I’d say smoking and not disposing of garbage properly. Millions of people smoke which pollutes the air and it’s a habit many people probably won’t give up to save the environment. Many people don’t care about other people’s neighborhoods let alone their own which poses another problem. If you trek through certain areas you will notice a lack of concern for the appearance of their property.
I believe that the most harmful thing we do to the environment is improperly value our ecosystems and the services they provide. I feel that this is the primary reason we have degraded our environment so much. We have failed to value our ecosystems based on how valuable they really are to our survival. For example, turning a wetland into a shopping mall may have immediate economic advantages, but what does it really cost? Wetlands suppress storms, clean water, and are habitats for many species. Once we have thoroughly degraded these ecosystems for profit, how much will it cost us to return them to their natural state, or if it will even be possible to return them to a natural state?
I think that the most harmful thing that we do to the environment is to ignore it. If we placed more value in the environment, that would lead to us taking better care of it. By not placing the appropriate value on our environment, it is really easy for us to mistreat it.
jet travel is preetty destructive to the atmosphere, but probalby the failure to include the cost of envronmental damage in out pricing system is the most destructive. GNP is a lousy measure of economic activity because it does not include the loss of mountian tops, wetlands, river pollution, air pollution, habitat destruction, and so on. We need a new economic measuring styem that does not view the BP clean up activity as an economic plus and includes habitat destruction of the gulf as a minus.
All these answers are good ones, but I think the most damaging thing we do to the environment is have too many children.
Overpopulation is the root cause of all environmental (as well as social, economic, and political) problems. True, these types of issues have been around longer than the world has been overpopulated (within the last 200 years or so in my opinion,) but nearly 7 billion people are bound to exacerbate such problems. I think we all need to be mindful of our actions, like being eco-friendly and consuming less, but that only solves a small part of the problem; Imagine an old man standing in front of all the accumulated trash he has produced in his lifetime. Next to the pile of trash (probably a mile high or so,) is all the smog he has emitted from driving, and next to that all the trees, oil, plants, water, animals, etc that that one man has been responsible for using, eating, or destroying. Even a small percentage could be associated with him for his contribution to global warming, the gap between rich and poor, wars, and destruction of the natural, and cultural, environment.
One or two children should be enough for any one to love and raise be a great person. People who have more than that are either selfish or ignorant. Educating women, as it turns out, is one of the best thing we can do to help curb the problems associated with overpopulation. With more opportunities, come less desire, or ability, to have large families. This practice should be taken seriously not only in our country, but everywhere overpopulation is a problem- which as a matter of fact, is everywhere.
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