“the Effects of Negative Human Interaction on the Environment”

Topics: Carbon dioxide, Global warming, Fossil fuel Pages: 8 (2858 words) Published: September 26, 2011
“The Effects of Negative Human Interaction on the Environment” This essay will discuss the two prevailing theories regarding the effects that humans have on their environment. One of these theories describes negative human interaction as harmless. The other views them as the main reason for the degradation of our planet. I will define both points of view and lay out the arguments of each. I will finally argue that there is enough evidence to prove that humans are indeed responsible for the decay of our environment. The first group of experts believes that human interaction with the planet is in no way harmful. They stand on the grounds that the planet will be able to recover from any exploitation man performs on it. Earth has an automatic system to correct itself from factors that might threaten it. This homeostatic process guarantees its existence regardless of how drastic, harmful, or negative human actions might come to be. It can correct itself through balancing any harmful changes. Earth has “automatic processes to preserve itself from changes” (Moore 45). The evidence that supports this point of view is not very concrete. It is based on the fact that earth has experience many epochs with very bad conditions. Earth has been through periods of heat and cold. There has been global warming and ice ages. Every time, the earth “has been able to recuperate” and has emerged healthy (Moore 13). Therefore, these scientists are assuming that earth’s resilience will last forever, regardless of how extreme the conditions get. If humans continue at the rate they are going, the conditions will become extreme. The opposite theory states that humans are causing unwanted changes in the environment through their actions. This theory has a great deal of support behind it. Through irresponsible actions such as uncontrolled pollution, extensive burning of fossil fuels, and increased development, not to mention countless others, our planet’s defensive mechanisms are being eliminated. Many scientists believe that these actions are directly affecting the earth’s ability to sustain life. This theory is unfortunately the one that is most widely supported. This means that most of the scientists out there believe mankind is endangering their very survival. Humans have made advances in technology that have been helpful for us, but harmful to the planet in the long run. Our “innovations are likely to harm us in the long run” (Spence 23). Discoveries such as the automobile, fossil fuels, electricity, and expansion of cities have had a tremendous impact on the degradation of our environment. I support the side that blames human behavior for the conditions of the environment. There is some evidence that might suggest human interaction does not affect the planet. However, it is not nearly as strong as the evidence that supports harmful human impact. There are numerous reasons that can be proven that lead to the conclusion of human influence. They include the expansion of cities, urban development, deforestation, innovations in technology and the era of energy use. These things lead to major changes in climate such as the increase in temperature of the oceans, the higher frequency of weather systems like hurricanes. Our planet has “destabilized through human actions” (Emanuel 4). It also leads to major changes in ecosystems and the distribution of species and energy in habitats. All of these aspects will be covered in detail in the following paragraphs. The afore-mentioned causes and effects happen only because of changes that have occurred in the environment. These changes have not been natural. They have been generated by us. Our carefree behavior has made our planet struggle and affected many of its vital systems. For example, our atmosphere is currently at its worst in the past 650,000 years. It is not surprising that “1998 was the hottest year” in 130 years (Gupta 16). The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are astounding. This has been...
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