Many a time I have heard my parents hollering to clean my room when it is not orderly; this is a cry is repeated among most households in the United States: the average American family spends just under twenty hours a week cleaning its home. Unfortunately, a bitter irony arises here: people spend so much time and effort keeping their homes clean while giving little thought, beyond recycling paper and aluminum, to keeping their “larger” home, the environment, clean.
Pollution is a direct result of society’s misuse of technology. Everyday, our body of knowledge increases, and thus, unfortunately, more technology results in more sources of pollution. A growing number of problems and question arise: those of morality and consequences. Accordingly, power is addictive, and for this reason, power must be tempered by responsibility. However, we are unable to use this is power effectively. Everyone wants their own car; no one is willing to surrender convenience in order to benefit the whole. These words are not without reinforcement, for today, pollution pervades through our biosphere; our water, soil, and air are tainted with pollutants. If a clean home is the reflection of a person, the human race is definitely quite hideous, for one need only look around to see that we have poisoned everything we touch: the air, the soil, and the water. Perhaps we consider ourselves separate from nature, but being its inhabitants and sustained by its resources, we are inevitably part of it. Any ill we inflict upon Mother Earth will eventually affect us.
Water covers over two thirds of the Earth and composes most of out bodies. Only small fraction of this is fresh and drinkable. Water is a precious, limited resources necessary for life. Yet, we flaunt water with reckless abandon. For example, over seventy-five percent of the fresh water in New Jersey is unfit for consumption. Being a liquid, a single drop of pollutant can render thousands of gallons contaminated. This is why oil spills are so destructive. Thousand of gallons of crude oil are released causing widespread destruction and pollution. Pesticide runoffs, dioxins, and other hazardous chemicals are discharged into streams and rivers. These chemicals are found in many common household products. Minimal effort is made to control their spread.
Humans have concocted all forms daily poisons to inhale. These poisons may travel in the air as waves or particles. With increasing communication, the level of radio waves, television waves, and other electromagnetic radiation have increased as well. Although no direct correlation can be observed, it obviously unhealthy to have all these energy ray whizzing through you. Nitrogen Oxides released by industry leads to acid rain. For particle matter, a Lehigh resident need only drive down the hill to the old “decomissioned” Bethlehem Steel Mill. From Route 78 one can smell the sulfur used refine the steel. When this factory was in operation, this was easily tenfold what it is today. Automobiles are a large source of this pollution. Their carbon dioxide causes global warming while CFC’s from their airconditioners deplete the ozone layer. Ozone depletetion is probably not so serious. After all, we are being bombarded by radiation from our hundred and one appliances.
Soil has not been spared from mankind’s onslaught.
Even the space near Earth, particularly LEO Low Earth Orbit is showing the effects of extended human contact. “Space Garbage” is the term given to this phenomenon. Space Garbage is a result of the many satellites and probes launched and never recovered. Much of this junk, second stage boosters and old used satellites left from the Cold War and race to the moon. Some might say that space garbage is of consequence to people on Earth. After all, it usually burns up during reenrty into the atmosphere. This is true. But this garbage is orbiting the Earth at extremely high velocities. Space garbage has been theorized to cost taxpayers billions of dollars in damaged equipment (i.e., television satellites, communication satellites, etc.). Even though it is a thousand miles above the Earth, space garbage affects everyone. If this continues, everything entering orbit will require some sort of shielding. This would cost consumers even more since ever pound of material shipped up to orbit