War and Industry, and Their Impact on the Environment

May 20, 2012
By Bob Banks BRONZE, Fairhope, Alabama
Bob Banks BRONZE, Fairhope, Alabama
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Humanity has had a significant impact on Earth’s environment over the past few centuries; one must merely look at statistics to see that. But what affects Earth’s environment most? The answer is simple. The two things that make the largest impact on our ecosystem are war and industrialization. Their combined effects cause, in my opinion, more damage to Earth’s environment than anything else. But how is it that they can cause such destruction? One must merely look around them. Where forests filled with life used to be, there now lies scorched fields of dirt. Whereas the sky was once clear and blue and beautiful, it is now filled with pollutants and smog. Rivers once filled with fish, beautiful flowing rivers, are now toxic and acidic. This destruction must be stopped, but “How? How will we do this?” you may ask. It is rather simple, really: humans must take responsibility for their actions. We must think about how what we do affects our home.

Industry, of course, has had the largest impact upon Earth’s environment; larger even than war and population growth (although population growth ties into industrialization in many ways). A good example of industry’s impact is the city of Beijing, capital of the People’s Republic of China. Communist societies are usually highly industrial, and the People’s Republic is no different. Because of the heavy level of industry in Beijing, some days, smog blocks out the sky and descends on the streets like a fog. Another good example is the city of Los Angeles, California. Like Beijing, smog covers the city; it is rated as one of the most polluted areas in America. Some people would say that we have to make laws that will restrict carbon emissions to stop pollution of this scale. In my opinion, however, that is definitely not what we as human beings should do. Instead, we should try to bring awareness to both the damage that pollution causes and clean sources of both energy and production, and leave these things up to individual people.

Another cause of environmental destruction is war. War not only destroys the lives of people, and destroys infrastructure, it also kills our environment and has almost no positive effects. A good example of the impact of war upon the environment is the burning of the Kuwaiti oil fields during the First Gulf War in the early 1990s. As they were fleeing the U.S. forces, the Iraqi army burned countless oil wells, destroying a valuable resource and releasing countless toxic chemicals into our atmosphere. Another example would be the dropping of atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the year 1945. The immense heat of the explosions and nuclear fallout that resulted killed countless people, destroyed large areas, and released highly intense radiation into the air. Thousands of people contracted cancers and suffered debilitating and disfiguring burns and injuries. This shows that war not only kills people, but kills our planet as well.

It is my hope that people will read this and “wake up,” or realize the destruction that they are causing to our beautiful home. War is a horrible thing, and although it is unlikely, what a wonderful day it would be if war ended, and our planet and millions of lives were saved from its brutality. Industrialization is not necessarily a bad thing, but it needs to be cleaner; industrialists also need to keep conservation in mind when they take resources from the Earth. Those are my views on the biggest factors that put our planet at risk, and also my “plan” to save our planet from them. Thank you for reading.

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