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State of the Planet

  • Date Submitted: 06/18/2011 04:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.4 
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How is the Earth threatened by human actions? What are the future consequences?

Human activities are having unintended, severe and complicated impacts upon many organisms and their habitats. Activities that affect the bio-diversity are: Over-harvesting, Habitat loss, Islandisation, Climate change and Alien species.  

All living things need resources to survive, whether for food or to provide shelter. Humans are just extremely efficient at getting hold of them. One third of the world's resources have been used up in the last 30 years. Native species haven’t evolved around us and don’t recognise us as predators. People in countries such as America, Japan, and in Europe can use up to 30 times the amount of resources as people from poor countries. At the moment, humans are overexploiting fish, trees and waste too much fresh water. As a consequence, if we carry on, the fish stocks will dramatically deplete and will risk extinction. This can also cause a cascade effect if we catch prey or predators. Trees give out oxygen and in developing countries almost three billion people rely on wood for heating and cooking. Global warming will significantly increase also there will be devastating land slides and floods. West Africa, Madagascar, Southeast Asia and many other regions have experienced lower revenue because of overexploitation and the consequent declining timber harvests. A solution to this is sustainable natural resource use. If we take from the wild, we must do it in ways that allows natural populations to recover and last long into the future. Blue whales and other large marine creatures were brought back from the brink of extinction because we stopped harvesting them to excess. If you catch fish faster than they can reproduce and replace what is taken, there will be no fish for anybody to use in the future. The same goes for forests. Energy sources such as wind and solar power can last forever; they are also cleaner and healthier.

Habitat loss is the...


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