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Humans and the Environment

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The irony of it all is that even the human beings themselves are threatened by their own actions. In agriculture for instance, human beings have embraced technological developments in farming some of which have devastating effects on the soil. Developments such as the use of modern engineered pesticides have proved efficient in dealing with pests but the resultant effect on the survival of the other organisms in the soil is rarely taken into consideration. The pesticides end up killing the worms in the soil which play a very crucial role in ensuring that the soil is well aerated. This development in modes of farming has a short-lived benefit on the farming practice since it may result in improved farming of a given crop species in a given season but in the long run results in the depletion of soil quality (Berry, 2002). There has also been an improvement in farming by producing genetically engineered crops which flourish well during cultivation but most of them cannot produce viable seeds for replanting. This therefore means that the crop generation is limited to one since it can only be planted once. The genetically engineered crops have been recommended as one of the most efficient ways of attaining food sufficiency in countries faced with the food shortage as a result of small farming lands available or due to unfavorable climatic conditions in the countries affected. It has been claimed that the genetically engineered crops are responsible fro the many cancers reported in most people nowadays. In some countries where genetically modified products have been allowed on large scale such as in South Africa there was a substantial increase of cancer cases reported a few years afterwards. The human beings’ activities in the energy sector are one of the major causes of pollution in the world. In the 19th century the use of horses and oxen to produce power was common. The horses would then be fed and would then be ready to be used another day. This represented a basic description of renewable energy. It is from this that the term ‘horsepower’ was coined. Human beings have through time developed machines that no longer require the power of the horse to run but instead they rely on the petroleum related fuels which are fossil fuels. Petroleum results after a process that takes millions of years. The rate of use is therefore higher than the rate of regeneration which renders petroleum as one of the sources of non-renewable energy. In addition the exploration of petroleum results into fields of land that is not suitable for agricultural activities. This is contrary to the use of horses as sources of energy since horses produce cow dung that can be used as manure for cultivating agricultural crops in the farms. In addition horses used to graze on abandoned fields that were not being used for any agricultural activities (Courteau, 2007). In order to minimize on the land pollution associated with the exploration of the fossil fuels, some countries have embarked on trying to use other sources of the fuel from what previously used to be considered as petroleum waste. In Canada for example, there are massive investments in place to try and process petroleum fuel from the tar sands (Kolbert, 2007). The other negative aspect of the fossil fuels is the poisonous emissions associated with their use. These fuels produce a lot of carbon while undergoing combustion which in turn