Environmental science is an interdisciplinary field that incorporates many aspects. This is a combination of physics, biology, chemistry, geology, to name just a few. Environmental science strives to integrate various methods and activities in order to provide a sustainable world. Therefore, environmentalists are usually required to work with a number of people of different specializations to ensure the best result. On one hand, environmental science can be called a humanitarian field as it is closely connected to humans’ activities and social issues. On the other hand, it contains some “hard” sciences like physics, chemistry, and even engineering.
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Science and technology find a very broad use within environmental science. Nowadays, a considerable amount of research and technological development is aimed at developing and manufacturing technological devices and software that would help resolve or at least reduce environmental issues. There are many recycling programs and technologies designed to help implement those programs. Radiation prevention technologies help to introduce ways to reduce pollution of air, water, or land. Another aspect of using technology and science for the protection of the environment is the so-called “green engineering”. Green engineering is the development, implementation, and use of the programs and technologies that are both economically feasible as well as reduce the risk for human health and hazardous emissions into the environment (EPA, 2010).
As we can see, all the technological and scientific devices help to achieve a goal of environmental sustainability. This is a very important concept and it should be thoroughly studied not only by professionals but also by common people. The concept of environmental sustainability means the ability of human beings to meet their current needs but also preserve the same ability of the future generations (EPA, 2010). The knowledge of this concept gives people a better understanding of the consequences of their actions on the planet and on the well-being of future generations. To say more, everything in nature is interconnected, so every action of humans and their impact on the environment will eventually flip and impact their own lives. That is why everybody needs to be aware of their actions, including the preservation of environmental sustainability. One relevant indicator of the condition of the environment is the Environmental Performance Index published biannually by Yale University. It measures both ecosystem vitality and environmental health. For example, if we look at Environmental Performance Index for 2010 we will find that the US is ranked 61 and has a score of 63, 5. This means that the country is 63, 5 % close to the environmental goals (Emerson, 2010). While this is not the worst result, I think that such an advanced country as the US should also become a leader in the positive environmental change and sustainability.
Throughout the history of mankind people had a tremendous impact on everything around them. Nature has always been under the influence of humans’ activities. Long before knowing the consequences of their actions human beings were using natural resources and modifying landscapes according to their needs or desires. All those were unsustainable human behaviors. Severe deforestation for the needs of battle fleets, depletion of coal and other natural resources for industrial purposes, changing the landscape for road building or for creating agricultural fields led to serious damage of natural state of the Earth. Even the global warming has roots in the earlier years. Although the greenhouse effect is considered to be one of the causes of global warming, the beginning of these processes started as early as 1000 years ago when strengthening of nation-states, the increase of population, and the use of land for agricultural purposes started to occur (Schimel et. al., 2007). With the increased environmental awareness came a more caring attitude to the nature and resources. More and more people nowadays are trying to follow simple rules that help sustain the environment. For example, eating locally is something that is not difficult to implement; this way the need for transportation is reduced and as a result less vehicles pollute atmosphere.
Thinking of my personal values I can say that I believe in preservation of our home and of our society. I strongly believe that every human being is responsible for their actions. Therefore, we don’t have a free ride through life. Everything we do in our daily lives will have consequences; and it’s our task to deal with those consequences. That is why I’m convinced that people have to do everything possible to preserve nature and a healthy state of the environment. This is not something that we have to do for other random people; on the contrary, this is what we have to do for ourselves and for our own happy and healthy lives. Moreover, people are often concerned about the health of their children and the conditions of their life. However, it seems that all they do is talk, shake heads, and do nothing. Talking about your child’s safety and throwing a plastic bottle under a tree will not bring better future for the kids. Another point is remembering that no matter how industrialized the world we live in is, we have all come out of nature and we will not be able to survive without it. I think it is important to remember the fact that even living in a big city with all conveniences available one still has to remember that one day there might not be clean water, or shady trees nearby.
Furthermore, by neglecting the condition of the environment we neglect ourselves. A lot of different diseases are caused by negative environmental changes. There are lots of examples when human health was severely impacted because of environmental conditions. People who suffer from respiratory problems struggle from continual hazardous emissions. Even previously healthy people may start to develop negative reactions or allergies because of contaminated air. On the other hand, many people nowadays have developed or increased heart diseases because of unnaturally high temperatures or the drastic temperature swings. Also, the blood pressure is negatively affected by those weather swings. To sum thing up, it is obvious that environmental science is crucially needed in the modern world. To achieve the best result every person has to become a kind of an environmental scientist.
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