Relationship between Environment and Human Activity
The Relationship between Environment and human activity is determined by the type of society which influences people’s attitude towards nature and therefore their impact on the ecosystem. The type of society can be described by the human social characteristics which include population size, social organization, values, technology, standards of living and education. These characteristics influence people’s view of life hence defining their actions. Nature provides abundant resources like water, food, timber and land among others and in using them people affect the environment in many ways. This paper is going to talk about these effects of human activities on the environment.
Common effects of human activities include decreased water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, depletion of natural resources and global warming. Global warming has taken the lead in the international environmental arena since the past decade. According to Nordhaus (2), “the core problem is that the burning of fossils (or carbon-based) fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas leads to the emission of carbon dioxide”. Carbon dioxide and other gasses including nitrous oxide accumulate in the atmosphere and stay there for decades. Accumulation of these greenhouse gasses causes surface warming of oceans and land. Weisman (14) asserts that the last ice Glacier left New York 11,000 years ago meaning human activities have interfered with the original form of the earth. The already accumulated Co2 is too much that even if the human beings ceased to exist tomorrow what has already been set in motion will still continue to play itself out. The environment would take long to readjust itself because the atmospheric greenhouse gasses levels are too high. If people stop activities emitting CO2 like the burning of fossil, ocean surface will absorb the available gases and the activity slows down with saturation, loses some CO2 to photosynthesising organisms and then the seas mix allowing for more CO2 to be absorbed, but this will take time.
Today the appearance and structure of different continents explain the dangers of human activities to the environment. The explosion of industrialization and technology advancement has contributed to how the world is today. Developed countries lack this famous game menagerie found in Africa. This is because, in Africa, humans, and megafauna evolved together unlike American and Australian herbivores who had no idea of the harmful effects of the earlier arrival of individual developments in these regions. African animals had the chance to adjust before we arrived. These are just a few of many impacts the human activities have had on our environment.
The effects of global warming like extreme warm temperatures, patterns in precipitation and ice sheets have had significant impacts on responsive human activities. These activities include bringing down gas emission to the level of human beings. In 2006, accumulated carbon dioxide was estimated to be about,5 billion tons of carbon which is too high (Nordhaus,3).The first step by nations to slow down global warming was taken 15 years ago under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This lead to the first international agreement, the Kyoto Protocol which came into effect in 2005.The initiate was, however, weak, and the United States were to join, but the approach would make little contribution to tackling global warming. There have been other initiatives taken like global penalization of carbon emissions and the 2007 Gore proposal for the US which have been aiming at controlling human activities to reduce CO2 emission below current level by 2050 (Nordhaus 19).
Greenhouse gasses have had adverse effects on the environment, and the already accumulated gasses are too high that calls for urgency. The Environment continues to deteriorate with continued CO2 emission, and the already corrective policies are not good enough to tackle the situation. Human beings need to take the situation seriously and cooperate globally to reduce these levels at any cost.
Nordhaus, William D. A question of balance: Weighing the options on global warming policies. Yale University Press, 2014.
Weisman, Alan. The world without us. Macmillan, 2008.