Rivers, lakes have been polluted, and continues, coal and oil non-renewable resources have been overexploited, serious air pollution, global warming, natural disasters, species extinction and so serious, the human nature to knock ring the alarm, but does ignore human ignorance, to continue their self-defeating behavior. In the face of human nature is small, more can be said to be negligible, but it just all in one.
Humans and other organisms such as dinosaurs, but there is a time in history, if you want to survive and multiply at this time in better, more long-term, it should conform to the law of nature, to protect the environment from damage to their survival. Since God has given us in the vast universe could survive such an environment, rich in mineral resources, we should feel lucky, we should cherish it, and we have no reason to destroy it. Protect the environment, starting with me! Low-carbon life, eliminate waste! Non-renewable resources cannot be replenished by natural means as quickly as the rate at which they are consumed.
They include minerals and fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas, which are formed over millions of years by natural processes from decayed plants and animals. Renewable resources are constantly available or regenerated over short timescales by natural processes. Some renewable resources, such as solar energy, are not modified or used up by humans. Others, such as water, are altered when we use them and can be over-exploited or damaged such that the resource is no longer available for use. Can you suggest some other renewable resources that are replenished naturally but need to be managed properly and not over-exploited?
You may have suggested examples such as wood, animals and plants. For example, trees are cut down to provide wood and they will regrow but they need time to regenerate. Over that time, the world population increased from 4. Figure 1. The graph shows the extraction of four types of natural resource: fossil fuels, biomass, metals and minerals.
Biomass means biological material derived from living organisms such as crops, livestock, fish, wood, etc.
Ecoliteracy : Interdependence Is Life
Metals are used in the manufacture of a wide range of goods — from cars to computers. Minerals are used in industrial processes and in construction to build our houses and roads. Both metals and minerals are obtained from rocks that have been mined and are then processed in various ways to extract the valuable resource. Look at Figure 1.
What is the pattern of natural resource extraction from to and what do you think could be the reason? Natural resource extraction shows a steady increase from to , with the greatest amount extracted in the most recent year The most likely reason is the increase in the global population in this period; more people need more resources.
It could also be the case that the amount used by individuals and by wider society is increasing due to changes in behaviour and levels of consumption.
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Advances in technology have increased natural resource exploitation by enabling people to reach new resources and to exploit more resources per capita per person. For example, fishermen who use traditional technologies such as small boats are limited in the number of fish they can catch. Modern industrial fishing fleets use very large ships that cover huge areas of ocean at greater depths to catch many more fish.
This can lead to overfishing, which means catching fish at a faster rate than they can reproduce. Fish are a renewable resource. However, if fishing is not managed properly and more fish are taken from the water than can be replaced naturally, the fishery will fail. Overfishing and other examples of over-exploitation of natural resources can result in damage to or the loss of entire ecosystems. An ecosystem includes all the living organisms humans, plants, animals, micro-organisms and their physical environment soil, water, air, land and the interactions between them.
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If one component of the system is removed, this can have knock-on effects on the other parts of the system. One particular problem caused by over-exploitation of natural resources is deforestation , which occurs when forest areas are cleared and the trees are not replanted or allowed to regrow. In Ethiopia, clearing land for agriculture to meet the food needs of the growing population and the demand for fuel and construction materials has resulted in a steady loss of forest area, which is still continuing as you can see from Figure 1.
The loss of forest has several undesirable consequences. Forests are home to many different types of trees, as well as other plants, and a wide range of animals from insects to birds and mammals. The conversion of forests to agriculture greatly reduces biodiversity , which is a measure of the variety of living organisms all life forms. Biodiversity is important for humans because we use other living organisms to provide several essentials:. Deforestation is a significant contributory cause of soil erosion. Once the trees and undergrowth are removed, the underlying ground is exposed.
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Without the intercepting effect of the vegetation and the tree roots binding the soil together, the soil is more likely to be washed away when it rains. Loss of forests also has a significant impact on water supply. Tree roots reach deep into the soil and create spaces between the particles which increases soil permeability, allowing rainwater to soak in and replenish groundwater.
Permeability means the ease with which water moves through soil or rock. The use of renewable or non-renewable resources is a critical factor when considering energy resources.
Ecological Balance | WWF
Fossil fuels have been the main energy source for global industrialisation, but because they are non-renewable, the quantity is ultimately limited and their use is not sustainable over the long term. Furthermore, burning of fossil fuels is the main cause of climate change. Climate change is discussed fully in later study sessions. There are several renewable alternatives to fossil fuels.
Wood used as a fuel is renewable in the sense that trees will regrow but there are other disadvantages such as deforestation, as you have read. In Ethiopia, windfarms are harnessing wind power to generate electricity Figure 1. Ethiopia already has several hydropower stations and more are planned, including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, currently under construction.
Hydroelectric power is renewable because it makes use of the energy of flowing water but does not use up the water in the process. You may have noticed that the four categories of resources shown in Figure 1. The direct use of water by people falls into three main categories:. The relative proportions of these three categories vary in different parts of the world, but globally the sector using the most water is agriculture FAO, Figure 1. As well as direct use of water for human activities, water is also essential for the environment and to maintain biodiversity.
Rivers, lakes and wetlands are important habitats for wildlife and need a minimum amount of water at all times. This becomes a problem when the demand for water for human activities exceeds the supply.
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Water is not an endlessly renewable resource. In many parts of the world water demand is significantly above sustainable water supply.
Many countries are already experiencing water stress or scarcity. These terms refer to the volume of water available relative to the use and demand for it, which is linked to the population served. Countries which have less than m 3 of water per person per year for all purposes are defined as water stressed United Nations, Water scarce countries have been defined as those with less than m 3 of water per person per year. These precise figures should be used with caution, however, because they do not recognise variations between countries and they hide the underlying causes of water scarcity.
Increasing water demand leads to unsustainable use of water resources.
Romanticism, Nature, Ecology
By the actions of the water cycle which you will learn about in Study Session 4 water supply is replenished, but taking excessive amounts of water from rivers and groundwater for domestic, industrial and agricultural use decreases the amount of water available for current and future generations. Globally, water withdrawals have tripled over the last 50 years due to population growth and to increased consumption per person.
Many areas with plentiful supplies can sustain this use, but in some countries the future may bring water shortages unless demand is managed. As you can see from Figure 1.
In practice, for Ethiopia, the problem of water supply is not so much about the volume of water that is available. The problem is the infrastructure and investment required in delivering adequate quantities of safe water to all the people wherever they live. The availability of water and access to a safe supply varies considerably throughout the country and between rural and urban populations.
Lake Alemaya in the Ethiopian Highlands has always provided local people with water for drinking and domestic use, for irrigating crops, watering livestock and fishing. However, by the amount of water in the lake had dropped dramatically Figure 1. It is believed that changes in water use by local people and changes in the local climate are responsible. The use of domestic water and also water for irrigation especially for growing khat has increased significantly. Deforestation of the surrounding area, as land is cleared for farming and to meet an increasing need for wood, means that tree roots no longer hold the soil together and it is washed off the hillsides into the lake.
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