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Column: Protecting Our Planet: The greatest threat we’re facing

Tthe development of infrastructure and the economic growth of countries has had a profound effect on the environment.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/publishedpointsofview/" target="_self">The Holos Project </a>

The Holos Project

October 3, 2023
Editor’s Note: This article is a part of the Holos Project, a four-way partnership (ENGin, Los Angeles Times High School Insider, Published Points of View, The Outspoken) established to empower the voices of Ukrainian students across the world through one-on-one journalism mentorship.

This article was written by Victoriya Gaydulan from Ukraine with the mentorship of Nathaniel Chun from the United States. “Holos” is the Ukrainian word for “Voice.”

The environment is the basic life support system for all living things on planet Earth and is made of natural and man-made components. If one of these components fails, the other can’t exist. As a result of an imbalance between the two, global warming, water pollution, famine and other terrible disasters exist. 

People try to take care of natural and man-made systems equally. But in recent years we have begun to think less about the natural environment. Our focus has shifted towards the development of infrastructure and the construction of plants and factories. This growing trend more heavily relies on resources from the environment, draining it of essential components. If this trend continues, we will harm virtually every ecosystem, deplete most of our natural resources, kill our forests and leave nothing for the foreseeable future. So, the time to solve this problem is now

In recent years, the state of the environment has changed for the worse. The number and frequency of natural disasters has increased. The largest threat right now is global warming. Polar bears are dying, there are wildfires in Australia, ice sheets are melting, and floods occur that destroy people’s homes.

In addition to global warming, a significant amount of garbage in the ocean is causing the mass extinction of fish and mammals. Gasses from cars and factories are released into the atmosphere, destroying the ozone layer, an essential portion of the atmosphere that shields life on Earth from deadly amounts of UV radiation. 

The environment is dependent on the balance between its different components. However, humanity is playing a large role in shifting that balance. Having the most impact on the planet, humanity influences the wellness of the environment to a great extent. Thus, the impact on the environment and all living beings is directly proportional to the way human beings treat the environment. Starvation, thirst, and lack of shelter is not the future we want for our children. Every living thing depends largely on the environment for survival, and having a clean and safe environment is the responsibility of humanity. 

For example, the development of infrastructure and the economic growth of countries has had a profound effect on the environment. Developing an economy oftentimes requires the production of manufactured goods. To manufacture goods, raw materials are required and often misused or overharvested. Overtime, this process drains the planet of its natural resources and will eventually leave nothing left if left unchecked. The solution to the unsustainable usage of natural resources is to use alternative materials that we can create with our current technology and work together towards this common goal. 

It is clear that all natural disasters and climate change are the result of human actions. But I believe that any mistake, even the grossest one, can be corrected; the main thing is to analyze it and find the right solution. 

First, working together toward a common goal is not only the easiest and fastest way to save the environment from further harm, but also to make it cleaner and safer.

Second, using alternative man made materials, can prevent the depletion of natural resources. Given the current level of technology, a future that predominantly uses clean alternative materials is not unthinkable. 

Thirdly, we live in a society where trends are constantly being created in various areas such as fashion, entertainment, games and even films. Creating a “save the environment” trend could increase participation in cleaner trends and actions.

by Victoriya Gaydulan