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Subtle Attempts Not Enough to Relieve Environmental Stress

  • Date Submitted: 10/15/2010 05:19 AM
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Subtle Attempts Not Enough to Relieve Environmental Stress
David Fox
Soc 120
Professor Banks
September 4, 2009

Subtle Attempts Not Enough to Relieve Environmental Stress
      Planet Earth has overcome adversity in the past and somehow remained resilient through various tragic events. Science has documented five major natural disasters in which over 50 percent, or more, of earth’s species were forever lost. Biospheres went unharmed during the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, or Cretaceous periods until after the incident. The same biosphere and biodiversity that allows for life today is at serious risk, and the largest inhibitor is people’s inability to act morally and ethically within the environment. Research indicates that the two biggest factors complicating earth today is over population and global warming, in addition to, individual and worldwide anthropocentrism, hedonism, denial, procrastination, hypocrisy, self-deception, free riding, cheating, and corruption contribute to global neglect (Ralston, 2007, p. 139-142). At this pace, the possibility of a human caused sixth extinction exists, and is not a question of if, but reluctantly, a question of when?
      Charles Darwin believed extinction happened slowly, but he was wrong (Kolbert, 2007, p. 53). In 1993, Harvard Biologist E. O. Wilson estimated that earth is losing about 30,000 species per year, or about three species an hour. “The global biotic turnovers of the past were all caused by physical events that lay outside the normal climate and the physical disturbances in which species, and entire ecosystems, experience and survive (Eldridge, 2002, ¶ 6)”. The past tells us very little about a human-caused sixth extinction, where humans are the direct cause of ecosystem stress and species destruction. However, many environmentalists support that transforming the landscape through agriculture, over exploiting species,...


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