Monday, June 22, 2009

Human Impact on the Environment

How much impact have humans brought upon our own planet? Animal species have once gone into a very slow extinction where balancing mechanisms can develop to compensate the loss. Animals have lived in a complicated weave of relationships, so complex and magnificent that we humans have only scraped the surface of understanding.

Yet, with our rise, animals have fallen. We’ve created huge agricultural problems with our own invention. With pesticides and insecticides we’ve tipped the balance of ecosystems and cause massive imbalances in our own world. Never have we faced such a crisis; in the last 65 million years we have never had such a rapid rate of extinction as we’ve had in the 20th century.

Who’s next, and what do we do to prevent it? Human beings are not excluded from the food chain. Honey bees, for example, pollinate hundreds of plant species and what are weeds to us may be food to someone else. We should not exterminate living things so rashly without understanding the consequences.

I believe that knowledge was the most simplest answer. We should educate, educate, educate. When I remember how I learned about extinction, I remember my grade school teacher simply saying, “Don’t do like the dodo.”

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