Green and blue are the two main colors that make up planet Earth. But over the last few years, several disasters have affected our environment, and took away some of the green and blue that we once had. (Photographer: Todd Kay)
Green and blue are the two main colors that make up planet Earth. But over the last few years, several disasters have affected our environment, and took away some of the green and blue that we once had.

Photographer: Todd Kay

Could We Reclaim The “Green and Blue” That Was Lost?

How can America help the world change the environment that all species live in?

March 15, 2022

The planet of Earth is known for its two main colors: green and blue. Green landscapes and blue bodies of water will only have greatness if there’s nothing that will demolish their purpose. They serve to help every living animal and plant to obtain their habitat, either on land or in water. But we’ve experienced plenty of disasters–some humanly caused–that have not only heavily impacted the United States, but also the world.

Most humans are doing one big thing that is causing global warming, and that is polluting, which is taking a drastic effect all over the planet. Marine life is some of the most vulnerable species due to man made pollution. Something as small as a piece of plastic will cause marine life to suffer, and even die. Bodies of water are kept clean when there are fish swimming around in them, but if we don’t prevent pollution from getting into the water, major consequences will arise.
We have animals and plants on our land that help to produce the foods we eat, but air pollution, which can harm crops and stimulate disease, comes from the fuel-powered cars on the roads, and the carbon emissions that are produced.

Currently, changes are being made in order to prevent more disasters as a result of air pollution, however, it can take years until a viable solution to global warming is finally discovered. Back in 2020, California wildfires burned a total of 3 million acres, according to The New York Times. In fact, a drought that lasted most of the previous decade has led to the death of 163 million trees in California’s forests.

According to the graph, most deaths from outdoor air pollution occur in North America, where the total number of deaths increased by more than 1 million after 1990. (Wikimedia Commons)

The truth about wildfires, though, is that they’re humanly caused; these are commonly caused by campground fires being left unattended, and burning trees which will lead to a more rapid spread. The Bear Fire in 2018 burned 230,000 acres in 24 hours. Losing neighborhoods and other landscapes take a lot of time to recover, even if they are burned in just a short period of time.

I believe that all of the wildfires on land and pollution in the bodies of water are causing the “green and blue” to fade, so, how can we regain what we have lost?

Private companies are being forced to do most of the work to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, but they cannot be the only ones doing so. The government also needs to implement policies to encourage green living, and it can do so by making policy decisions with climate change as a factor. The government’s ability to implement policies is based on their ability to support farmers who are most impacted by environmental change, and by allowing sales of electric vehicles (EVs).

People need to keep in mind that they are the ones that are causing rapid climate change, and therefore they don’t take advantage of the world that we live in. Polluting is one thing that people do to cause climate change, but the stability of the environment is decreasing overtime. Because of the natural growth in global population, the population distribution of humans is widespread, but any humanly caused disaster will not only dehumanize communities, but it will interfere with plant and animal species that help to keep the world functioning day to day.

Another problem that’s occurring is that we’re leaving trash out instead of throwing it away, or using it to recycle. Leaving trash is an act of selfishness of humanity, and it’s the root of the larger problems that we’re experiencing more broadly. Ever since I first started working as a bagger at Schnucks, I’ve seen trash being left in several places on the property, especially outside in the parking lot. If nothing is done to prevent this, it will not have an immediate effect on our environment, but I will lead to some effect at one point. People just aren’t taking the right actions to respect the environment that we live in, and they must learn to act in favor.

The Environmental Movement in 1970 called for attention on pollution and urged Congress to pass measures in order to promote clean air and water. Later that decade, the movement addressed environmental threats as a result of the disposal of toxic waste. Near the end of the 20th century, the environmental agenda consisted of worldwide problems, including global warming, which isn’t the biggest priority currently.

The first Earth Day was established on April 22, 1970 to signal the public’s attention on threats to the environment. In New York City, more than 100,000 people marched on Fifth Avenue in support of protecting the Earth, but this number was a small portion of the estimated twenty million who participated in the event.

There certainly was a high number of people who favored protecting the earth for clean air and water, but I think that whatever’s been happening lately doesn’t match the expected outcome of the movement.

I really enjoy traveling, and I take in all the scenic roads and landscapes that I see, but I hope that nothing will block me from spending time doing my favorite hobby. It feels breathtaking as I grasp almost every ounce of the scenery, especially of green and blue colors, but it’s something that could be destroyed if we continue to threaten the environment.

Traveling is essentially for people to have opportunities to see the world outside of the community in which they live; and this can continue if nothing will destroy their chances of seeing such picturesque landscapes, filled with mountains of glory and clean, freshwater lakes and rivers.

If this scenery is completely destroyed–which either will or will not happen–traveling will not exist, and people will have lost opportunities to see other parts of the nation, and the world. In concern of improving the environment, Theodore Roosevelt, who served as the 26th president of the United States, enabled the American Antiquities Act of 1906. This law provided legal protection for cultural and natural resources of Federal lands.

Roosevelt established 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game reserves, five national parks, and 18 national parks. Roosevelt was able to protect approximately 230 million acres of public land during his presidency, and 150 million acres of this land was dedicated to national forests.
Having national parks allows people to visit them, and realize how certain species are keeping these parks beautiful and clean; but humans aren’t always accountable for the interactive space that all species are given.

EVs are a nice step in the right direction for CO2 emissions, but it also matters how we source the energy going into those EVs.

— Chuck Collis

Not only is waste impacting the species in our environment, but also from the cars we drive. Although there are various car companies that are fully electric, or have a plan to produce only zero emission models in the near future, the increase in the use of fuel-powered vehicles accounts for approximately one-fifth of all emissions in the United States alone; these cars emit 24 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gasses for every gallon of gasoline.

Going electric is the expected future of transportation, however, there are some major drawbacks to sales of these models, specifically of cars.
“EVs are a nice step in the right direction for CO2 emissions, but it also matters how we source the energy going into those EVs,” said AP Environmental Science teacher Chuck Collis, “[they] are dependent on rare Earth elements that are currently in short supply. Collis also said that EVs only allow us to continue to perpetuate a wasteful transportation system.

It’s true that most people have access to public transportation, which can take care of the majority of our day to day travel requirements, however, some people may not find public transportation as useful as using their own vehicles. Thus, the United States doesn’t really have any electrified transit systems at the moment, whereas there are more electric cars, and yet, they’re coming sooner.

Although we might run into a low supply of resources for EVs, we can use nuclear power, or the use of nuclear reactions to produce electricity, to gain more supply. If the U.S. government is unable to implement policies in relation to cleaning the environment, car companies developing EVs is most likely to be the best solution to a better environment in the future. I think that all we need to do is to be innovative in coming up with solutions that will make EVs worth buying, and therefore improve the environment in just a matter of years. We must reclaim the “green and blue” that we have lost to anything that has demolished our world’s habitats, forests, farms, and aquatic ecosystems.

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