Destruction of Nature: Ignorance or Careless Intention

There has always been the question of whether the Earth is being ruined because of human’s inability to develop the means to take care of nature or their careless and lack of concern towards a healthy environment.  What we do know is that man has not always destroyed the Earth to the level that we see today.  When humans first started to live off of the land, they learned how to exist peacefully with and respect their environment.  Some of these early people include Native Americans.  As people from more developed places, like Europe, began interacting with them, they introduced them to more destructive ways of using nature for their own good.  This is what started the thoughtless of the nature around us.

Unlike Native Americans, European settlers did not have the mindset of taking care of the land around them.  They considered all land that could not be used for planting food as useless.  Once they came to America, they came across an abundance of open land that could, as they thought, be used for whatever they desired.  This also gave them the idea that they could afford to waste however much land they wanted.  Because of this idea, Europeans found ways to “get rid off” the land that they deemed useless.  For example, when the Dutch settled in New York, they decided to drain the salt marshes because there was no way to grow the food that they needed.  Although the settlers needed some land to live off of, for planting food and spices, they felt entitled to all of the land.  This may have been where the problem began.  Europeans were using the land for their survival and there were not enough of them at the time for their disregard towards their environment to make a significant impact on the Earth as a whole. Unintentionally, this set the standards for the world we live in today.

Compared to today, Europeans had less information about what wasting land and nature could do to the planet.  Though their actions were still relatively careless, they did not have the advantage of technology and science to give them a look into what their activities would do to the Earth as a whole.  Since then, we have learned that land is a great resource.  Even if it cannot be used for agriculture, it can contain nutrients, oil, and even precious metals and gems.  Perfect examples of that are swamps and salt marshes.  They cannot serve as planting ground, but the unique nutrients and organisms that live within them can be used for many different purposes. Without these valuable minerals, nature is still important to our environment.  It provides the oxygen we breathe and a balance in the world’s ecosystem.  We have also learned that because of careless and wasteful behavior our environment is at an extreme risk.  We are already facing problems with global warming and shortages in natural resources.  Even with this information, we continue to disrespect the environment.  People still litter and cause excess pollution.  Business still cause harm to bodies of water and waste large amounts of land that could be valuable in many different ways.  Unfortunately, we have not learned from our past.  People continue to destroy nature without thinking about how much of a difference caring for our environment would make.

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