Teacher Guide to the Environment
Ever since the creation of mankind, of the human race, people have been coming up with new ways of making life easier. Just like when cavemen invented the wheel, and invented new tools to help gather food. And now that we live in a society which is much more advanced in terms of the technology that we use, some of the effects that our inventions have on the environment are not very good at all.
You must also remember that now there are more humans on the planet than ever before. Nearly seven billion of us! And now with the amount of humans on the planet increasing by the day, we are putting more and more pressure on the planet.
We humans use things which can be provided by the planet, which are known as 'resources'. Resources are things that we use, like water, or even oil. So what do you think happens when the amount of the planet increases?
We use more resources! The problem is that we actually have very limited resources on planet earth, and because we all use oil so much, the resources we use are running out quite quickly. This is one of the major effects that human activity has on out planet.
And as we get rid of all kinds of resources on the planet (these are also resources which cannot be replaced), we disrupt some of the natural processes that happen in that kind of ecosystem. Some of the processes might include the creation of new fertile soil, the water cycle, and the constant changing of the quality of our atmosphere.
Human activity over the years has got in the way of some of the important cycles and processes that the earth has, and this becomes an issue for many of the animals and plants which live in the ecosystems that we disrupt.
One way that we damage ecosystems in forests if by harvesting trees to use for wood. In the south of America, a lot of countries use teams of people to cut down large amounts of rainforest for use as wood in manufacturing. Humans this way make sure that a lot of animals who live in the rainforest do not have a home any more. It also means that some species of animal actually become extinct - meaning the vast diversity of life on this planet is severely affected when we humans chop down trees in the rainforest.
Another thing that we do is damage the quality of air, and the layers of gas that surround our planet. The layer known as 'ozone' is important in keeping away the deadly rays that the sun emits, and as we pump out more and more carbon dioxide from factories we are slowly eating away at this important layer - meaning that the climate on earth is being drastically changed.
Finally, we pollute seas and rivers with the waste from factories, meaning we affect the wildlife that lives in the water.