If someone asked you what the most important thing in the world was, people would say either their family, friends, or something along those lines. But how many people would say that the planet itself is the most important thing? If there is something that humans take for granted everyday, it would most definitely be the Earth. Our universe is about 13.7 billion years old and in that, Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Even so, our planet ever since the beginning provided a home to billions of creatures and life has been preserved for almost 3.7 billion years. In that time, Earth has gone through many stages of regeneration but it has always come back more beautiful than before. All the species that existed before humans never hurt the planet intentionally. Instead, those creatures lived their life surviving off of what the planet gave them and they never took more than what they deserved. That is why the Earth has been so perfectly preserved for countless years.
Humans first appeared on the planet around two million years ago and ever since then we have taken over almost every single inch of land we could find. Society spread to the deepest parts of the world, overcoming multiple plagues, wars, and numerous natural disasters. Whatever the world threw at us, humanity overcame it. We sent rockets into space and landed people on the moon. We found the cure to numerous diseases but were the cause of many more. We planted thousands of trees but destroyed entire ecosystems. The human race has not even existed for even a billion years on the planet but we have caused a lifetime’s worth of damage.
The Amazon rainforest–the biggest stretch of forest in the whole planet once harbored close to 390 billion trees. But now, every single day the Amazon loses almost 10,000 acres of forest land. Our oceans are becoming polluted every second and species of beautiful creatures are being hunted to extinction. This is the legacy humans have left. Although scientists are unsure about the exact carrying capacity of the Earth, we can assume that one day it will end. Our population as of 2022 is already 8 billion so the question is, when will humanity be too much for our planet to bear?
Because of the immense growth in population, countless problems are already arising. In multiple African countries, droughts, epidemics, lack of food supplies, and unhygienic environmental issues are steadily rising. Millions of people in countries like Somalia and Nigeria are struggling to find even one meal a day. Children are starving everyday and we are losing thousands of lives to hunger and disease. The world we live in now faces countless adversities and yet we never give up. That is the only thing moving humanity forward–hope. Hope for a better and peaceful future, but what are people doing to make sure we even have a future to look forward to?
Whenever someone goes to a grocery store, they come back with their arms loaded with plastic bags, and when they reach home, they probably throw those plastic bags away. But where does all that plastic end up? Every year, more than 8 million tons of plastic seeps its way into the world’s oceans contaminating every inch of it. Millions of fish and other sea creatures are affected by the plastic and they’re not the only ones. Any other creature who eats the contaminated fish will also be affected and in the end, it becomes an eternal cycle of pollution. Every single plastic bag makes a difference and yet no one does anything about it. Trash litters our roads, parks, oceans, and even the sky above us. As of 2022, more than 30,000 objects are just drifting in outer space as junk. And even though that doesn’t affect our planet directly, one day it will.
And arguably the most important factor is climate change. Climate change is an extremely controversial topic and even after entire ecosystems have been destroyed, some people still refuse to believe that climate change exists. One of the main causes of climate change is factory and car emissions. These two factors lead directly to global warming which causes ice caps to melt causing irreversible damage. Climate change affects everyone and everything equally and it is slowly disintegrating our planet. The Earth has existed for billions of years harboring countless life forms and it is our responsibility to return the favor by saving this amazing planet.