This Earth serves not only as our one and only habitat in this universe but it is also our natural heritage as it is passed on from one generation to the next.
The next generation of human beings shall inherit this earth in the condition that we leave it. What our future children will have will depend directly on this generation of ours and hence it is our responsibility and duty to care for the environment today.
Many people do not realise the importance of looking after this fragile environment of ours. They take many things for granted and never think of conserving some of the natural resources we have today. They also think that the resources we have will never run out and we can continuously draw resources from the earth to make our lives easier and more comfortable.
Environmental problems such as depletion of natural resources, water pollution and global warming have all resulted mainly from human activities. However, not all is lost, as we can still do our part for the earth through environmental conservation.
Environmental conservation is the careful use of natural resources to ensure that there is enough for the future and ensuring that damage done to the environment will be minimum.
Why Is Our Environment Important?The simplest explanation about why the environment matters is that, as humans, the environment-the Earth-is our home. It is where we live, breathe, eat, raise our children, etc. Our entire life support system is dependent on the well-being of all of the species living on earth. This is commonly referred to as the biosphere, a term created by Vladimir Vernadsky, a Russian scientist in the 1920s.The biosphere refers to one global ecological system in which all living things are interdependent.
Food ChainThe food chain is an example of this. The sun provides light and heat for plants. The plants are consumed by animals who are in turn consumed by other animals who may in turn, be consumed by humans. Or perhaps they are used for material, clothing, etc. Even insects like mosquitoes play a role and of course bees pollinate plants.
Within the overall biosphere, or ecosystem, there are smaller ecosystems like the rainforests, marine ecosystems, the desert and the tundra. When any of these systems are off kilter, it impacts the entire planet. All of the environmental problems that exist have far-reaching implications for the health of our planet and its inhabitants.
For example, global warming causes a rise in sea levels which effects marine life. The rising sea levels also cause land erosion which harms the habitats of animals living by the coast. Global warming also melts polar caps and leads to arctic shrinking. This endangers the polar bears and other arctic wildlife. Since the icecaps are made of fresh water, they will throw off the saline levels in the ocean which will affect ocean currents. Furthermore, the ice caps reflect light. As they disappear the Earth will get darker and absorb more heat increasing the Earth's temperature.
BALANCE OF NATURE AND FOOD WEB/CHAIN
Maintaining the Balance
Predators can often maintain the balance of nature. If the prey species grows rapidly, the predators would have more food, and would decrease the population of the prey. Also, the predators only attack the weak prey so the strong ones can breed and keep the species strong.