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THE PARASITIC ASSOCIATION BETWEEN MAN AND THE EARTH

  • Category: Environment
  • Subcategory: Nature
  • Topic: Earth
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1417
  • Published: 14 May 2019
  • Downloads: 23
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Introduction

The original state of the Earth undisturbed by man’s association showcases a perfect home for all living things (License: Public Domain]: Wiki Commons Association happens to be an outstanding concept, not only for biologists, but the entire humanity. As a matter of fact, the very existence of both living and non-living components of the entire universe revolves around this unique phenomenon. Someone might want to ask, ‘’what does association really means?’’. Actually, there are so many definitions depending on the context one is trying to explain. But despite the context, it is simply the relationship between two or more known identities.

Whatsoever is the outcome of this relationship determines the type of association these known identities were into. On that regards, it might interest you to know that to some extent there is no neutral outcome in association; one either benefits or losses. For instance, in a type of association known as commensalism, one of the partners involved is believed to benefit from it while the other partner neither benefits or losses. However, recent researches have proven that over time commensalism gradually deteriorates to parasitism. This is because the partner benefitting after a while somehow start deriving a great deal from the association until the other partner is no longer neutral but losing.

The above explanation acts as a pointer to the deteriorating state of the Earth due to its association with man. Although man was the only beneficiary of this association right from onset, it is now clear that the Earth is no longer neutral but rather negatively affected by it. Hence, the main aim of this article is to succinctly elaborate the factors responsible for the alteration or shift in ‘man-earth’ association and how it has triggered disruption in Earth’s balance. Earth is our home; but it seems we won’t be living here long enough… Catastrophic state of the Earth resulting from man’s quest to benefit from it (License: CC-BY-SA 4.0, Author:Dikshajhingan]: Wiki Commons You’ll agree with me that the state of the Earth we are now living in is not exactly the same with what was present few centuries ago. Unfortunately, the Earth is constantly distorted on a daily basis and from the look of things it is quite obvious that it will only get worse mainly because of the following factors:

  • Increase in human population
  • Advancement in science and technology

According to computational scientist Stephen Emmott in his book Ten Billion, he asserted that “if population levels continue to rise at the current rate, our grandchildren will see the Earth plunged into an unprecedented environmental crisis”. Truth be told, despite the efforts and various approaches adopted by the national agencies responsible for population control; human population is still increasing at an alarming rate. As such, the level of dependency of humans on earth also increases simultaneously resulting in the depletion of most of the natural resources. For this reason, the Earth’s primary function which is ‘supporting life’ becomes a problem since its ecosystem is stressed beyond limits. Also, in the case of technological advancement; super-intelligent and inventive man has device various means to survive in the ever increasing population. However, this is basically detrimental to the Earth.

For instance, we all know the relevance of the natural ecosystem in maintenance of Earth’s balance. But the sad reality of the matter is that, in our generation, it’s almost impossible to maintain a natural ecosystem all because of man’s needs. As we move ahead, we’ll talk more on the various areas that these factors have affected. Lets start with how increase in human population is responsible for Earth’s deteriorating state Intensive farming: Man’s over-dependency on the earth (License: CC-BY-SA 3.0, Author: Bill Gillette]: Wiki Commons As earlier stated, the major effect that increase in human population has on Earth is that it exerts too much pressure on the ecosystem thereby stressing it beyond its capacity. The whole problem can be linked or attributed to one of man’s outstanding activity known as agriculture. Agricultural activity which is notably the major source of man’s survival on Earth is now believed to threaten the Earth’s balance.

This is as a result of the upsurge in man’s demand for food caused by the intensifying human population. In an attempt to prevent hunger and starvation, the natural forest is destroyed for planting of crops, and unfortunately some of these plants present in the natural forest are currently at the verge of extinction. The destruction of the natural forest which is mostly done through bush burning and deforestation has seriously messed up the carbon-oxygen balance. Honestly, the way things are right now, we’ll get to that point where the oxygen content in the Earth is used up since excess carbon is recycled into the atmosphere and trees that could have stabilized the level of these two important gases are constantly reducing in number. Aside from the pre-farming operations (bush burning and deforestation) mentioned earlier, even the farming system practiced now is endangering the ecosystem. In this part of the world, I’ve noticed that it’s virtually impossible to find a piece of land that has been left fallow.

Bush fallowing system which was, and is still a good measure in agriculture helps to replenish lost nutrients in the course of farming. However, since human population has increased so much, the available lands are not even enough to produce food that will go round not to talk of leaving it fallow. In essence, this has led to the complete depletion of the nitrogen content (nitrate), and other vital nutrients in most of the lands thereby rendering them infertile. Ways in which the earth is suffering from advancement in science and technology Emission of toxic gases into the Earth (License: CC-BY-SA 3.0, Author: Alfred T. Palmer]: Wiki Commons In today’s world, the importance of science and technology cannot be overemphasized. From the invention of vehicles that has enhanced transportation; to the construction of companies and industries responsible for manufacturing products that has made life really comfortable for man, etc. Science and technology has indeed raised our standard of living here on earth.

However, despite all these goodies derived from science and technology, its resultant effect has greatly defiled the earth. A typical example is the case of pollution caused by burning of fossil fuels. Since most of these vehicles and industrial machines are powered by fuels, there’s always constant emission of toxic gases into the ecosystem. Under normal conditions, some of these gases can easily be removed by the cycles that operate in nature. However, this is not the case since increased in population has already caused man to destroy the natural forest which is the primary determinant of these natural cycles. Hence, with time, frequent emissions leads to accumulation of these toxic gases, thereby causing distortion in Earth’s balance. Also, the hydrospheric portion of the earth is endangered as a result of industrial waste formed after production. The way and manner of which these untreated waste are discarded into rivers, lakes, seas and oceans has really affected the water bodies and the aquatic lives in it. It’s not as if it’s impossible to treat these industrial wastes, but the truth is, humans most times deliberately refuse to treat them for selfish reasons such as reducing production cost.

This indirectly has led to extinction of some of the unknown aquatic lives that could no longer thrive in the polluted water bodies. The scariest of them all is the fact that man is using science and technology to exploit the Earth of most of its minerals and fossil fuels. Unfortunately, these natural resources are non-renewable and from the way it’s dwindling so fast, if man doesn’t cut down on the level of which it’s being wasted, we might get to that phase where it’s exhausted. Furthermore, the methods that are used in extraction of these natural resources pose great danger to the earth. For example, after mining, the natural vegetation of that particular place is completely destroyed and the place remains unproductive. Final thoughts It’s true that there’s a constant association between man and the Earth. It’s also true that man has been the only one benefiting from this association. However, it’s quite obvious that the once commensalistic association have become parasitic in nature mainly due to the alarming increase in human population and advancement in science and technology. So just like parasites feed and live at the expense of the host; man’s survival has endangered the Earth in so many aspects.

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