We eat it, drink it, smell it, hear it, buy it, and most importantly, we use it. It is the environment. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the environment is either the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded, the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival, or the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community. The air, water, earth, and life around us are all part of a larger system that has been created to work together in order to sustain life. The problem the blue planet is facing today is that after all of the years that humans have left their mark on the face of the earth we are starting to see detrimental effects. Rivers are running with foul and polluted water, nuclear waste is being buried in the hearts of mountains, oil and trash is threatening the lives of countless marine animals, more species are going extinct every day from heavy deforestation in rainforest areas, and humans are finally realizing that they are contributing to the crumbling of an environment that would have been just fine had we not been in it.
People have been alerted of the destructive path that humanity has been traveling. Huge “Go Green” Campaigns have been launched all across America. There are commercials that encourage recycling, movies and television shows that attempt to bring peoples attention back to the environment, and new technology that claims that it is energy efficient and earth friendly. The new fad is to have a hybrid car, an extensive recycling system, or even just a bag that has been stamped with the recycling emblem and the words “reduce, reuse, and recycle”. Green is the new black.
But despite the new trend of “greenliness” there are people who do not understand what all of the craze is all about. They do not have an understanding of the term “global warming” or scoff at the idea that humans could be slowly, or quickly, killing the planet. Attention was brought to the topic of global warming by Al Gore. He made public announcements and even wrote books about his belief that an increase in earth’s atmospheric and oceanic temperatures were predicted to occur due to the greenhouse effect resulting mainly from pollution. This greenhouse effect occurs when gases are released into the atmosphere and trapped there. They heat up and, like the plant in a green house, so does the earth. Unfortunately for Gore’s theory many places on earth have been experiencing uncharacteristically cold weather and areas such as Georgia have had winters to rival those of areas much farther north.
However, whether or not global warming is true is not actually a fundamental argument in the quest for a healthier environment. It was simply a catalyst that got the general public concerned for their environment and caused a general interest in preserving the home planet. People love green spaces, animals, and the hope of tomorrow and those sentiments are what are driving forward the campaigns for better technology and better methods of conservation. So go ahead and jump off of the band wagon of big cars and big waste and join in the carpool line of people who care about their earth and want to insure that the generations to come will have clean air to breath and fresh water to drink.