C:\fakepath\16.2 #2 taking care of the planetPresentation Transcript
TAKING CARE OF THE PLANET Our earth has a limited amount of resources. Thank goodness mother nature is a good recycler. We have already learned that nature recycles energy, water, carbon and nitrogen, and those are just a few.
We’ve also learned that organisms tend to maintain a balance of species in an ecosystem because of a food chain or food web. Do you remember what would happen if there were very few beetles or snails in the food chain? Less beetles and snails mean that there is not enough food for the small fish so they die out. And then the same would happen for the big fish and the platypus. Eventually there would just be a lot of plants. But, the extra food means the beetles would start to thrive and the fish and platypus could make a comeback.
BALANCE Nature, left alone, tends to be really good at maintaining a proper balance. We called that balance homeostasis way back in module 3. But…nature isn’t left alone. Humans live on the planet and they are constantly altering or changing nature. Sometimes those alterations are unhealthy for the environment.
INTERDEPENDANCE All living things depend on their environment for survival. We learned that when we studied food chains and energy pyramids in module 15. So, if people don’t take care of the environment, it harms the organisms that live there. In some cases it affects the entire earth. Eventually, it will harm people, too. Mistreating the environment makes the Earth sick!
ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS A few of the more common environmental problems are 1) Pollution Global Warming 3) Resource Depletion
How People Damage The Environment Unwanted or harmful changes in the environment are called pollution.
POLLUTION We will briefly address water, air and land pollution.
Oil and otherchemicals from cars WATER POLLUTION
Our bodies are more than 50% water and we require a lot
of water for our cells to function and keep us running.
Although the surface of the earth is 70% water, only about
3% of that water is freshwater, and we are able to drink far less than 1% of that.
We are polluting so much of our water through our
everyday actions, like those shown in the pictures below.
We are also polluting our water with industry and farming.
AIR POLLUTION We need air to stay alive, but how clean is the air we breathe? Some of the activities we do daily put polluted air in our environment. Driving a car, using electricity and burning waste, all these contribute to air pollution.
LAND POLLUTION Land pollution comes from many sources. Industry, farming, household activities and littering, to name a few. Besides being ugly, it can be dangerous. Chemicals can leak into the soil where they can pose problems for humans and animals for many, many years.
RESOURCE DEPLETION We have already learned that our planet has limited resources and that mother nature is a good recycler of some of those resources. Americans consume 40% of the resources being used around the world, yet we make up only 5% of the population.
That is like having 20 pieces of pizza to split between 20 people. Then one person takes 8 pieces and the rest have to split the remaining 12 pieces. If everyone in the world consumed as much resources as Americans do, we would need five earths to support us.
RENEWABLE AND NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCES Some resources are renewable. You can use trees to make wood and paper products, but you can also replant them. Other resources are non-renewable. Once you use them they are gone for good. Oil is a non-renewable resource. We use oil for fuel and plastics among other things. But we can run out of both resources. Even renewable resources must not be consumed faster than we can replace them.
GLOBAL WARMING Global warming may be the most significant problem facing our world today. Basically global warming is an increase in the planet’s temperature. This increase results in all sorts of climate change. Some places flood, others suffer through drought, crops perish, and coastline waters rise.
What causes global warming? Let’s try to keep it simple. 1) The sun warms up the earth. The earth’s atmosphere usually traps just enough heat to keep us at the right temperatures. 2) Scientists have discovered that too much CO2 gas (carbon dioxide) causes more heat to be trapped. This results in rising temperatures. 3) We are putting more and more CO2 in the atmosphere because of our need for energy. Every time we drive our car or turn on a light we are putting CO2 in the air. 4) This temperature increase is causing our ice at the poles to melt which then causes higher temperatures. 5) It is a cycle, only this time a bad one.
That was a lot of information. To make it easier and more fun to learn, click on the link below and go listen to earthman sing his song about global warming. It is a great tune, and you can pause as you listen to write down information. Click on the link below to learn more about global warming. The Earthman Project - Climate Crisis Jam
WHAT CAN WE DO? So, the earth has limited resources, and humans are using them up and misusing them. We are destroying our only home. We have recognized the problem, how do we solve it? Well, we can recycle. Some scientists think we should recycle everything in our homes, not just plastics , cardboard and bottles. We can talk to adults about recycling, conserving water, and minimizing pollution.
WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO? We can replace our light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. We can bike, bus or walk whenever possible. We can turn out lights and save on electricity. We can grow our own garden and eat organic food.
SO WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? We’ve learned that we have limited resources. Some are renewable and some are not. We’ve also learned that all organisms on the planet are dependent upon those resources and each other. If we use up or misuse our resources, we can put ourselves and the planet out of balance. We are using up resources such as water, energy, fish, and minerals. We are also misusing our resources in the form of water, air and land pollution which is leading to environmental problems such as global warming.