Plummeting into Disrepair | Teen Ink

Plummeting into Disrepair

April 16, 2008
By Anonymous

Look around, cherish it, and don’t take for granted the beauty our world is graced with, even as it slowly blinks into turmoil each day that passes with no solution. The world should come together and take more care of our environment. A lot more. Since it has become almost a fad, global warming and “going green” is a hot topic. Still with all the data and facts and people touting their green buildings and light bulbs, extreme change is yet to be seen, along with people still passing global warming off as a myth. The fact that humans have let our earth plummet into such disrepair is disturbing; my generation will have to deal with many problems that created by people for thousands of years. The environment is where we live, our everything. It supplies you with essential living necessities such as oxygen, which many seem to forget is necessary for life. The environment also does simple duties as providing beauty, and, lest we forget, a refuge and home for people and animals since the beginning of time.

When a cool crisp breeze blows, inhale; take in the trickle of savory and pure air beamed down from the highest freshest mountain or carried in from forever by the sharp sea. Everyone can relate to the horror of a world without the simple pleasure of pure air and the enveloping smile of sunshine. Without these things, the tight puzzle of life on earth would not exist. In true fact this simple pleasure is held ransom everyday by the encroachment of bubbling smog and the black storm of pollution. “…Beijing becomes a photochemical bouillabaisse of coal smog, steel-mill spume, and tailpipe crud, mingled with concrete dust and baked in the oven formed by the surrounding hills”. This quote shows the authors disgust at the air quality in Beijing, China. His choice of less-than-savory words really proves to the reader that air pollution is a worldwide problem. In another document, author Ashley Archibald addresses the U.S’ air problems: “The Environmental Protection Agency reported that Los Angeles violated air quality standards 84 times this year, exceeding the totals of Houston and California's San Joaquin Valley, two areas with consistently high smog levels. With smog and pollution clouding up our air and blocking our sunlight, “clean”, “fresh” and “healthy” are words you can forget, a new era of “disease”, “wheezing” and “cancer” will be ushered in. But why all this smog? The real cause is the burning of fossil fuel, non-renewable resources, such as gasoline. That combined with factory and carbon emissions creates a dense veil of pollution and radiation held in by the atmosphere, a phenomenon called The Greenhouse Effect. Not only does The Greenhouse Effect heat our earth, by doing so it destroys something else- the Polar Ice Caps.
Our world not only faces physical destruction but our world the number one supplier of natural beauty, also faces a makeover-with unpleasing results. The aforementioned ice caps will go first. “For example, the largest single block of ice in the Arctic, the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, had been around for 3,000 years before it started cracking in 2000. Within two years it had split all the way through and is now breaking into pieces”. That is a disheartening quote provided by The National Resources Defense Council. It’s just one of the thousand recorded ice cap melt observations. It doesn’t stop there thought because with the melt of the ice brings the rising of the water and the desalinization of the ocean. This topic I have first hand account on since I grew up in Florida, everyone in my family has seen the dire facts of pollution and warming. The bay has become a hot sticky mess of algae and pollution due to too much sun and high temperatures along with too much human use. An even scarier fact is, according to Backpacker Magazine, in their global warming issue they state that the submegence and destruction is already underway. This statistic should break anyone’s heart to know that the destruction of one of America’s most unique and special parks, the Everglades, is already underway. This hurts what we can see. What will we have to look at when resources like the Everglades and other areas disappear to a torrent of our growing population and waste? More importantly where will the animals go?
Most people also seem to ignore the fact that we share this planet, but some of the most amazing creatures are our neighbors on earth. The human race has done a pretty good job of exiling these creatures, reducing them to small “Wildlife Preserves”, while we cut down their wilderness for wood. “Tropical Rainforests presently give a place to call home for 50% - 90% of all organisms, 90% of our relatives, the primates, and 50 million creatures that can live no place but the rich rainforests”. This fact shows just how many animals are left homeless when we cut 11 Million acres a year in the tropical rainforest. In the last 150 years many amazing species of animals have gone extinct including the Quagga, the Dodo bird, and the list continues. We mine our earth and destroy our resources slowly crushing our world. Many may argue these things are necessary for human existence but the human race has to start making some alternative decisions as to how we continue to tame our wild planet. In fact many other options exist such as recycling trash to build houses with and Compressed Earthblock, a block made of renewable resources. Truly human existence would not be here without the versatility of the earth’s environment helping us through thousands of years. If we want our planet to pulse with the diversity it has now, far into the future, initiative will be necessary soon. Very soon.
Our environment is in turmoil. Today more eyes are opened to the earth’s condition everyday. Many people think other things should come before our environment but most don't realize that environment trickles down into everything else, without a healthy environment other facets of everyday life crumble. Our environment is necessary to life, giving us essentials such as health, beauty and shelter. Too much evidence is tossed before us everyday for people to ignore the problem we’re facing. Everything in the past has led up to this moment- take action and change the future, not for trees, not for others but for yourself and for your children.

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