The environmentally damaging actions disrupt or destroy ecosystems and ultimately cause the danger that humans destroyed their own livelihood. Global effects include the greenhouse effect, the destruction of the ozone layer, the rainforest destruction (not only in the tropics, but also in temperate climates such as Canada) or the pollution of the oceans. The particular problem with the protection of these environmental goods is: Damage to goods that some or many use, but no one wants to protect. Example nuclear waste sinking in the sea: The sinking state has thereby first a high benefit in the form of an enormous cost saving. However, the damage spreads so widely that the other states see no reason to take action against the sinking.
Decades of reminders from environmentalists and water experts have contributed to the fact that many waters have been salvaged with state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plants and forward-looking legislation. For other rivers, lakes and seas, however, it does not look so good. Especially in the poorer countries of the world, water is often so badly polluted that its enjoyment is life threatening. Lack of environmental awareness, corruption, but also the need to produce as cheaply as possible in order to compete on the world market are literally poisonous to the rivers. Water is the basis of existence for all life on this planet. More than two-thirds of its surface is covered with water, but only a negligible part of it can be used by humans. Useful, clean water is getting scarcer. According to Unicef, around 2.1 billion people in 2017 did not have enough access to clean drinking water. In any case, the handling of water can not be called sustainable. The straightening of rivers hurts the ecosystem enormously. The ability to pump water through man-made piping systems and thereby use dry soils as arable land has harmed nature extensively. Both the Aral Sea and the Dead Sea, from whose tributaries water is drained, are gradually drying up. This is just a detail to save the genie jackpots and other plants.
In 1979, the earth was first described as a single ecosystem; Today, we know that oceans, air, land and life are actually interconnected and interacting through a variety of connections and feedbacks (>> Earth as an ecosystem). At the same time, we also had to deal with global environmental change for the first time. In 1985, the first reports of the >> ozone hole appeared, and at the same time, the first signs of a >> climate change became obvious. The resulting intensive exploration of global issues has shown how the consequences of human activity can interfere with natural regulatory circuits and transform the Earth's ecosystem as a whole - to the extent that, if its progression continues, it could jeopardize the survival of human civilization itself. Thus, of the 130 million square kilometers of ice-free mainland and the earth already over 100 million square kilometers of humans have been largely redesigned (1090), largely uninhabited wilderness is found only in parts of the Amazon, in Siberia and northern Canada and the great deserts of the earth (Sahara , Gobi, Victoria Desert). The influence of man also shows the evaluation of the Wostok ice core, with the climate data from the past (>> The methods of paleoclimatologists) were determined: Climate data from the Wostok ice core Climate data from the Wostok ice core: temperature history (red) and carbon dioxide content (yellow) of the atmosphere in the last 400,000 years. Shown in white: changes in the eccentricity of the Earth orbit.
The Wostok ice core allowed the temperature history and carbon dioxide concentration in the Antarctic to be displayed over the past 400,000 years. The temperature history includes four ice ages, and the white representation of the changes in solar radiation due to the >> eccentricity of the Earth orbit shows that this triggered the ice ages. It can also be seen that the course of the temperature and the carbon dioxide concentration are very similar, with the carbon dioxide concentration always remained between 180 and 300 ppm - only in the presence it has now increased to 400 ppm. Responsible for this change is the man who, as a result of the >> Industrial Revolution, quickly burns the reserves of fossil fuels accumulated over hundreds of thousands of years (>> more). This causes carbon dioxide concentrations that have not existed in the last 400,000 years. This >> climate change therefore has a completely new cause in terms of geological history - humans.