The simplest explanation about why the environment matters is that, as humans the environment the Earth is our home. It is where we live, breathe, eat, raise our children, etc. Just because we as humans have the power to destroy environment and other species, this does not give us any right to do so. But more convincing to the ones having power in today's world is probably the economic argument. That we cannot afford to destroy the Earth systems.
Protecting our environment allows us to live free of any pollutants or hazards that we might introduce into our environment. That leaves us free to try to survive in the "natural" environment which includes things like sharks, poisonous insects and reptiles, pollen, poisonous plants, viruses, bacteria, thousands of parasites, and other animals that compete for food and land. Protecting the environment allows future generations of humans to grow and live without having to deal with anything we've done to contaminate the environment in which we do live and they will live, protecting the environment is the best way to protect our own selves against diseases.
However, forests prevent soil erosion, landslides, and flooding; maintain the purity of the air and water; affect local and global rainfall. Protecting the environment as it was before human additions allows plants to continue growing, plants that help regulate temperature, humidity, an provide oxygen.
Plants are very useful to humans. We eat many different types of plants. Some products are made from plants such as shampoos, rubber, paper and camera film. Animals use plants in many different ways. They eat many fruits and other plants. Many animals use plants for shelter. Plants also provide animals with protection from predators. The destruction of different plants sometimes leads to animals becoming endangered.
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