What is Environment?
Environment is derived from the French word “environ” which means surrounding neighborhood. The word environment was concluded to describe everything that surrounds the organisms including humans and other life forms. So everything you see around yourself, the trees, animals, other people, buildings, sky, automobiles etc. are part of your environment. It’s nature, the world around us, the world that existed before the first human invention was even a dream. Every component in an environment is dependent on the other for its existence so is equally important. Ecology is a term used to study the interactions between an organism and its environment.
There are three core study fields of environmental science which are:
- How our natural world was created and how does it work?
- How we have affected our environment and what are its consequences?
- What we are going to do to ensure sustainable future for our next generations and other species which are part of our environment?
How Earth/Universe was formed?
Instead of briefing you about how our universe was created, I would suggest you to see the video below as it is very difficult to explain this in one article.
Environmental Concerns of 21st Century:
The greatest environmental concern of the twenty first century is the human induced global climate change. During the industrial revolution, raw materials like fossil fuels, minerals, forests and clean water seemed inexhaustible and nature was regarded like a sink to dump the waste. We used materials to make the things we wanted, then discarded them when they were no longer useful. This approach returned an improved lifestyle but caused massive pollution and environmental degradation. Soon the threshold limit for the environmental degradation was exceeded and now we are facing the threat of species extinction.
The other growing environmental concern is the growing population. In 2005, the world population reached about 6.467 billion people and we are adding 75 million people every year into already existing pool of population. Predications are that the population will grow to 8-9 billion people by the middle of 21st century before it stabilize. The rate of population growth has slowed down from 2% to 1.2% in last three decades.
Loss of biodiversity, rapidly exhausting reserves of minerals, fossil fuels and clean water are other environmental concerns that have huge impact on our environment. Many species have either extinct or on the verge of extinction due to rapidly shrinking natural habitats and pollution.
Lessons must be leant from various environmental crises that we are facing today. This is essential for the sustainable future of our environment. We are at a turning point because our present decisions will decide the fate of future generations and the power to save the environment lies in our hands. If we are able to address the environmental concerns today, we can prevent the problems from becoming irreversible.
The following documentary explains the importance of natural balance and why we should use our natural resources wisely for sustainable future and outlines the potential environmental threats that we may face in the future.
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