Changes occur in our lives at regular intervals, but most of the time we are unaware of them, as they do not affect us directly in any substantial way” (“How to Handle Changes In Your Life”, 2014). Change. That is what’s been happening to the environment. It’s changing. For a person, change is sometimes for the betterment of his attitude, circle of friends, surroundings, health, and especially his life. It helps people start anew, to start fresh, and hopefully become a better human being.
But, change is different when it comes to the environment, and it is not a good hinge. Are human beings really causing these changes to the world and themselves? Sadly, human beings are the reason behind most of the things happening to the environment, and they are mostly damages and devastations. This time they cannot say, “We’re just human, we make mistakes”. Being human does mean being imperfect, but that flaw is supposed to be used as strength to do good. Humans have created a lot of economic problems because of negligence.
According to Karee (2014), the environment is suffering from “climate change, extinction of wildlife species, depletion of ozone layer, and increase in IR pollution”. And, it suffers more especially from global warming, which he stated to be “the increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature due to greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane”. But “how are we causing these changes? ” A question asked by McDonald (1986), referring to how humans are bringing about changes and damages that affect the world today. Fresh, cool air become humid and polluted, which change is known to be air pollution.
It is the result of the environment’s contamination by any chemical, physical or biological factor that affects and creates changes with the natural heartsickness of the atmosphere. Examples of this are smoke belching which are caused by many vehicles, and also smoke from factories and from fire which is used for burning garbage (“Air Pollution”, 2014). There is also water pollution. Clean and clear water turn to murky and full of filthy wastes. This pollution usually occurs when “a body of water is adversely affected due to the addition of large amounts of materials to the water”.
It has four types: toxic substance, organic substance, thermal pollution, and ecological pollution (“Water Pollution”, 2006). Toxic substance is “a chemical pollutant that is not a naturally occurring substance in aquatic ecosystems”. This usually occurs in farming, when farmers use pesticides which toxic flows to rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. Second, organic substance. An example of this is ‘transportation’, which is the result of too much organic materials from plants that die with high level of nutrients.
The third one is thermal pollution that occurs when “water is used as a coolant near a power or industrial plant and then is returned to the aquatic environment at a higher temperature than it was originally”, and the last is ecological pollution, which occurs when the three other types of water pollution are not caused by humans but by nature (“water pollution”, 2006). Pollution on land is next. This is usually caused by human activities which results to the destruction of the earth’s surface and soil. One cause of this is deforestation, the result of illegal logging.
This activity turns green mountains to brown or black and bald. It is likely done for getting raw materials for furniture, and is also the result of burning forests that is usually for clearing the land to build infrastructures. Another cause is agricultural activities, which farmers mostly do when they use pesticides that tend to poison the soil. There are also mining activities that create big wholes underground that could cause easier landslides in the future. And lastly, construction activities, which cause a lot of wasted materials like wood, bricks, and Others (“What is L and pollution? , 2014). The last kind is noise pollution. Many people think that pollution is only about nature, but noise is also considered as pollution if it interferes with a person’s daily activities, like sleeping and conversation. Noise is unwanted mound or something that gives a person unpleasant effects or irritation on the ears. This is usually caused by big machineries, parties or social gatherings, many vehicles, construction work, and sometimes even doing household chores, like the noise vacuum cleaners cause while in use (“Understanding NOise pollution, 2014”).
Man-made calamities, on the other hand, are events that are caused directly by one or more intentional or unintentional actions done by humans (“Human-Made Disaster Law & Legal Definition”, n. D. ). War is one of the most damaging events that happened, is happening, and can happen to the world. It might bring pride, victory and honor to men or to a country, but it also brings loss, and most of all, destruction (ii Destruction Through War”, May 2011). Air, water, land, and noise pollution are all results of war.
Water and soil can be contaminated by some chemical residue of military weapons. It accelerates the use of fuel which causes greenhouse gases and air pollution. The destruction of the war itself is just too devastating to look at. Green lands become deserts with a lot of craters due to bomb explosions and the loss of most of the trees, which affects the wildlife by disturbing the an animals and estranging their habitat (“Environmental Costs”, 2011). Violence is another man-made calamity. According to Merriam Webster, it means “the use of brute strength to cause harm to a person or property”.
It is also the result of people’s reaction to temperature, crowding, noise, and stress. Williams (1996) said that violence is not restricted to an act that will immediately cause direct and obvious harm. He stated that there is violence in racism and sexism, that turns women’s bodies into objects. There is also unpaid domestic labor, and the deprivation of women to have control over their own reproductive organs. Violence also includes an environmental dimension. It can happen over extended periods of time. People in poor communities are exposed to toxins that can give them ailments.
Another example of violence, according to him, is financial restrictions on health care, so poor people cannot afford themselves to be treated. Lastly, abuse. Abuse of alcohol, drugs, and our natural resources. People abuse substances like these for many different reasons, but they also pay the price for using too much. The proof of abusing alcohol and drugs can be seen in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and mental facilities due to health image, physical trauma, and mental disorders (“Substance Abuse”, n. D. ).
Alcohol and drug abuse can result from the environment or surroundings a person lives in and the people he or she is usually with. Shaw (2010) says that it is hard to stay away from bad drinking habits when you’re tempted by those around you. Although people can be influenced by movies, commercials, and the Internet, they are more influenced by an atmosphere of drinking or drugs in the neighborhood or community, in school, and at home. Parents who drink or do drugs are more likely to bring up children who would also do the same.
Same goes with friends who love to drink and do drugs that may influence someone through peer pressure. The abuse of such things are no different than abusing the use of our environment. Abusing of drugs and alcohol is bad for our health, same as abusing the use of our natural resources. All of these may be different with how they were caused, either by people or natural disasters, but all of them create damages to the Earth, and it fires back to us. Pollution and man-made calamities do not only affect the world, but also the people who live in it.
Air pollution can cause heart and lung problems, and other sicknesses. Water and land pollution both kill living creatures and destroy their habitats which cause lack of resources like seafood, meat, vegetation, and lumber. Noise pollution, although a minor problem, still causes people stress which could result to an unhealthy lifestyle. Just like what is stated in Newton’s Law of Interaction, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Whatever people do, there are consequences. War, although military men think it is for the good of their country, also has bad side effects.