Human beings are the creations of nature. They drew everything needed for their very survival from nature. The air they breathe, the water they drink, the food they eat and thousands of articles they use daily-all come from nature. Yet, strangely enough, man keeps a hostile attitude towards nature. Conquest of nature is the expression which is often used to denote man’s activities like space exploration, taming the rivers, etc. which sums up man’s attitude towards nature. Our earth is a unique planet. It is one of the eight planets in the solar system in the Milky Way.
It is the only planet known to have conditions suitable for life. In no other planet such conditions or any signs of life existing or to have existed in the past have been found. Nature has created this unique planet for the existence and survival of human beings. The conditions prevailing on the earth are suitable for our comfortable living. First of all, the distance from the sun is such that we get warmth to sustain life. The scientists believe that nearness to the sun by a few thousand kilometres would have raised earth’s temperatures to such a degree that no life could survive.
Similarly, if our earth had been away from the sun by a few thousand kilometres, this would have created freezing temperatures. Apart from warmth which created conditions suitable for life, air has been provided in abundance for human beings and animals to breathe. We get necessary oxygen from the air we breathe. As breathing is our most pressing and regular necessity each moment, air has been provided on the earth’s closer-most atmosphere in great abundance. We just have to keep breathing; the air is always there for us.
But we are vitiating this atmosphere with our activities. Millions of big and small factories have been set up across the globe. The smoke coming out of the chmineys of these factories is causing air pollution. The number of vehicles is increasing day by day. The smoke from these vehicles has vitiated there especially in big cities. Man has forgotten that air is his immediate and regular necessity. If he keeps on polluting the air, a day will come when breathing will become difficult. Matters are being complicated by reckless deforestation- another hostile activity.
Trees which are natural purifiers of air are being felled in large number for various purposes-to get timber to make furniture and other articles, to get wood to be used as fuel in rural homes and hearths, to get forest products like resins and herbs. Besides the greed of forest products, the other reason for clearing the forests is to get tracts of land to make housing colonies, roads, industries, etc. The regular increase in human population is causing shortage of land. The humans have not been able to control their number.
They have failed to find a way in which the population can be put on a check. Increase in population pushes up demand for dwelling units, food grains and other articles of use. This results in reckless clearing of forests. This deforestation is also leading to soil erosion and desertification. Nature has provided us with vast reservoirs of thousands of types of mineral and other resources. But we are using these resources with such a speed that the day is not far when many of them will be totally exhausted.
Oil which is refined to make petroleum products has already shown signs of being exhausted in some basins. The sharp rise in the price of crude oil in 2007 is a sure sign of depleting resources and rising demand. Burning oil in cars and industries is also causing pollution. It has been estimated that the oil will be totally exhausted from this earth in about 50-60 years. Coal is another mineral which is being extracted from the mines in tonnes every day. It is being used as a fuel in several industries.
Burning coal is the chief cause of emitting greenhouse gases which have resulted in global warming. The earth’s mean temperature has risen over the years. This has caused the glaciers and snow on the mountains to melt- causing various problems. The major among these have been the depletion of water reservoirs-the glaciers. The water formed by melting of ice is fast flowing into the seas through rivers and streams. Several coastal areas and islands are submerging in sea water. Global warming has brought adverse climatic change in almost every continent.
The rain pattern has changed. Unprecedentedly high rain in Mumbai, comparatively low rain in some areas of Meghalaya, frequent hurricanes in America, droughts in areas where rain in the past was a regular affair- all are attributed to this change. And all this is happening because of man’s unsustainable practices. The mines of coal are also depleting. After a few years, the industries will have to find some new source of fuel. After from coal, iron, bauxite and manganese are other minerals that are being used in huge quantities.
Steel is being made in thousands of tonnes daily to make various heavy industry goods. Man is crazy about using steel for various goods-railway tracks, wheels, girders, bridges, torr, refrigerators, vehicles, railways and a score of other articles. This has created situation where the resources may not last long. Similarly other resources are being overused. We have scant respect for the bounties that nature has provided us. Nature has provided us with great rivers which give us pure and fresh water to drink and for irrigating our fields.
But we are treating our rivers and other water bodies very badly. The harmful chemical effluents are made to flow into them. All water of sewerages and drains is allowed to flow into these water bodies without being treated properly. Garbage of cities is often dumped into them. At many places people wash their clothes, utensils and cattle in water bodies. Our rivers are full of silt, mud and garbage. Water is said to be the elixir of life. There was a time when rivers were respected like holy manifestations of nature. But today, men’s attitude towards them is that of indifference.
Various types of animals and birds are also the creation of God. Nature has provided our jungles with vast variety of species of these animals and birds. But we are treating them very cruelly. By reckless cutting of trees and clearing of forests we have destroyed natural habitats. The ecological disturbance caused by deforestation, soil erosion, global warming, air pollution, water pollution and encroachment of natural habitats have proved very harmful towards all the species of animals and birds. Many of them have become extinct, while several others are on the verge of extinction.
Man does not know that by keeping a hostile attitude towards nature, he is digging his own grave. Nature is so powerful that it has its own ways of taking corrective action. Nature has been thus far friendly with us despite our indifference. Human existence on the earth will be endangered if we do not change out hostile attitude towards nature. If nature is forced to take corrective measures like floods, famines, epidemics and disasters like hurricanes and tsunami, the human beings will be subject to great suffering and damage. Therefore, it is better to mend our ways and live in harmony with nature.