Biological conservation is important for the sake of future generations
Due to industrial and technological booms in recent decades, it has become increasingly evident to both scientists and the general population that we are living in a period of extraordinary biodiversity loss. This has resulted in severe damage to the atmosphere and ecosytems, leading to endangered and extinct species. Although many nations overuse resources, Americans especially take running water, food, gasoline, paper and other luxuries for granted. If people are not educated on the effects of current human habits, future generations could suffer or even go extinct.
Currently, Americans consume more energy than any other country. In fact, if other countries lived the lavish lifestyle that Americans are known for, all of the world’s natural resources would already be depleted. Due to citizens, industries and governments having incentives to overuse and damage natural resources, the value of open-access resources, such as water, air and soil, are gradually lost to society—a concept described as “the tragedy of the commons.”
For example, one selfish company dumping chemical wastes into lakes results in degraded drinking water, fewer safe fish to eat, less opportunity to bathe or swim in clean water and loss of species unable to survive in polluted water. On a smaller scale, one who excessively uses paper and never recycles contributes to clear-cutting and erosion, which results in lumber being more expensive, habitat destruction and species dying. Also, college students who drive multiple times a day with an older, gasoline-powered car pollute the air and contribute to global warming, a term referring to increases in average global temperature encouraged by human activities that release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
While it is a biological fact that the world’s natural resources are rapidly diminishing, it is necessary to have an optimistic attitude towards conservation biology. If everyone took initiative to educate themselves on the environmental results of their habits, people would be less likely to continue taking advantage of resources.
Seemingly miniscule actions, such as turning off the water while brushing teeth, buying local produce, carpooling when possible and recycling, make a huge difference. If one is fortunate enough to have the option of investing in forms of alternative energy in place of fossil fuels, such as electric cars or solar-powered panels, Earth will have a longer, more sustainable lifespan.
While we are fortunate to live in a country that provides people, wealthy or poor, with clean water, food and transportation, it is the duty of citizens to get educated, limit resource consumption and invest in environmentally friendly options to allow people of the future the same luxuries that exist today. Time is running out, and Americans must change now for the sake of generations to come.