What is going on with our ecosystem?


Bentia Welter

Factories producing air pollution.

Mekiah Glynn, Staff Writer

Humans are the main cause of the environment’s consistently worsening condition. But humanity doesn’t have the ability to live anywhere except Earth, and we need the ecosystem to be very specific to keep us alive. With what humans are doing to the environment, we won’t kill off Earth—we are just killing off humanity. The human race is constantly destroying the environment.

What role do we play?

Humans have a huge impact on the world we live on. One thing we do as a human race is practice hyper-consumerism, which “leads directly to deforestation, over-extraction of minerals, the waste of natural resources and pollution.” according to John Vidal, author of “The seven deadly things we’re doing to trash the planet (and human life with it)”. Hyper-consumerism is, to put simply; when we make too much waste, which has a major negative impact on the environment. Another thing that humans do is continue to have a growing population. John Vidal states, “ …people everywhere are encouraged to aspire to consume more and more, there is little hope that the pressure on resources and the environment can be relieved soon.” With a population larger than the planet can handle and people’s increasingly negative impact on the Earth, humans are destroying the planet surprisingly fast.


How will this affect us?

The environment is continuing to change. Some changes include; flooding, increase rainfall/snowfall, heat waves, droughts, and hurricanes. “The report documents how, across the board, the higher temperatures projected for the United States and the world are expected to increase the intensity and frequency of extreme events. Changes in the characteristics of extreme events are particularly important for human safety, infrastructure, agriculture, water quality and quantity, and natural ecosystems,” Donald Wuebbles says. Some extreme events include hurricanes, tornados, heavy downpour, heat waves, and droughts. These extreme events are dangerous to humans because they kill people, destroy homes, and destroy the land.

Angie Gulizia
An overlook of the Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park

How does this affect the planet?

Cars have a very negative impact on the ecosystem because of the gases they emit. Jenny Green wrote Effects of Car Pollutants on the Environment which states, “Cars and trucks emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which contribute one-fifth of the United States’ total global warming pollution. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, which causes worldwide temperatures to rise.” Temperature rises my seem like a good thing, but once the global temperature gets too hot we lose crops, experience extreme heat waves, ice starts melting which results in flooding, droughts become more common, animals go extinct, and much more according to Catherine Brahic with New Scientist.  

As Consumerism or, “the demand for goods increases, the need to produce these goods also increases. This leads to more pollutant emissions, increased land-use and deforestation, and accelerated climate change.” In the production of goods, more greenhouse gases are emitted which cause global temperatures to continue to rise.

The growing population just continues to add to the problem. “The impact of so many humans on the environment takes two major forms: [The] consumption of resources such as land, food, water, air, fossil fuels and minerals [and] waste products as a result of consumption such as air and water pollutants, toxic materials and greenhouse gases.,” said Australian Academy of Science in the article Population and Environment: a Global Challenge. More people means more consumption, which leads to even more to greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.