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How do humans affect the environment?

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Tuesday, 08 May 2007 How do humans affect the environment? The condition of today's environment has been affected by many factors, some of which are positive, which benefit the environment, while other effects on the environment are negative meaning they damage or cause harm to the environment. One factor, which affects the environment, is humans. The negative ways, which we affect the environment are, through building, farming, pollution, and quarrying. However, there are some positive effects on the environment caused by humans such as, the conservation of endangered species, protection of the o-zone layer, and the conservation of the earths resources. This essay therefore will be set out into two main parts. The first of these two parts will discuss how humans have a negative effect on the environment; this will focus on the issue of pollution. Secondly, I will discuss the positive effects, which we have on the environment; this section of the essay will discuss conservation and the protection of the ozone layer. I will then conclude this essay by giving my personal view on how humans affect the environment and whether the overall effect is negative or positive. As, mentioned above there are many negative ways in which we as humans negatively affect the environment. One-way which we harm the environment is through our polluting. ...read more.


This type of pollution causes much damage to the environment; many businesses are located on riverbanks meaning that they discharge their waste into rivers. This has caused many of Britain's largest rivers to become too dirty to keep fish alive. An example of this is in Mersey, where in the 1930s fishermen could make a living. However, now it is too foul to keep fish meaning fishermen can no longer earn a living in the area; this was caused by the dumping of waste by industries in the estuaries. Thermal pollution is another type of water pollution. This is when power stations use the water from rivers for cooling and return the water at a higher temperature. When the temperature raises too much the biological oxygen demand increases. In other words, the organisms in the water require more oxygen. This can cause many problems such as the death of fish that cannot get the required amount of oxygen in time. A very serious type of water pollution is pollution by agriculture. This involves the use of pesticides and fertilisers. When farmers use fertilisers, there is often excess fertiliser, which is not absorbed by the plants. This is washed into the lake, therefore providing the plants in the lake with an extra supply of nitrates and phosphates, meaning there is a mass production of algae in the lake, or an algae bloom. ...read more.


Other conservationist groups include Friends of the earth and Green peace, who try to persuade people to adopt environmental friendly attitudes. Another strategy, which they use, is to try to convince governments and political parties, to adopt conservationist policies. The problem with the ozone layer has become so serious that many leaders have felt the need to address the situation. This has been done in many countries. Two examples of this are the US and the UK. CFC's the main cause of the ozone layer problem have been banned in the USA. In the UK, the government has agreed to reduce the amount of CFC's by 50%. In addition, CFC free aerosols are being introduced in the UK meaning they are ozone friendly. Over the past years, we as humans have had an overall negative effect on the environment. This has caused many of today's environmental problems such as the holes in the ozone layer, and the greenhouse effect. However, we have also had many positive effects on the environment and have realised our past mistakes. This is shown through measures such as the reduction of CFC's in aerosols. I believe that overall, our impact on the environment has been negative, however I feel that in the future we will continue to have a positive impact, and therefore create an overall positive effect on the environment. 1 ASHLEY SIMON 11G ...read more.

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Overall this essay summarises some of the ways in which humans have negative and positive impacts on the environment, by focusing on a few of the many examples. Some of the big topics (like human contributions to global climate change) are not addressed. Some of the examples used could be improved by being more up to date. Higher level answers would also mention the different scales at which these effects are being felt.

Marked by teacher Nigel Fisher 10/04/2013

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