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The environment encompasses the interaction of all living species, climate, weather and natural resources that effect human survival. It is all external conditions, factors, matter, and energy, living and nonliving, that affect any living organism or other specified system. Pollution in the United States; specifically, air pollution, water pollution and plastic pollution are all impacted by the rise in population. The increase in population has brought forth specific impacts to the natural environment such as the introduction of invasive species, deforestation and global warming. Nowadays, the United States is working on new methods of conservation and restoration of the natural environment including recycling, technological improvements, sustainability, the use of solar power, and the historical event that started it all, the Green Revolution. Environment has always existed but has been viewed differently as years passed. The industrial revolution started a change in the way we view the environment.
The united states began industrialization since 1792 when colonial American’s were forbidden to export goods they had produced in their homes. Colonist were carpenters, wagonmakers, rope makers, brewers, potters, coopers, tanners, bookbinders, silversmiths, goldsmiths, perfumers and more. Small markets depended on owners and there sometimes few employees, hence machines would have been crucial for faster and more efficient production. The spinning jenny and the water frame were revolutionary machine leading to the making of faster production. The spinning jenny worked by spinning more than one spindle at a time and the water frame was a more sizable and systematic spinning machine because it didn’t require muscle power, instead it was powered by a water mill. These two were just the beginning of what would become mass production of goods. Factory systems produced mass quantities of new goods with prices lower than ever, workers would be able to purchase goods that in the beginning only wealthy peoples would be able to afford. High demand meant a need for more laborers or workers and in response immigration began to grow and urbanization (the process of making an area more urban) commenced as the construction of factories, railroads, and architecture formation skyrocketed. In the 1880s, technology began to spark as chemist and engineers were hired to create new products.
The union of science and industry meant economic growth for the country at the time allowing it to gain greater power. Chemist would make everything from medicines, perfumes, soaps and chemical fertilizers who played role in agricultural production and allowing for surplus in food but would later on be a factor in pollution. Technology altered transportation as sailing ships were interchanged for the more labor-saving steamship. The transition from a wagon that used literal horse power to a vehicle changed the game and also would later on be an issue relating to the environment. Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment and can be caused by both natural or manmade substances, thus, having a critical effect on land, air, and water quality. “forging and maintaining a sustainable society is the critical challenge for this and all generation to come. In responding to that challenge population will be the critical factor in determining whether or not we succeed in forging such society”. The United States of America is the third most populous country with the highest population growth rate out of all the more developed countries according to the U. S. Census. The demography of the country plays the leading role in pollution; as urban areas or major cities continue to expand the demand and usage of products rises leading to greater amounts of waste. For a time, humans were living unsustainably by not setting a limit on the amount of production they can take from the natural environment or nature. At one point in history some people believed that population would surpass the limit of resources available, like food, this was known as the Malthusian theory and is used as an example of the possible effect of living unsustainably. As population increases so does the development of roads, houses and buildings, all which take good from the environment and dismiss it as a pollutant. Due to the united states, due to its large population, is the highest-consuming nation, including and not limited to the consumption of energy. The largest factor contributing to the us population is immigration. Greater amounts of people call for more waste equaling to pollution.
Air pollution is the presence of harmful substances in the air that can affect human health and the environment. Air pollution results from the burning of fossil fuels, to better explain, the burning of natural fuels like gas or coal. the average family in the united states uses fossil fuels daily to get from one point to the other. The 10-minute ride to work, emits nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter that pollute the atmosphere and bring forth damage to most living organisms on earth. Nitrogen oxides are released into the atmosphere due to the burning of gasoline, coal, oil, and connects to respiratory illness in humans, also affected in the natural environment with, the creation of acid rain that damages natural bodies of water, soil, and trees. Volatile organic compounds are gases that are released from certain solids or liquids like perfumes, hairspray, paints, printing machines and of course vehicles release the harmful gas. The discharge of VOCs effects vegetation by causing it to be severely damaged but most importantly, these compounds can cause severe health problems in humans including and not limited to cancer, damage of the central nervous system and skin disease. Particulate matter is caused by both industrial and agricultural processes by burning down fuels also burning down fields and is a complex mixture of both inorganic an organic fragment spread into the air that is capable of early death due to it causing cancer and severe damage to eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Studies done on Los Angeles air quality by the University of South California, show Chinatown, Downtown L. A. , Lincoln Heights and, and Echo Park as the neighborhoods with the worst air quality. USC found a particulate PM2. 5, which is sent into the air from vehicles and powerplants. PM2. 5 is inhaled and causes dementia, type 2 diabetes and asthma.
Those living in the United States are never bereft of clean drinking water, however, many bodies of water in the country are in fact polluted by substances like chemicals or even microorganisms that adulterate waters, painting them toxic to both humans and wild life. 40% of Americans rely on groundwater pumped to the surface of the earth. Groundwater is polluted by contaminants that make their way into an aquifer. Contaminated groundwater can spread far beyond the area where it was originally polluted, advancing its ways into other larger or smaller bodies of water. Surface water covers 70% of the earth, freshwater is the main source of faucet water in 60% or more of American homes and still about half of it is polluted. Ocean water pollution emanates from land by 80%. Plastic plays a major role in the pollution of oceans, smaller bodies of water and even land. The pacific garbage patch is an accumulation of plastic in various points of the Pacific Ocean and the rest of the ocean due to the rotation of currents, it comes to show a perfect example of the impact plastic pollution on the largest body of water, the ocean. Plastic pollution is found everywhere, even in tap water, since 93% of samples contained high levels of plastic fiber.
The United States contribute a large portion of plastic pollution to the ocean and most of it is because people litter on land. The US in ranked 20 in the production of waste from land. Humans don’t realize how their actions are affecting the natural environment, do to waiting for the consequence of effect in the future. They realize what their actions caused tens of hundreds of years later when the issue has become highly complex in terms of a solution. Greenhouse gasses are the major contributor to climate change. Developed economy in the united states is marked by the era industrialization, with the rapid consumption of energy from usage of fossil fuels and then by the era of a less energy intensive economic growth. Deforestation has reduced the biological diversity of many states, species receiving the greatest impact of deforestation are those that require more space for survival, usually larger species like for example the Florida panther. The species affected play a crucial role to the regions ecology and sustain processes like the food web of that particular region being affected. Roads, houses, and buildings however, have to be made to support the new population growth as it continues to rise so does deforestation, yet so does the development of possibilism to secure the species safety. The ecosystems threatened by deforestation also complete tasks such as lowering soil erosion, creating important soils, moderating temperatures and other factors such as these. The invasive species, Burmese python, has gained popularity in the united states as threats uproar.
The Burmese python started as an import from southeast Asia to the state of Florida between 1960 and 2006, for sale as reptilian pegs. Unable to handle the large size of the snakes many owners decided to illegally release the pet into the wild and are now breeding by massive numbers and invading a large portion of south Florida. The snake is such a threat that there have been many reports on them swallowing whole crocodiles in the everglades and even a child. The growing population of the Burmese python has resulted in consequences and decrease in native wildlife and ecosystems in south Florida. An invasive species is not always harmful in fact some snakes like the brown tree snake are helpful the environment. Ecological problems have risen since the Burmese since they are competitive species taking over important ones to the state. Scary fact is it can also be harmful to humans and is the largest snake in the world to this day.
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