Unsustainable Development and its implications on Nature
Humans are very smart beings. Our brain helps us to adapt to a wide variety of ecosystems. This quality of adaption has resulted in a very steep rise in our population.
After India got independence from the Britishers in 1947, the living conditions have improved drastically for a lot of people. Now, they have access to comparatively better health and education services.
Infant Mortality Rate has come down (~ 76% decline) and Average Life Expectancy has gone up (~ 65% rise). This improvement in basic amenities has helped India’s population to grow 375%, from its 36 crore size in 1951 to 135 crore size in 2020. One obvious drawback of such a massive population explosion is the rise in competition.
Analogy of Bacteria
Above is a graph Bacterial Population Life Cycle. As you can observe in it, the Bacterial life cycle can be divided into 4 stages. In the Lag Phase, bacterias take up nutrition from the media.
Then after attaining a certain level of growth, they divide. The new bacteria created after division also take up nutrition from the media and divides (Exponential Phase). This cycle of division continues for a while, resulting in a vast increase in Bacterial Population.
With each division, bacteria use nutrition and release some toxins. So after continuous divisions, nutrition from the media gets over and the level of toxins rises.
This change of environment results in the stoppage of the growth of the bacterial population (Stationary Phase).
Over time, the level of nutritional content and toxins create unsustainable conditions. So Death Rate surpasses the Birth Rate. And slowly, Bacterial Population starts decreasing.
What we can learn from this?
Taking a cue from the Bacterial Population growth. Humans are currently in the Exponential Phase (375% growth of Indian Population). We are exploiting each and every resource we can put our hands on. We have a very high population growth rate.
Our method of growth is clearly unsustainable. So, the number of toxins being accumulated in the environment is very high.
The impact of our reckless growth on other species is very severe. A lot of those species have got extinct and another lot is just on the verge of extinction.
Moreover, continuous global warming has the ability to create unfavorable environment and food security issues, as the impact of Global Warming on Agriculture is very bad.
So, It won’t be an over-exaggeration to say that Humans with their unsustainable development activities are moving toward their own end.
Many governments around the world have locked down their countries to limit the spread of the virus. This has resulted in a limited movement of humans. Factories have also been shut down. So, pollution levels have decreased.
Rivers and canals are in a self-cleaning mode. Air Quality of even the most polluted cities in the world has improved. You can enjoy the view of the Himalayan range from very far (i.e. visibility has improved). Wildlife has also taken full benefit of this moment of relief.
But, as the lockdowns will be eased, we can expect everything to return to the pre-coronavirus levels. And I can assure you that most people won’t even notice any change and they will continue their activities.
One thing worth noting is that only Human Activities have the ability to impact nature to such a devastating level.
Why only Human development affects Nature to such a devastating extent?
As I had mentioned earlier, humans are smart beings. We are not bacterias or lions or cows or crows, we know how to survive in places cooler or hotter (than idle). We know how to grow food, we know how to fight against something that is even bigger than ourselves, we know how to travel to the moon.
Moreover, our capitalist nature of getting the most profit out of any transaction forces us to exploit mother nature to its extremes. Just to say, the oil-rich countries haven’t lowered the rate of extraction of crude oil from earth even when the demand for oil has stumped due to the lockdowns.
Ray of Hope
I agree that humans are not model animals. But, there are some people who understand this. They are the ones who try not to exploit everything to the extreme.
Ideally, we should aim to become like them, the nature-loving beings. So, don’t feel depressed that humans are such jackasses.
Just improve yourself. Create less Non-Biodegradable Waste. Use Public Transport. Plant Trees.
As you have completed this article, I can assure you that you will also enjoy my writing on How can survive through almost anything. Click here to read that.
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