Do I Own the Earth?

“Rather it is a striking example of the dependence of human societies on their environment and of the consequences of irreversibly damaging that environment”. As long as the Earth has been in motion, humans have depended on the Earth. We have asked the Earth to provide food, water, shelter, resources, and so much more. As human beings we expect the Earth to give us what we need when we need it. The Earth will always deliver, just not always in the ways we expect. The story of Easter Island is a perfect example of this. A people group moves to the island to start a new home. The island has very limited resources, yet just enough to get by. Instead of being innovative, rationing, and learning a new way of life, the people used up all of their resources. Sure, the land would hardly grow crops and the water had no fish, but it was sustainable for life. As humans, we feel as though we own the land. We feel like the Earth owes us. When the Earth does not deliver, we get angry and demand more. The people of Easter Island killed themselves off because the Earth was not catering to their needs. These people could have lasted many more generations on the island, but they asked just too much of the land. All of their problems started after they cut down all the trees. This massive deforestation leads to the eventual cannibalism of the people. We see some of the same issues happening in today’s society. We see the extinction of many different species, mass deforestation, and the idea that we own the Earth. The idea that the human species owns the Earth has the potential to destroy us. We are running the Earth into the ground asking it to produce whatever we need, whenever we need it. The Earth was never meant to cater to the needs of seven billion people. It is physically impossible for all seven billion of us to live comfortably on this planet. This opens up another can of worms and the issue of population control. This thought that humans own the Earth is very applicable to my life. I grew up not really caring or having much thought about the environment. It wasn’t until I got into my environmental science class in high school where I really started to pay attention. It opened my eyes to how much we are killing the Earth and what we are asking it to do. I was a vegetarian for about a year until I got to college. I tried to make a conscious effort to change the way I live to make up for all of the people around me destroying the Earth. It’s so easy to forget about the Earth because we tune it out. We choose not to acknowledge the warning signs and keep doing what we’re doing. My goal for this semester is to be more conscious of the Earth around me and do my best to help in every way I can- even if it’s small.

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