Nature can absorb and process our ‘natural’ waste products – food waste and other plant and animal wastes can be composted, used as fertiliser or as food by other animals. But if there is too much of it at any one time or in any one place, nature’s systems are overwhelmed.
Too much sewage spread on land or draining into rivers can upset the balance, and certain types of algae rapidly increase, suffocating or poisoning other plants and animals.
Too much carbon dioxide being released to the atmosphere means that nature’s systems can’t reabsorb it all, and the greenhouse effect becomes greater.
Some kinds of wastes can’t be processed by natural systems and build up in the food chain, eventually to levels where they poison animals or stop them from reproducing. These include chemicals like DDT (a pesticide) and PCBs (used as flame retardants and in electrical equipment), which are now banned.
At the turn of the century the estimate was 6 billion. By the middle of this century it is estimated there will be almost 10 billion people utilizing the world’s resources.
In conclusion,we can see that a lot of the resources of nature are not renewable, and even when they are, not at the level at which man is utilizing these resources. Thus in order to safe guard the future of present and future generations man will have to review his activities or risk destroying the earth.
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The environment is where we live and consists of all the living and non- living things around us. Some natural processes keep the earth stable by ensuring a stable climate, availability of fresh water, soil, provision of food, biodiversity, raw materials, medicine, clean up and disposal.
These processes involve cycles like the carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and water cycles with integral processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, and phagocytosis. Man’s activities are currently destabilizing the earth resulting in climate change and global warming and depleting the earth of resources such as soil, biodiversity, raw materials and fresh water.