Before taking the first week of this class, I was oblivious to all the harsh conditions us humans were putting on our planet Earth. Of course, I knew that we were slowly corrupting the beautiful lands, but I did not know the extent of our carelessness. “The 11th Hour,” opened my eyes to most of the destructive behaviors that have occurred which in turn created (theoretically) global warming, the melting of the polar ice caps, deforestation, etc. From this I learned that there are many ways to stop stripping the Earth of its natural resources and harming animal/plant life. As inhabitants of the same planet, we should all ban together to, “reduce, reuse, and recycle” to keep the world sustainable for future generations to come.
An example that could foreshadow what may come of our calamitous ways is the Easter Island debacle. Before many explorers came upon the island to take the land for their own, the original colonists already had difficult problems to suffer through. With limited amount of resources that were depleting at an increasing rate, illnesses and cannibalistic actions were occurring. Over time, the dwellers cut down all their trees and worn the land of its metaphorical fruit. It was sufficing to say they all died and left behind a plethora of mysterious historical advances which proved they were intelligent despite their difficulties.
So, as I mentioned before deforestation was a major reason Easter Island did not flourish and the society died off. It looks as if history is repeating itself and many countries are continuing to cut down major rain forests and other forested areas. I recall learning that once a tree is cut down in a rainforest, it is very difficult to continue growing a new tree in that spot, for the soil is no longer fertile and can dry up drastically. The ever-present question of, “why can’t you just plant more trees in the place of the one cut down?” has many answers of itself. Trees take years to become big and useful to become products. Wildlife becomes distinct if the animal’s homes are constantly destroyed. The air pollution of cutting down great expanses of trees could be detrimental. The list goes on…
How we can help sustain the planet and work to improve our ecosystem is to not use as much materials and to learn from previous mistakes. I am excited to learn more in this class and to improve upon my knowledge of how we can make the planet healthier and habitable.