It started thousands of years ago. Man, animals and the flora combined to make our earth the most beautiful planet in the universe. All three blended well, with man and animals making their habitat in the forests and mountains among the flora. Natural resources were shared by all. But with some of the animals being at the top of the food chain, others felt threatened by their presence. Physically being weaker than the animals, man had to plan for his survival and that started the development.
Initially, to protect himself from the inclement weather and the threats of carnivorous animals, man started living in shelter and with fellow human beings. Since then these shelters have developed from caves to ultra modern penthouses and small habitations have developed into metropolitan cities. That is the scale of development that mankind has witnessed.
However, the other two -animals and flora- have suffered to the extent that many of the animals and plants have already become extinct or are on the verge of extinction. Jungles have been leveled to build roads, setup factories and build houses. Mountains have been chipped and blown away to pave the way for highways or railways. All this is happening in the name of development for the human beings only, and at the cost of the other two inhabitants -animals and flora. But the question is whether this lopsided development is sustainable?
The constant erosion of forests has resulted in loss of habitat for the wild animals. No wonder that now and then we hear about incidents of wild cats being found in cities. They are considered dangerous and are killed. But the fact is that human population has grown in a disproportionate quantum and has moved closer to the animal habitats, causing humans to become the dangerous interloper.
Wood from forests has been used up to meet man’s energy requirements or for building houses. The overall result is an increase in pollution levels, global warming, depletion of natural resources and ecological imbalances. The sea levels are rising and that is causing a major threat to human survival in the coastal areas. Depletion of ozone layer has added to the woes and can result in many problems.
Man has successfully overcome the challenge from the animals, but in the process we have forgotten that the animals and the plants are also a part of the same ecosystem that has man as its important constituent. If one component is lost, the whole system will collapse, and with that mankind will also race towards its extinction.
It is time that the ecology is preserved to make the development into a sustainable development. Alternative sources of energy have to be used to relieve pressure from our natural resources. Solar power is being used to convert it into solar energy; similarly wind power has been translated into wind energy. Recycling of paper can be a lifeline for trees. Developing renewable sources of energy can help in longevity of natural resources like coal, gasoline and other fossil fuels. Vehicles using non-conventional, earth friendly energy resources can help in keeping pollution levels lower.
With our combined efforts, we still can restore the right balance of ecology. Only with a green earth mindset, can we hope for a sustainable development.
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