5 Major Environmental Issues In The USA, Change Starts With Knowledge

by Miranda Yearwood-Brumbaugh
(Cornelia, Georgia, US)

There are five major environmental problems facing the U.S. today. These are deforestation, increased food production, pollution and garbage, acid rain, smog and air pollution and US oil companies.

Deforestation is a major concern with 16 million hectares of forest being flattened to make room for parking lots, Wal-Marts and housing worldwide—each year. The decline of old growth forests is particularly problematic because this means a loss of natural habitat and certain foods that humans and animals depend on for energy. Along with the rest of biodiversity, I think forests are part of the world's “biological storehouses.”

The increased production of food may appear inexpensive, when you can buy a hamburger for a buck, but in reality, it is extremely expensive. More food being produced, in terms of livestock and farming, causes an increased degrading of the soil. When farmers are using the same plot of land over and over again, the soil looses its subsistence, and turns into desert providing zero habitat and leading to erosion.

How Can You Help The Environment

If we continue, all of our land will look like the Dust Bowl created in California by farmers.

There is an increasing decline in the fisheries, resulting in fish farming where thousands of fish are hatched in tanks and that creates high levels of toxins that are absorbed by the fish, and ultimately ourselves. The decline of fresh water has been taken into account by some political groups, but the real threat is far from being acknowledged, and undoubtedly will be ignored until we are out of potable water.

Instead of preventing this problem, scientific research has focused on filtering the salt from ocean water so we can drink up our seas after all the fresh water has disappeared. Seventy-five percent of ground water is polluted, and each American generates almost one ton of garbage each year.

I believe that this is very sad, considering we are a nation that sets the trends and examples for other countries. We are teaching our kids selfishness instead of ecological awareness.

Acid rain is dangerous to all living things, as well as the monuments and buildings that have withstood wars and natural disasters. This rain eats through concrete; imagine what it would do to us if we had to drink it or use it for household purposes because we ran out of clean water.

The increase in carbon dioxide resulting from air pollution, in the form of exhaust from automobiles, waste burning and poisons that are released from all kinds of products, is leading to massive climate change that is currently a hot topic amongst world leaders.

U.S. oil companies are creating a enormous disaster, as the oil that is leaked every second into the environment is 100 times greater than the Exxon Valdez's oil spill. This does not even account for such gushers as the current crisis in the Gulf, and this is occurring all day, every day. However, preventing such “leaks” costs too much money, and big interests in oil have covered up this problem.

Man Saves Garbage For One Year

Until we as Americans, understand what is the real problems facing the environment, we will fail to make positive progress in saving it. Knowledge is power. Learn everything you can about the environment, keep up with the news, and apply the knowledge by recycling, reducing electricity and fuel expenditures, and being conscientious of what is happening in the environment in your community. Pick up litter, ride a bike, and share information with others.

This is our country, our environment and we are responsible for our own actions...

Aren't we?


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