By: ALEXIS GILLEY
Just like every other species on this planet, humans need earth to live. Unlike other species humans have created many obstacles to keep earth alive. At the beginning of 2020 in the United States there were more than 329 million people. With the rates humans are consuming products, the US is believed to only sustain a population of 150 million people. Despite already being overpopulated, there are more than 1.7 million born each year. If everyone in the world were to live like an average American they would need 4 earths to keep up because as it is, humans are using resources twice as fast as they are regenerating.
Some examples of humans overusing resources are trees and oil. Humans use about 3.5-7 billion trees a year when every year there are only 1.6 billion trees planted. In 2016 there were 1.6 trillion proven barrels of oil reserves in the world, which were estimated to only last 47 years. There are however many numbers that have risen, such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.“In fact, the last time the atmospheric CO2 amounts were this high was more than 3 million years ago, when temperature was 2°–3°C (3.6°–5.4°F) higher than during the pre-industrial era, and sea level was 15–25 meters (50–80 feet) higher than today,” states Climate.gov. There is also an abundance of plastic on earth, with over 300 million tons of plastic used each year and only 50% being reusable.
As humans start to realize their effect on earth, some action has taken place, such as the ozone layer project. A study in 2009 predicted that by 2020, 17 percent of the ozone layer would be destroyed, and with holes in the ozone layer at the south poll this was very concerning. The goal of the ozone layer project is to reduce the “production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances.” Since 2000 the ozone layer has recovered 1-3 percent per decade. Many non-profit groups such as 5 Gyres and Take 3 are helping reduce plastic waste, especially in the ocean. Give Earth a hand and use less wasteful products