Poverty can often be both a cause and an effect of environmental degradation because those living near or below the poverty line often rely on natural resources more than those who are wealthy, leading to faster rates of consumption and depletion. In turn, a degraded environment can then keep people in an impoverished state due to a lack of natural resources. Poverty can also lead to higher birth rates and population due to a lack of education and reliable contraceptives, which in turn leads to further environmental degradation and depletion.
As far as attitude and ignorance go, people are notoriously bad at thinking about the decisions they make in terms of how those decisions affect people other than themselves. Not recycling your soda cans from lunch has, overall, a negligible short-term effect on your life as you live it, which makes it easy to forget how those unrecycled cans may affect the greater population and even your own life in the future.
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