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The earth is so many things and we are many things as well. We are made up from the earth in a complex yet simple way. When we die, we go back to the earth in whatever way that may be, whether in ashes or whole. We go through cycles as human beings just as the earth goes through cycles, just on different scales. The earth grows and dies, it changes and shifts, it warms up and cools down, the earth produces life and is fed back the things it creates. - By Althea Sky.

When we discuss the earth's environment, we are talking about the health of the atmosphere, forests, plants, animals, water, and each ecosystem. Everything from the roots of trees underground to the air we breathe is part of the environment, and the health of each part affects the health of the whole.

There are a lot of threats to the environment. These include climate change caused by greenhouse gasses, air and water pollution, deforestation, and more. As a result of so many serious environmental threats, the earth is changing. Melting glaciers are destroying habitat in the Arctic; plants and animals are becoming extinct at a staggering rate. It's easy to look at that list and feel small and insignificant. After all, the earth has over 7 billion people.

But, the idea that individuals can't affect change is a myth. Every person has to make his or her own choices about protecting the environment. If everyone in a democracy decided their vote didn't matter, nobody would vote. If democracy can work, then so can environmental action. Think of it this way: all of us have created this problem by neglecting the environment. That must mean that all of us can fix the problem by protecting it!


The Role of Individuals in Protecting the Environment - Video & Lesson Transcript | 


Last year the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report, called Global Warming of 1.5 °C, on the likely catastrophic effects of continued global warming, defined as an increase in average air temperature near the surface of the Earth. Nearly all climate scientists agree that human activities that generate greenhouse gases have contributed to an increase in the global mean temperature of 0.8 to 1.2 degrees Celsius (1.4 to 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1750, immediately before the start of the Industrial Revolution. This climbing temperature wreaks havoc on natural and human ecosystems (i.e., ecosystems, such as urban ecosystems, that are created or designed to be influenced by humans). It causes lower agricultural yields, extinction events and biodiversity loss, weather-related disasters, and rising sea levels. The IPCC’s report highlights the reality that if humans don’t reduce their greenhouse gas emissions significantly and soon—the scientific team responsible for the report suggested a 40 to 50 percent reduction by the year 2030 and carbon-neutrality (no net addition of carbon dioxide to the global atmosphere) by 2050—it will become harder and more expensive to undo this damage.

Foreword | Saving Earth | Encyclopedia Britannica

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