Saturday, September 25, 2010

Human Intervention is Bad AND Good

Just like any other time in life, sometimes it is hard to see the positive in a situation if there is also a negative side present.  This is the case similarly with the fragile topic of human interaction with the environment.  It is a known fact that humans are doing damage to the Earth and their diverse ecosystems.  There is too much deforestation which destroys the habitats of many creatures big and small, there are many chemicals leaching into oceans and rivers that pollute and destroy its organisms, there is over-fishing, and the list goes on.  When hearing about human impacts on biodiversity, how often do you hear about the positive interactions humans have on the environment?  Sometimes when scientists educate us about human interactions, they can come across as ranting and raving even when they do present facts.  They also tend to focus on the negative; evidence of this is in the media. 

This topic has been touched upon, but I feel that it hasn’t been enough.  As a member of GreenQuest in our school and a decent human being on this planet, I am all for making up for mistakes.  And it can be argued that negative human interactions aren’t mistakes but they are necessary; and I agree with that to a certain extent but at the same time all of the good human interactions are forgotten.  Tree planting, multiple-country committees, activist groups and “green” organizations are among the list of the forgotten.  Sometimes the media can come across as a little harsh, and this is the worst thing to do if you want to convince people to change.  Aside from all of this, even with the continuation of pollution and the long list of other problems, we must not forget the many solutions that society and various individuals have come up with.

There are many organizations known for all of their environmentalist movements.  But one of the most well-known and supported is WWF (World Wildlife Fund.)  Its mission is, “To stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.” (1)  Their goals are also to protect biodiversity, make sure that humans obtain resources from sustainable environments, and to promote “green” consciousness.  They have created many natural reserves so that they can never be harmed, they have also funded many rallies to promote change, for example the rally where Greece earned the right to clean energy and to not use coal/nuclear resources on February 10, 2009.  They also do various expeditions like tree-planting and bird-watching. 

So if it’s as small as planting butterfly weed, using the NHL’s new Green website, or walking that extra step to the recycling bins, or as big as donating to The David Suzuki Foundation or helping WWF Canada plant trees, it should never be forgotten.  Because if we have learned anything from biodiversity, it’s that the smallest little change can make the biggest difference.


(1) -   "About WWF."  WWF - Canada. Web.  Sept. 25 2010.    <>

*        "Population and the Environment:  A Global Challenge."  American Institute of Biological Sciences.
           Don Hinrichsen, Bryant Robey.  Web.  Sept. 25 2010.

*       "Protected Areas as Biodiversity Benchmarks for Human Impact: Agriculture and the Serengeti
         Avifauna."  Proceedings of The Royal Society, Biological Sciences.  A. R. E. Sinclair, Simon A. R.
         Mduma, Peter Arcese.  Web.  Sept. 25 2010.

*      "Greece wins acclaim saying yes to clean energy, no to new coal and nuclear."  WWF-WWF.  What 
        We Do.  Web.  Sept. 25 2010.  
        < energy-no-to-new-coal-and-nuclear>


*    Vanishing Earth.  Web.  Sept. 25 2010.  <>

*   World Nuclear.  Web.  Sept. 25 2010.  <>

*   Treehugger.  Web.  Sept. 25 2010.  <>

*   Eco-Fresh Clean.  Web.  Sept. 25 2010.  <>

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