A necessary change

If there is any hope for the environment, it is in the unified effort of all human beings.

Sarah Sanders

If there is any hope for the environment, it is in the unified effort of all human beings.

Change must be cumulative. Any colossal change on this Earth has transpired due to an individual or individuals inspiring the masses, the tactic necessary in order to provoke change. Human will is powerful, as proven by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, who had a single dream of racial equality and was able to persuade a plethora of others to believe in it, swaying the entire course of history, and leaving behind a legacy. In regards to our environment, mass change is the only solution. Every person must do their part, regardless if it is simply putting their trash in a can rather than on the side of the road, or creating advanced technology to make a difference. In order for these actions to begin, a change in mentality is necessary. Oftentimes, individuals don’t worry about the environment because it doesn’t directly affect them or their generation. However, the truth is, it will affect somebody they love, whether it is their children or their grandchildren. Journalism senior staff writer, Ansley Mitchell, stated “ I, personally, am not a person who is into “saving the Earth” because to me, the Earth will still be here when I die, so why should it be my problem? This is a bad mentality though because if everyone thought this way then the world would be like a giant trash can. I don’t think it’s too little or too late, but it’s going to take lots of persuading to people like me to start a sort of reaction.” If others with ideas similar to Mitchell’s can alter their point of view and realize that we depend wholly on our environment, than a restoration of our Earth may be in the future. Right now is a superb time to make a difference, as new technology is constantly being created, purely for our advantage. Maybe we aren’t able to make the Earth how it once was, but we can resolve current issues and ensure that we aren’t initiating future problems. 

In order to solve the numerous issues regarding the environment, it’s vital that we actually understand what they are, all of which leave us vulnerable for future environmental tragedies. Pollution is astronomical whether it’s in the air, water, or  soil, and requires millions of years to recoup. The leading pollutant is currently motor vehicle and industry exhaust, indicating a necessary change in both transportation and production. The mass creation of plastics is creating a severe crisis of waste disposal with overflowing landfills, presenting the need for alternative resources. Urban sprawl is causing an increase in traffic, which ultimately increases air pollution and the loss of forests, due to the construction of new shopping malls and neighborhoods. Deforestation is reducing oxygen, the regulation of temperatures, and rainfall. Forests are currently taking up 30% of the land on Earth, but every year the amount of trees lost amounts to the size of the country of Panama, whether it’s caused by men, machines, fertilizers, or pesticides. Additionally, these fertilizers and pesticides pollute rivers, seas, and oceans. If this just seems like an abundance of information that simply doesn’t affect immediate, personal life, these pollutants can cause asthma and cardiovascular problems as well as diseases such as dengue, all of which the common person may be susceptible to. Every hour 55 people are poisoned by the use of these pesticides, 5 die.

All of these problems seem ominous and genuinely impossible to fix, but simple things make profound impacts. Using recycled paper to produce the New York Times Sunday Edition for just one day is efficient enough to save around 75,000 trees. We produce 900 million tons of carbon dioxide each yeah, 12,000 tons every minute, due to our 700 million cars on the road, half of these trips within the U.S. are only three miles long and could be walked in much less than an hour. Cutting down half of our carbon dioxide output would significantly improve our air quality and the health of numerous of Americans. These are just a select few out of our many options. We must take action to fix this environmental crisis, that is undeniable. Almost five species of life become extinct each day. Only by healing our environment can we ensure that the human race will not be next.