August 15, 2022

How Do Humans Affect the Environment?

Since the time of our earliest ancestors, human activity has had an impact on the environment for thousands upon thousands of years.

We have been altering the environment around ourselves through travel, agriculture, and eventually urbanization. Our impact on the environment at this stage in earth's history is so significant that scientists now believe "pristine nature," which refers to ecosystems left unaffected by human intervention, is no longer possible. If you want to know more about the human population over time, navigate to

human population over time

Following are the ways human affect envioronment:

1. The Population Bomb

The root cause of much of our environmental impact has been the inability to accommodate population growth. Technological advances have brought about a double-edged sword since Malthus' first concerns. They are healthy and abundant. 

Today's food supply can sustain more people than ever before, and medical science has allowed for longer lives. This reality has the unfortunate side effect of slowing population growth and reducing turnover. As our quality of living and life expectancy increase, so does the overpopulation problem.

2. Deforestation and reforestation

To accommodate growing populations, they need more land to build houses and cities. Clearing forests is often necessary to make space for suburban and urban development as well as for building materials. It is estimated that 18,000,000 acres of trees are cleared each year in order to make space for development and wood products.

Reforestation efforts aim to replace as much forest land as possible each year. It is estimated that around 40% of trees are being replaced every year.

Our environment is being challenged by the growing human population and our increasing human needs. We have permanently altered the ecosystem through human intervention. Despite some negative effects, humans have the ability to make improvements and improve the environment.