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The human population on the planet now tallies in at over 6 billion.

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Introduction

Ramesh Madhusudan Litterogoly - Paper I Litterature The human population on the planet now tallies in at over 6 billion. Many experts believe this population may double in the next half-century, as expressed in A Special Moment in History by Bill McKibben. Humans are undoubtedly the 'rulers' of this earth. But we have not been good rulers. In fact in our years of monumental growth as a species, our relationship to our kingdom, the earth, can best be described as parasitic. A parasite is an organism that is dependent on another for its existence without making a useful or adequate return. It is not hard to see how well we fit this description. Unfortunately this definition is incomplete in our case. Not only are we dependent on the earth and are depleting her resources at alarming rates, but also we are bringing the earth to her knees by the sheer volume of our by-products; our garbage, toxic wastes and pollution. It would not take a genius to figure out that such a relationship cannot survive; yet the majority of the world's population could not care less. The Greenhouse effect, acid rain, salinization of cropland, soil erosion, falling water tables, shrinking forests, dying lakes and disappearing species are but a few of the warnings the earth has given us. ...read more.

Middle

From these sources, litter is carried everywhere by wind, air, water, and traffic until it is trapped by a barrier such as a fence, a wall, a curb, bushes and trees, or other such objects. Once trapped, the litter is not only a highly visible public irritant as classified by J. H. Alexander, but also an invitation for irresponsible people to add more. The problems that arise from litter are endless and far from merely that of just an eyesore. Litter simply does not belong in nature. By littering we are creating an imbalance in nature, by adding litter that has no useful place in the ecosystem. Litter can be detrimental to our own physical health. Broken beer bottles or metal pop tabs that have been thoughtlessly tossed away at beaches, sidewalks or playgrounds can cuts on children. Metallic objects can accumulate rust, and a cut by a rusted object can pose serious health risks. Animals are also the victims of our careless littering, and they do not have the luxury of a doctor to nurse their wounds. Many wounds they suffer on this account can be fatal. Animals also have the tendency to mistake our litter for food, another fatal mistake. Litter cannot be digested and often is trapped in their stomachs and thus the poor animal starves to death. ...read more.

Conclusion

spoons that are so easily blown away, we would save a great deal of money and resources while at the same time not disturbing the nature around us. Litter costs us millions of dollars every year, and surely we can change that by taking a few extra precautionary and thoughtful steps. More importantly, litter is costing us our environment by disturbing natural balances in plant and animal life. These costs of these imbalances cannot be assessed and it maybe several years before their effects are even known to us. After illustrating the adverse effects litter has on our environment, I can safely challenge anyone to give me one valid reason as to why we should not immediately stop and correct our litter problem. There is no ready solution to the problem due to its sheer magnitude. Each of us will have to undertake the responsibility of caring for the environment. Environmental stewardship is our only hope to fix these grave problems we have created. The Effects of Garbage/Litter on the Environment This was a paper I wrote for a class entitled 'Litterology' taught by Prof Kerr, Winter Term 2001. The purpose was to illustrate the problems and consequences of litter on the environment. It took me three days to write this paper, working roughly two hours daily. The resources used were articles that were handed out to us by the Professor in class. ...read more.

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