Our Changing Environment

How can we preserve our natural flora and fauna?

Early human intervention

We have inherited a world of complex biodiversity in which all types of flora and fauna have a place in the structure of all our lives and effects upon any one one species can have untold effects upon every one of us and so the need to conserve the natural habitats of our native flowers, plants, trees, mammals, birds and insects are based as much on practicalities as on ethical considerations. The world, however, is changing - much of this change is down to human activity but a great deal of it is from natural causes over which we have no control. Climate change is only part of the equation, the continents are changing too as the world's tectonic plates continue to move against each other, causing some land to rise, some to fall and some to be consumed by catastrophic volcanic activity. These effects have caused huge changes to the world as we know it; the poles were once in temperate zones and covered in forests, the English Channel was once a fordable river estuary, North America and Siberia were joined together.

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On a smaller and more recent scale the Greek port of Ephesus was said to have been rendered uninhabitable by mosquitoes and other flies that bred amongst the raw sewage that accumulated outside the city walls as the sea retreated into the distance; it is now seven kilometers away. Eastern England is sinking; London could well need to have Dutch-style dykes in the future and much of our coastline is being abandoned in the face of the unequal challenge from the sea, which isn't even visible now from the (once sea-front) promenade at Southport. We humans can build new cities to replace those that nature has destroyed but our wildlife has to contend not only with natural changes but human activities too so if they are to thrive into the future their habitats may need to be protected or they may need to be able to relocate to regions in which the climate is more suitable for them, and human intervention may be crucial to effect this. Humans have already, throughout history, had a huge impact on the Earth's ecology.

Beginnings of agriculture

Beginnings of industry

Climate change

What can we do?

 

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