Effects of Pollution on Humans and Wildlife

Health_effects_of_pollution

Body Burden is an accumulation of chemical toxins in our body. In 2005, an average of 200 chemicals were found in the cord blood on newborns. “Our babies are being born pre-polluted”, says Sharyle Patton, co-sponsor of “Is It in Us?”

According to the UN World Water Assessment Programme, about 2.3 billion people suffer from diseases associated with polluted water, and more than 5 million people die from these illnesses each year. Dysentery, typhoid, cholera, and hepatitis A are some of the ailments that result from ingesting water contaminated with harmful microbes. Other illnesses—such as malaria, filariasis, yellow fever, and sleeping sickness—are transmitted by vector organisms (such as mosquitoes and tsetse flies) that breed in or live near stagnant, unclean water. Continue reading

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Age of Oil

Mountain Topping: when miners use explosives to remove the tops of mountains to gain access to coal buried deep within.

Mountain Topping occurs when miners use explosives to remove the caps of mountains to gain access to coal buried deep within.

Coal and Natural Gas are two possible alternatives that could replace our dependence of oil in the near future, but both have severe environmental consequences. Coal is more abundant than oil and it is assumed to exist in nearly inexhaustible quantities. It can be used to produce electricity, sustain a cleaner environment than oil, and drive production for electric transportation.” (Turk and Bensel, 2014) Acidification however, is a fundamental drawback to dirty coal and its poisonous levels of CO2 on the environment are slowly choking our oceans and everything in it.

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Locavore

Photo Credit: Foodem.com

Photo Credit: Foodem.com

“Locavore – One who primarily eats food that is grown or produced within the Local Community or Region.” 

Support your Local Farmers!

Biomes and Biodiversity

Biodiversity

“Despite our many advances, our environment is still threatened by a range of problems including; global climate change, energy dependence on unsustainable fossil fuels, and loss of biodiversity.” – Dan Lipinski

Should humans be concerned with the extinction rate?

If humans are not concerned with terrestrial or aquatic extinction they should be, especially when it comes to the trophic cascade of the African Forest Elephant which is a keystone species in Kenya. Trophic cascade is defined as the “cascading effect that a change in the size of one population at the top of the food web has on the population below it.” (Turk & Bensel, 2014) Because of the rapid decline of the African Forest Elephant due to human-wildlife conflict other r-selected and k-selected species that rely on elephant activity for their survival will also be affected.

African Forest Elephants are a lot like humans whereas they are family orientated, social, self-aware, mourn the loss of family members, and the calf’s are dependent upon their mother’s milk the first few years of their life. Without their mother or families to protect them it would only be a matter of time before the calf would succumb to the elements or from a broken heart. (Bradshaw, 2004) Because African Forest Elephants gestation period is roughly two years, when herds of elephants are killed by poachers for their ivory the chances of extinction increases as maturity levels for reproduction do not occur until around 15 years of age. Continue reading