorb heat and thus reducing the amount that escapes to space. This is what is called the greenhouse effect, the main cause of global warming. This issue has not come up much in the recent years because climate scientists have been debating the hiatusin global warming. Many explanations for why global temperatures had not risen significantly in the last decade were given, but the debate was cut short in June 2014; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a study claiming the hiatusnever existed (Stefan). In fact, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced that The year 2014 is on track to be the warmest, or one of the warmest years on record(Stefan). Even in recent years, some scientists continue to debate the extent to which humans are causing global warming, but the majority of climate scientists agree that humans are the main force behind the sharp global warming uprise of the past century. Indeed, as Yuriko Saito debates in Everyday Aesthetics, everyday aesthetic tastes and attitudes [of humans] often do lead to consequences which go beyond simply being preoccupied with and fussing with the surface, and that they affect not only our daily life but also the state of the society and the world.Consumers tend to purchase products that are most attractive in their purchasing powers, but what looks enchanting on the outside is not necessarily the best product for our planet, considering the harmful consequences in the process of its production and usage.

Our society today is highly style-conscious,most of the time with aesthetic considerationsdriving our purchasing decisions (Saito). This style varies from the designs of the products to the way in which goods are marketed, including its advertisement and the environment where the product is placed in. Unfortunately the favorable style the majority of the consumers find most attractive is not the most environmentally friendly aesthetic choices. For example, one cause for tropical deforestation is the consumersappetite for rare wood, such as mahogany and rosewood, for furniture.Rain forests, just like any other green plants exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen during photosynthesis, which would help slow down the greenhouse gas emission. However when trees are cut down, carbon restored in their body is released as carbon dioxide, thus contributing dually to global warming. More examples of aesthetic choices worsening global warming include consumers preferring perfectly smooth paper with a glossy finish of virgin woodand products with vibrant, vivid colors produced by chemically based inks and dyes(Saito). Even in the production of so-called “‘naturalfibers, such as cotton and wool,the process often includes extensive finishing processes that utilize large amounts of energy, water, and a number of toxic chemicalssince the products would not sell without the particular appearance and feel of the fabricthe consumers demand (Saito).

Some people may feel temporary satisfaction to be environmental-friendly by using recycled/reused products which they find innovative and interesting. However, it is an undeniable fact that these products are not the mainstream. Even those who claim to always use green products will be unconsciously contributing to greenhouse gas emission, and as for the rest of the majority, they will not have any contacts with goods claiming to use green materials. In fact, advertising for green products often downplays their ecological value, for fear that emphasizing it may give an impression of their aesthetic inferiority(Saito). The current issue therefore is the ingrained image of eco-friendly products being unattractive. Thus, one may simply say that we could try to increase our knowledge on the relations of ecological implications through our actions; there are more sides of appeal to a product than its appearance. But that itself isnt enough.

Consider the example of an extremely green lawn, which typically uses pesticides and fertilizers which contains toxic chemicals and requires a ridiculous amount of water and fuel for maintenance. On the surface it is extremely beautiful and pleasing, but after realizing the background of its superficial beauty, it is irresponsible of us not to incorporate this knowledge into our experience of it(Saito). However, this does not mean eco-friendly products should appear unattractive, but instead, green aesthetic sensibility should guide us to modify our initial attraction with a sense of disillusionment created by the discrepancy between the seemingly beautiful appearance and its harmful content(Saito). This should lead the viewers to feel guilty for finding the green lawn beautiful earlier on, or at the least, it should no longer appear innocently aesthetically pleasing. As inhabitants of this planet, consumers should have the responsibility to educate themselves about the aftermath of human production and activities and with that knowledge, find a way to relate the knowledge gathered to the sensuous appearance of the object(Saito). However, this burden should not be exclusively placed on the consumers, but also the manufacturers.

Aldo Leopold, one of the foremost environmentalists claimed that humans can be ethical only in relation to something we can see, feel, understand and love(Schmandt). It is unlikely for students to choose recycled pencil cases over trendy pouches that makes them seem cooler, just like most people would prefer to purchase new clothing over used clothing. Thus, in green architecture, an energy efficient apartment using solar energy should not have solar panels effortlessly pasted on the roof. With the solar paneled housing system being expensive, consumers capable and willing to afford such a system have the purchasing power of living in a more attractive designer housing. In such a situation, why would these consumers want to live in an unattractive house, even if it claims to be better for the planet? Overall, it is inevitable for humans to prioritize on their own needs over the greater issues of our environment. Thus, it is simply not enough for green architecture to be environmental-friendly, but to be visually appealing. Christopher Hawthorne, a green architect says, if a building is beloved, it will be maintained and preserved and there is nothing more environmentally friendly than longevity(Saito). Furthermore, adding on to the concept of important role of designers and producers in the consumption of green products, Victor Papanek, a designer and an educator, often reminded his own colleagues that design has become the most powerful tool with which man shapes his tools and environment (and, by extension, society and himself). This demands high social and moral responsibility from the designer (Papanek). Overall, producers and designers must prove to the consumers that eco-friendly products are not necessarily aesthetically inferior.

In the cases of architectural structures, this solution is simply a matter of time and effort until green architects design environmentally and aesthetically pleasing structures, but there are technical limitations to others. For example, Sally Fox, a Yolo County cotton breeder and owner of the business Natural Cotton Colors, managed to produce all shades of color produced with non-toxic dyes and chemicals. These colored cotton are even more appealing for the fact that it grows darker and not lighter with washing. Although Foxs business was a massive success, she in the end, was unable to produce black dyed cotton (Sacramento). In consideration of such restrictions, eco-friendly products should be marketed different from ordinary goods, but without ignoring the aesthetic standard the consumers demand. We cannot celebrate plain biodegradable dresses and unbleached Eco-Teesmade of stiff, cardboard panels of recycled cotton tinted with environmentally sensitive dyes; lip sticks made of beet juice and face powder of brown oat flour; non-toxic, formaldehyde-free woolen pajamas(Saito).

When simply said, designers and producers must not be in high spirits that environmentally-friendly products will sell just because it is a recent popular trend. Trends are not permanent; in order to reverse the mainstream aesthetic choices that worsen global warming into an ongoing eco-friendly action, the popular aesthetic taste must be maintained as it is, while having the eco-friendly design slowly fuse in to overtake the existing style and eventually become the new ordinary. Buildings and cars could be reconsidered of its designs to become more aesthetically and environmentally friendly, while designers could create a luxury brand line using eco-friendly materials. There could even possibly be a regulation among the producers to require a portion of their materials to include recycled materials to make the practice mainstream. Overall, by viewing consumer preference through an aesthetic lens, consumers can realize and educate themselves about their unconscious generation of pollution, while producers and designers can make sure that the majority of the choices of goods and services are considerate to the environment. Global warming unfortunately cannot be completely stopped, but with more people caring about what they produce and consume, the process will assuredly slow down to allow us to see the beauty of mother Earth for longer.

An Analysis of the Climate Change Topics in the United States Government

For decades, we have been consuming non-stop, believing that our actions have no consequences and that the resources in this Earth are infinite, but they are not. We use so much energy and release so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that greenhouse gases have been making the climate change drastically. For some, this has no effect and might be seen as a positive impact, but for those that live under the poverty line it has tremendous negative impacts. Climate change is a moral issue that has many effects, impacts some people more than others, involves many factors, and has viable solutions. In order to put an end to it, people must understand that this is a matter of doing what is right, since it is people’s values that lead to this dramatic change.

Climate change affects people, plants, animals, crops, and even the economy. Extreme hot climate, leads to more evaporation and more precipitation, which alters the quantity of water sources in Earth. This causes droughts and flooding that force people to relocate, species to migrate, and crops to die. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, extreme climate can also lead to hurricanes or storms, which can kill or injure humans, as well as animals and ecosystems (IPCC). This process continues as the temperature continues to rise, along with the sea level and ice sheets melting. Helping people adjust to these climates costs money, and losing crops too, which impact the economy negatively. In fact, the number of failing states is growing due to the increase of oil shortages, food shortages, and climate change (Plan B).

Although we are globally affected by this drastic change in climate, those who are affected the most are the third world countries, poor, women and children. This makes sense because usually the ones most affected by hurricanes and natural chaos, which are caused by climate change, are the poor (most are blacks) that do not have a good infrastructure that can protect them from these disasters. In countries like Africa, when there are droughts it is very bad since people depend on getting water from rivers or streams to complete their daily needs and survive (Black Lives Matter). Another good example is during Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans the poor blacks were the ones who suffered the most and were left abandoned instead of receiving the aid they deserved (Black Lives Matter). This is unjust, since climate change affects the poor more than anyone else, and they had basically nothing to do with it (Climate Justice).

There are many factors involved in why there continues to be climate change, despite all its negative impacts. The main one is racism; the rich and policymakers do not care about the lives of others, instead they believe that their economic growth is worth the damage done to the poor and blacks. The rich are in pursuit of short-term economic gain and do not care about despoliation the environment either (Pope’s Vow). Along with racism, comes selfishness that is what causes most people to contribute to pollution. Market economics have taught us that the world is for us to make gain out of it and that it all has to be about economic growth. Consumerism has made us blind between what we want and what we need (Pope’s Vow). We believe that the Earth is here to take care of us, yet we don’t take care of it, and instead use it to dispose of all our waste. We buy the most expensive lights, fridges, heaters and A/C for our homes but don’t think of the effects that the energy we use has on the environment (Plan B).

Climate change may seem like the end of the world, but there are many viable solutions that can be implemented to save our Earth, one step at a time. It is necessary for us to “adapt, plan, and implement” (Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change). Some believe that a birth control program would help, but according to Pope Francis the key solution is for the rich to implement a 10% cut in emissions (Pope’s Vow). To do so, we must adapt and change from coal and gas to renewable energy (Plan B). Environmental activists claim that 80% of the fossil fuels left must remain underground to prevent more damage to occur (Climate Justice). Other solutions are economic and technological investments in poor countries to bring improved services, increase democracy, food and job security, and take more action to help the poor and stop neglecting the poor black communities.

We must all ask ourselves this question, is it fair and justified to destroy our planet for the profit of a few and economic growth? This makes the issue of climate change a moral issue, just like any other civil rights movement. The destruction caused by climate change affects many species, including our own, yet we don’t care because we are selfish. As human beings we must be able to identify between right and wrong, and climate change is wrong. It is wrong that we allow the poor, who are innocent people that have nothing to do with the change in climate, to suffer from our actions. We must identify our wants and needs, and limit our wants for a greater good, to help stabilize our planet and conserve our resources.

This issue is well known to plenty of people, yet nothing is done because the government is the only one that can solve this since they have the ultimate decision. Their decision, unfortunately, is not do anything about it, because oil companies, which gain profit from using oil and other non-renewable resources, usually finance the political parties in power. Therefore, addressing climate change would negatively affect the relationship between the government and the oil companies. This goes back to the issue of why there are so many bad things happening throughout the world, the reason is because the power is in the hands of the wrong people, who care only about economic growth.

To conclude, climate change is a process that has been caused by humans, affects humans along with other species, and can be solved by humans if we come together to do what is right. As humans, we have our set of values that make us who we are, but unfortunately the lack of morality that the rich have has caused the poor blacks to suffer from the chaos caused by climate change. The government and the rich do not care about the poor; they just see them as people using space in this world. This is why we have not addressed the issue of climate change, but if we continue to follow this path of ignorance and destruction we will all suffer from this issue. In order to solve this issue we must cut the amount of carbon emissions, improve the infrastructure and facilities in poor countries, invest in and promote the use of renewable energy, and shift the perspective of people who are racist, so that they understand that the poor blacks who are suffering from our actions were created equally to us and deserve to live in peace. We all can and should act to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk. We all can sit down for a moment, and think about what we want and what we really need. If we would spend less, there would be less products produced and less raw materials being used, leading to the prevalence of resources and less pollution. We have been brainwashed that the good thing to do is “Go spend money” just like Bush said. But the truth is we can all live happily ever after with what we have, and feeling better about ourselves knowing that we are saving the lives and many, including our families and future generations (Climate change – what it means).

Works Cited

Brown, Lester. "Plan B 4.0." Earth Policy. N.p., 2009. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Damon, Matt. "Extreme Realities." PBS. N.p., 15 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

DiMento, Joseph. "Climate Change : What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our

Grandchildren." American and Comparative Environmental Policy. N.p., 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Field, Christopher B. "Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." (2012): 7-28.

WMO, UNEP, 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Hertzgaard, Mark. "‘Climate Justice’ Greens See Red on Climate Change."The Daily

Beast. N.p., 1 Oct. 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Klein, Naomi. "Why #BlackLivesMatter Should Transform the Climate Debate." The

Nation. N.p., 12 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Vallely, Paul. "The Pope's Ecological Vow." New York Times. N.p., 28 June 2015. Web.

15 Nov. 2015.

The Possibility of Human Extinction Due to Climate Change

Humans aren’t protected from the Sixth Mass Extinction

Ever since three and a half billion years ago, when the first single celled organisms were created through a series of chemical reactions, there has been evolution. Evolution is the basis for everything we see around us. All the different species on the earth, whether outside your window or sitting by a hydrothermal vent at the bottom of the ocean, have been the product of billions of years of evolution. Humans have made dramatic impacts on the world at a frightening pace that mimics events that have only happened a few times before in our world’s history. The rate at humans are changing global climate and ecosystems are far faster than any species can adapt to. This leaves evolution lagging behind as humans race to finish what they have started. This includes the sixth mass extinction to ever occur since our planet started out, and unfortunately, not even humans will be able live through it unscathed.

Evolution, simply put, is the genetic modifications of a species over time. The reason that all the life forms on earth are so vastly different is because of evolution. We are all descendants of single celled organisms that first formed billions of years ago. Evolutions can happen on a small scale, such as the change in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next, from larger scale evolution, different species all deriving from the same ancestor, known as macroevolution. All forms of life on earth have a common distant ancestor, from bees to elephants, whales to cauliflower. What causes all these different species to occur are speciation events. A speciation event is something that forces a previous species to evolve into another species or even split into two completely different species. Evolution occurs in three primary ways: artificial selection, natural selection, and random processes. Artificial selection is cause occurs when humans determine which individuals breed based on a set of traits that want to be shown in the offspring. Natural selection is influenced by the environment. Species are naturally varied in traits and the ones with the traits that allow for easier survival end up reproducing more and continuing life. This is how natural selection occurs. For example, the whale’s ancestors used to be land animals. Slowly whales began to move into water because that is where food was, but because it used to be a land animal its nose was still on the front of its face. Eventually an offspring with a nose higher up was born and reproduced. This strain of breed continued on for so long until the whale’s nose moved all the way onto its back to where we see it today. Because of more food in the water, the land animals moved into the ocean and one random mutation made it easier for survival so the rest of the species could adapt to the environmental conditions. Random processes can further be broken up into mutation, genetic drift, and founder effects. None of these processes are based on adaption and all have to do with the separation of populations that in effect change the phenotypes of the new population.

Climate change that occurs over a significant duration of time is very likely to cause speciation. For example the mid-Miocene climate optimum lasted for millions of years, approximately from 18 million to 14 million years ago. This period had very large speciation impacts on mammals. When the climate starts changing, species often tend to try and follow the climate that they are genetically adapted to. Sometimes populations get stuck and are unable to stay in a climate that they are suited for. In this case the animals would either adapt and evolve or go extinct. These changes in species occur regularly throughout history, and are easily identifiable by using fossils. The fossils show us large portions of time and how the earth has changed during those times, as well as the new species that have emerged due to the earth’s changes. 1

Climate change that has recently been caused by humans is moving at an alarmingly fast rate. The fossil records show that speciation is prone to happen over millions of years, giving the animals plenty of time and generations to fully adapt to their new climate. This new climate change that is human caused, is operating on hundred year scales. The amount of selective pressures that we have placed on animals is just too strong. There is no way for animals to adapt as fast as necessary, and thus will eventually go extinct.2

Climate change isn’t the only things humans have been tampering with that are causing species to possibly go extinct. The human effect on ecosystems and habitats are largely destroying animal’s previous way of life. For example, the United States-Mexican border causes disruptions in the large migratory path of many animals such as Jaguars. It is still possible for Jaguars to pass through the border but if plans to ramp up the border for better security and easier transport persist, then it may be the end of the migratory path of those Jaguars.3 Losing the presence of these Jaguars below or above the equator may not seem like such a big deal at first. So what there will be less Jaguars in Texas, not a big deal right? This couldn’t be more wrong. Large animals, named mega fauna, are being hit with the fastest rate of decline from human caused changes. The loss of these larger animals have a huge effect on how ecosystem dynamics run smoothly. Previous experiments in Kenya have isolated large areas of land from mega fauna, such as zebras, giraffes, and elephants, to see how the ecosystem would respond. Not surprisingly the absence of mega fauna allowed shrubbery to grow freely which allowed for rodent populations to explode. These areas were soon over run with rodents that could easily carry diseases.4 The loss of mega fauna resulted in a higher level and easier transmission of diseases. But it is not only mega fauna that are being effected by habitat loss. During the last 35 years human population has doubled. Over the same amount of time, the population of invertebrate animals, such as butterflies, beetles, worms, and spiders, has decreased by 45%. The effects of this could have a much larger impact on human life. 75% of pollination of the world’s food crops are done by insects, and besides that, insects play an integral role in the productivity of ecosystems.5 With the loss of so many, how can ecosystems continue to prosper and survive? And how soon until all of the environmental repercussions are too much for humans and we start to become part of the world’s sixth mass extinction.

Evolution has ways of protecting the world’s species by adaptation and genetic enhancement. However, evolution is unable to save species from the terror that is mankind. All ecosystems are connected and it cannot be expected that the loss of one part an ecosystem would not have detrimental impacts on all the other species around it. Humans have changed the world in ways that do not support the life of many pre-existing species, and thus is plunging the world into the sixth mass extinction. All of the species that have gone extinct or will go extinct due to human impacts will not just mean the end of that one species but will instead take countless others with them. A clock can’t tick if it missing a single cog, just as ecosystems rely on every aspect of the duties that species provide. Losing one will affect all, and humans can’t dare think that effects against them won’t be as critical as the effects on every other species in the world.


Works Cited

1 Barnosky AD. 2006. Climate Change and Speciation of Mammals. Action BioSience [Internet]. [cited 2014 Oct 25]. Available from:

2 Ibid

3 Whitty J. 2007. Gone: Mass Extinciton and the Hazards of the Earth's vanashing Biodiversity . Mother Jones [Internet]. [cited 2014 Oct 21]. Available from:

4 Carey B. 2014. Stanford biologist warns of early stages of Earth's 6th mass extinction event. Stanford News Service [Internet]. [cited 2014 Oct 26]. Available from:

5 Ibid

A Discussion on the Impact of Climate Change on the Environment

Climate change has impact the environment over years by bringing dryness, Greenhouse Gasses, and pollution do to the human activities that raise carbon-dioxide to the atmosphere .Over the past 30 years the environment has suffered a lot of disasters such as fires,dryness, hurricanes, tornadoes Earthquakes and other different disasters do to the changes in temperature. Some people care about the environment but there are also people that do not really care about what is going around them. People has asked themselves What is climate change? while Climate change means a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time. We do not really know how we can be helpful or what are we doing to make it worse. Climate change has affected the water, greenhouse gasses , the cause of pollution and also has brought controversies between people.

In the First place, Climate change has been debated to be part of the human activities. Will that be true or not? Well as Marcia Clemmitt stated in the article Climate Change in mentions that “the climate is changing, and the rate of change as projected exceeds anything seen in nature in the past 10,000 years”(75). This means that if the temperature keeps raising and lowering it could be the beginning of more disasters to the environment. Also Climate change is not only affected by the temperature but also by the greenhouse gas. As Hurrell said “ Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are now higher than at any time in the last 750,000 years”(75). This is just making the planet more sick and least likely to survive in the future. Climate change will never end up do to impact in the earth. Even if the government want to do something as Sen. James Inhofe said “ THe united states senate is standing on firmer ground than ever against mandatory reduction of carbon-dioxide, which could effectively throw our nation into an economic depression”(77).They are not doing anything because the want to help out but because that's their job. Also they do not want to take the risk of bringing the economy down but if you do not do anything later on you will need more money and more resources. The debate between to Senator on whether the U.S should join an international treaty on climate change. Sen.James Jeffords stated that “Global warming will result in more extreme weather, increased flooding and drought, disruption of agricultural and water system, threats to human health and loss of sensitive species and ecosystems. We must take action now to minimize these effects,for our children, our grandchildren, and future generations” (89). Unlike Sen.James Inhofe stated that “Much of the debate over global warming is predicated on fear rather than science……...there is no fear of massive future flooding as claimed in most global warming scenarios” (89). This debate just leads to more controversy and difference between each senators on whether they agree with Sen.Jeffords or Sen. Inhofe.

Additionally, water has become a crisis in the west do to the climate change. How has climate change affect the water and how is bringing controversies between people? Well as is stated in the article Water crisis in the West there are many countries that are in a drought situation. As John Wesley Powell stated “There is no sufficient water to supply the land”. Most of the people are against and some are in favor do to different circumstances. For example, people need water to plant and have crops, other people need water to feed their farm animals and finally other just need it to survive. Water is an element that we need in order to survive. Also, some of the people are fighting over water and making conflicts between each other as Powell stated in the article “you are pilling up a heritage of conflict and litigation over water”. He stated that many people are making ideas about the water issues but there is no support from the people do to the amount of water they want to used and do not want to share with the other people. Climate change has really affect not only the environment but the people because all living things can not leave without water.Although,there has been some pro/cons between Thomas Birmingham(pro) and Michael L. Connor(con) do to the question Do federal water-management policies aimed at protecting fish species in the California Delta hurt farmers? Thomas Birmingham(pro) stated that “We are living under a federal regulatory regime that has made droughts more frequent and their impacts more severe. And those same regulations are reducing many of the natural benefits we used to derive from periods of high precipitation.” He is just trying to make people see the consequences but he is also looking at what the federal thinks about the protection of fish species and how it will hurt farmers. Instead, Michael (con) stated that “.....water exports through the Delta have been modified to protect at-risk fish species and the overall aquatic ecosystem, which affects water deliveries to urban and agricultural water users? He is making more and more people angry at the situation because they want to survive and also protect the different species of fishes. Many people are against what Randy McMillan stated “ If your water resource is declining, with more and senior water-right holders injured, eventually you're going to be like other aquifers — [in] a race to the bottom,” This issue will just bring people against each other and will end up losing and tier. Climate change has affected the water for bad, its just bringing up trouble and people are beginning to fight.

Furthermore, how the people impact the climate change and how it affect us.There are different forms on how the people affect the world.The climate scientist Dana Nuccitelli stated in the article that “We cause global warming by increasing the greenhouse effect, and our greenhouse gas emissions just keep accelerating,” The people need to be carefull with each thing they used in order to keep greenhouse gasses lowering in order to stop the increasing of climate change. Also, the climate change is affecting everyone in the oceans, glaciers, etc.. as it was stated in the article by Jennifer weeks that “ Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts…… Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting.” scientist already started looking at the changes that the temperature is causing to the environment. Also they started to see that the higher the climate change the dangerous it becomes for everyone. One thing that many people has ask is should the united states adopt a carbon tax? William G.Gale(pro) stated that “A carbon tax could also reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy and create better market incentives for energy conservation, the use of renewable energy sources and the production of energy-efficient goods….” Unlike Kenneth P.Green(con) stated that “Taxing carbon gets you virtually no climate or health benefit unless it exists within some binding, international carbon control regime, which is unlikely.” they have two different point of view but they want the best to lower the climate change. In addition, the general Ban Ki-moon said that the“Climate change is a “clear and present danger … to our development plans and objectives and the health of economies large and small in all regions”. It's not only affecting the big cities but also the small towns.

Under those circumstance, climate change is increasing more and more over the years and it will affect us every second . As it was stated in the article by Boehlert “ Climate change will have potentially significant effects on freshwater quality due to increases in river and lakes temperatures,changes in the magnitude and seasonality of rivers runoff and more frequent and severe extreme events”(1326). This is leading to the end of freshwater and how it will affect the U.S. without having freshwater. Also In the article Boehlert mentions that “these physical impacts on water will also have potentially substantial economics impact s,since water quality is valued for a number of recreational and commercial activities including river and lake visits, boating,swimming, and fishing, among other” (1326). It says that due to the visits and the use of water they need to be able to make some arranges and try to contain a more sustainable freshwater. The world in which they live will not have enough freshwater for everyone. It will bring us to a dangerous situation in which everyone will fight just to get water, they need to be able to stop climate change and lowering it because if they do not do it, then it will dry up everything.

As shown above, Climate change is increasing faster and no one is able to stop it if they do not count on everyone. If the people do not stop causing greenhouse gasses going into the atmosphere. Everything will be changed. they will loose freshwater,homes if there are fires and roughness, also they are not going to be able to gain nothing if they do not stop the climate change. As Bloomberg said “Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be — given this week's devastation — should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

MLA Cite Pages

1) Katel, Peter. "Water Crisis in the West." CQ Researcher 9 Dec. 2011: 1025-48. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.

2) Clemmitt, Marcia. "Climate Change." CQ Researcher 27 Jan. 2006: 73-96. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.

3) Boehlert, Brent, et al. "Climate Change Impacts And Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Effects On U.S. Water Quality." Journal Of Advances In Modeling Earth Systems 7.3 (2015): 1326-1338. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.

4) Weeks, Jennifer. "Climate Change." CQ Researcher 14 June 2013: 521-44. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.















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