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Environmental Issues In North America And The World

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Autor:   •  May 8, 2011  •  1,864 Words (8 Pages)  •  967 Views

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North America has been struggling immensely since the last century with air and water pollution, deforestation, and overpopulation. These struggles are due to poor prevention planning and industrial manifestation. Pollution is changing the atmosphere much sooner than expected and global warming is predicted to overwhelm the atmosphere within the next half of a century. In order to sustain the environment and atmosphere humans must take immediate action right now. The longer we wait to start immediate prevention, the sooner our air and water supplies will diminish.

Unfortunately, it is not only North America that needs to change it is many other countries and regions of the world. Prevention and preservation is up to every citizen, business, and government organization by changing the way they all reduce, reuse, and recycle products to change the bad habits humans have been illogically doing in the past century. Taking care of our most precious resources and preserving them for our future generations to come should be one of the top priorities of our time. Preserving water and air, and using smart growth plans are the key to sustaining the needs of the human race. The high economic growth of the United States depends on fast-paced industrializing and manufacturing. This contradicts with scientists who imply that the whole world's actions and plans need to change in order to save most of the species living on the earth today.

Overpopulation and Deforestation

Overpopulation is an issue that not only affects the United States, but the whole world. The more people there are, the more space and resources are used and taken up. This obviously causes shortages in food and water supplies. It also, leaves less room for agricultural production and growth. In the past, the United States and many other countries went overboard on cutting down forests and developing urban communities over wildlife habitats and open land. Due to high economic growth in the United States, the average citizen lives recklessly and carelessly when it comes to pollution prevention. In most areas of the United States there is one person per car driving to work and other leisure activities. This contributes to releasing high amounts of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. There have also, been breakthroughs in technology and planning that would help regulate and keep track of the development plans in large cities where, because of overpopulation, pollution is a significant problem. According to Nahle (2003-2006):

Due to the opening out of human settings, 16 million hectares of forest are chopped down each year. The accelerated growth of the human populations has propitiated the destruction of natural habitats of many species. People are invading the habitats of those species, replacing them to inhospitable places and condemning the native species to the extinction. The speed of extinction of plants and animals attributable to human activities is 10,000 times faster than the natural quotient. About 5 million people die every year from illnesses associated to organic wastes. Too dense human communities produce tons of solid wastes (organic and inorganic waste) daily, consume large quantities of energy and emit more pollutants to the environment. Water necessities will increase to 20% by 2025. Approximately, one half of wetlands around the world have been lost since 1900. In USA, consumption of materials (wood, metals, synthetics, etc.) has grown 18-fold since 1900 (Current Effects of Overpopulation, Ð'¶ 1-7).

These facts show strong evidence that the United States of America is not only using too many resources because of overpopulation, but also overproducing and taking over far too much land causing deforestation. Deforestation comes from urban and business development which gives development and construction companies high profits in the short-term, but has far worse effects and may actually cost more to fix or clean up in the long-term; exactly like mining companies who are not always environmentally cautious by practicing good pollution prevention techniques. Deforestation effects biodiversity which is essential for stabilizing the Earth's environment and atmosphere.

There are a couple solutions to these environmental issues of deforestation and overpopulation. Smart growth is a new technological plan that is incorporated and regulated by both local and state government to manage using land more efficiently. The smart growth plan is consisted of processes such as land acquisition, comprehensive planning, annexation, development caps, and rate allocation. Highly developed architecture can accommodate more people in a smaller amount of space. If the human race continues to over exceed its average population growth each decade we need to utilize smart growth in every area of highly developed countries. Smart growth can help the economy and protect the environment.

The other solution that sounds cruel, but is most likely necessary in the near future is regulation of birth control. There should be a limit to the amount of children per household in developed countries. This can be regulated and could be very beneficial in the future. China has already implemented its own plans to prevent overpopulation. Chinas struggle with overpopulation made them set up plans which have in turn helped to significantly slow the rate of population compared to before and soon will not be the most overpopulated country. Many people of the western mainstream culture may feel that this is cruel. However, if we do not make these changes, the drastically changed atmosphere will have its own revenge on all biodiversity through natural disasters and extreme climate changes.

Air Pollution and Global Warming

The biggest cause of air pollution in North America comes from carbon dioxide emissions. Fossil fuel, electricity, and vehicle technology has been an enormous contribution to the emission of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are gases that attract radiation from the sun into the earth's exterior and its environment. Producing an overabundance of greenhouse gases at a time may dramatically change the atmosphere as we know it today. The ozone layer that protects human beings and many other species of plants and animals from the sun's excruciating rays may deplete or be damaged due to too much pollution.

The United States heavy demand of fossil fuels for transportation is causing extreme confliction and competitiveness with many other countries. Japan became so concerned with these issues that they devised a plan that could bring countries together to compromise this extremely difficult issue. The Kyoto Protocol is a negotiation put together by the United


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