Science is an important factor in tackling problems that face humanity in daily life such as pollution, poverty, and climate change and biodiversity loss. Science lays a good foundation for the new methods and ways of minimizing these challenges, and at the same time, science is known to have created more damage than the good. The concern of creating a sustainable world through science has brought together stakeholders from the different field such as policymakers, United Nations, and researchers. Science has had major significance on earth, and its significance is growing. Science has changed the way human communicate, the way they work, the housing, food, and transport. It has also influenced the quality and length of life human being live. Generally, science has changed how humans live and believe by making life easier. Despite all the great things put in place by science, its activities have made earth resources vulnerable.
Human beings created and developed science to make earth better for themselves. Science is seen as a beneficial factor for a while, but the increased population and lifestyle are making earth unsustainable for both biosphere and human beings. There has been the cause for alarm in the discussion of the sixth mass extinction and tremendous man-initiated climate change. The Scientists have become eager in following science developments without considering the consequences of the technology. A human being is in a rush to adopt nuclear weapons such as nuclear bombs without considering its future propagation. Some things are made for the good purpose, but they end up being used for the destructive intentions. Nuclear weapons have become a danger to the society, and it has the potential of destroying earth as was seen in the scenario of World War II. Science has enabled the United States to make a hundred of nuclear weapons that are ready to be launched. This poses a threat to human life and the earth.
As human population increases, advancement in science demands more natural resources. Finite resources such as water, fuel, arable land forest are being over-used leading to its scarcity. The demand for this resource is subjected stress on the basic natural resources that are required to sustain life. The study done by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) that involved 1400 scientist shows that human consumptions had outrun the available natural resources. Each individual now requires more resources that the planet earth cannot provide. The assessment done by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment further shows that the ecosystem of the world changed rapidly in the 20th century, which indicate that human scientific actions have transformed earth's ecosystem. These actions brought by science has made it difficult to sustain the available earth resources.
Human beings have intensified farming using the developments in the field of science and technology. Intensive farming involves the use of labor and a lot of funds to produce more yields in a small portion of land. Intensive farming practices have been seen as a solution to feed the rapidly growing human population. The practice also can protect the natural land from being converted into farms for agricultural purposes. As much as the intensive farming practices have a lot of benefits, it is also a threat to the environment. The practices have led to global warming and loss of ecosystem. The use of chemicals and pesticides has destroyed beneficial plants and insects. The soil which is a necessity for cultivation has been degraded and depleted. The flow of water has been obstructed causing floods during heavy rains. The chemicals developed by science has caused genetic erosion of livestock species and crops around the globe. The biodiversity and natural habitats have been destroyed with the introduction of intensive farming practices.
Science has become a major driving force responsible for the loss of ecosystem. The destruction of rainforest, wetlands coral reefs and the Arctic is as a result of human scientific activities. 14% of the earth surface was once covered by rainforests, and now it covers approximately 6%. With the trend of its losses, the expert shows that the remaining rainforest will be exhausted in 40 years if the action will not be taken to conserve it. Warming temperatures, pollution and acidifying of the oceans has caused the destruction of coral reefs. Scientist have forecast the coral reefs in Australia will be no more in the year 2050 and the remaining coral reefs will be no more on earth at the end of the century. At the same time, the area covered by ice is rapidly declining due to abnormal temperatures. If the situation remains the same, the summers in the Arctic could witness no ice at all in the next 5 years. In the United States and all other parts of the world, wetlands face the threat of drying up. As the human population grows, the scientific activities also grow to cause more destruction and damage to the natural environment.
The primary aim of science is to make human life comfortable, but in turn, human scientific activities have caused the extinction of species on earth. Animals such as dinosaurs became extinct many years ago at the faster rate than usual due to human scientific activities. Research shows that thousands of species, are at high risk to get extinct. The scientist warns that in the next few centuries half of all plants and animal species will be extinct due to habitat loss, pollution, climate change, exploitation of natural resources, human overpopulation and acidifying of oceans. The growth of human population has dominated the earth physical, biological and chemical limits as it transforms most part of the earth surface for its use. The earth is now losing species at a faster rate than the species can evolve.
Water is known as a source of life to human beings, animals, and plants, and remain as the only fundamental finite resource with no substitutes. 75 percent of the earth surface is covered by water, 2.5 percent is freshwater and 97.5 percent being the ocean. Human activities have led to the loss of fresh water. In most areas, freshwater resources are polluted or unreachable. It is estimated that in the next few tears more than of the earth's population will be facing freshwater shortages due to pollution. The shortage will create more problems for plants and animals. The demand for water for human consumptions will exceed the supply and people will be living at the reign of acute water shortage. The ecosystem living in the wetlands, rivers, and lakes are facing the danger. Research by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) has shown that most species living in freshwater are at the potential position of being extinct which is a major threat to the world biodiversity. Water ecosystem has lost greater numbers of its species as than the ecosystem on land. Pollution of the world freshwater due to human activities have left a large number of world's species vulnerable. Freshwater will be scarce as a result of human population growth and activities.
Ecology and biodiversity are facing great danger from the global climate disruption. The world today ride on industrialization with the aim of making life easier and better. Little has been done to cap the emission of harmful substances to the atmosphere which causes global warming. A human has been trying to address the issue using the science and technology, but the rapid growth in the human population is overwhelming the efforts put in place. Global warming is a creation of science in the making, and its consequences cannot be sustained.
The use of fossil fuel by industries causes the emission of harmful gases such as carbon dioxide which destroy the ozone layer. At the same time resources such as coal and fossil fuel used in industries are nonrenewable. With the continuous use of these resources, it will be depleted, and much destruction will be done to the environment. The use of these resources as a source of energy has been the major cause of global warming and climate change. Climate change has been rated to be the greatest problem and threat to humanity and any other living thing on earth. Climate is an important environmental control on ecosystems, and species may be forced to move from their normal habitat due to harsh conditions developing from their usual places.
Human life is not spared by climate change as well. Climate change has brought new health issues to human beings. Individuals have been exposed to skin cancer by being exposed to dangerous rays from the sun due to the destruction of the ozone layer. Working conditions have been made unbearable due to global warming, and it subjects an individual to the risk of diseases such as renal and respiratory diseases. A lot of people have been displaced due to disasters caused by harsh weather conditions caused by the climate change. With the increase of industrialization, the more disasters are expected in the future due to climate change. This situation is getting worse for human beings to sustain it. Climate change is causing destruction to the earth, and not much is being done to contain it.
Despite the fact that humankind invention has caused damage to the earth, still, there are good things that the man has been able to create through science to solve the problems caused. The science of sustainability has created distinct goals to make earth the best sustainable for human beings and animals to live in. Through science, human beings have managed to solve the biggest challenges overcome facing earth as well as protecting human well-being for the better future.
Science has created the concept of sustainability that the economic actions have become part of social actions are constrained by the environment. This sustainability has helped human beings to understand that artificial capital cannot be used in the place of the natural capital and vice versa. Science has shown the best ways to achieve human goals without altering the environment which is the planets life support. Overfishing has been reduced with the introduction of fish raring in fish ponds. Fish is one of the common pool resource available to a human. Human activities in the sea have been controlled by the use of technology that reduces the spill of oils which could cause deaths to the sea species.
Forest as a natural capital provides services such as protection of soil from being eroded, regulation of climate and water filtering. Science has allowed human beings to manage forestation through afforestation. The cooperation between countries has secured biodiversity and improve the livelihood of the people across the globe which would have otherwise been affected by deforestation. With the technology and science in pace, the remaining forest has been protected and conserved for future generations Science has proven to reduce the rate of use non-renewable sources of energy so as not to exceed their availability. Technology also has made it possible for the emissions not to exceed the capacity of the environment to assimilate it.
As mentioned earlier the use of fossil fuel has caused more damage to the atmosphere through the use of them as a source of energy. Sources of energy such as oil and coal are finite as they are non-renewable and can pollute the environment with their production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. The emission of these gases has become the main cause of the destruction of the ozone layer causing the global warming and other dangerous consequences. With the use of science, this emissions can be converted into other forms which are less harmful to the environment. On the other hand, a man has been able to invent other sources of energy that are renewable, affordable, sustainable and reliable.
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