Thoughts on Environmentalism
There are many human effects on the environment. Some of the the most effects are Disturbances, Introduced Species, and pollution.
Disturbance is defined as some action of man that directly alters the immediate area.
Example: We use about 60% of dry land for some form of human endeavor such as farming, and industrial buildings.
Introduced Species - is the introduction of an organism into an area where it was not found previously. It may be brought in for a specific purpose.
Example: The dandelion is an introduced species. Native to Europe, dandelions were likely imported to the U.S. by accident.
According to Online Lectures for Week 5 "An intact ecosystem (one without introduced species) contains a delicate “checks and balances” system to keep all populations limited. But the introduced species does not have a natural predator, so it runs amuck. It is not better at competing with its natural counterparts, it simply lacks predation."
Pollution - defined as releasing any substance into the environment that is either unnatural, or is in higher than normal concentrations. Thus, pollutants may be unnatural (CFCs) or completely natural (nitrogen in fertilizers). Either way, the harm can be tremendous.
Into nearly all of our freshwater, massive amounts of nitrogen from fertilizers and sewage, and huge amounts of phosphorus from fertilizers and detergents were dumped. These chemicals make excellent fertilizers where they’ve been dumped, speeding up the growth rate in the organisms, especially plants.
Once the nitrogen and or phosphate levels decrease, the carrying capacity drops. Considerable numbers of organisms to die, leading to decay. The increased decay results in anaerobic conditions in which few organisms can live. The end product is a mostly uninhabitable area that was once a thriving ecosystem.
The positive side for human effecting the enviroment is that there was...