Negative Impact Of "Going Green" Essay

1552 words - 7 pages

The Green Revolution was developed to produce varieties of wheat in order to feed the rapidly growing population in North America and, eventually, throughout the developing world. Although the revolution has played a role in boosting world food production and preventing chronic hunger, it has also raised several questions and concerns. While some claim it was made for the common good, other observers suggest it was self-interest that drove the developed countries to fund the revolution. In many situations, it appears as though transnational corporations have made it their primary goal to provide maximum profit for their shareholders, rather than to benefit humanity. Throughout their endless ...view middle of the document...

On the other hand, livestock not raised in confined spaces are able to graze and, with that, the issue of overgrazing arises. Sheep and goats tend to graze even more heavily than cattle, causing vegetation to be destroyed beyond its ability to recuperate.
Due to the rapid advancement of biotechnology and the creation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the production of these crops has contributed to the matter of land degradation. Monsanto, a large company responsible for the genetic modification of food, patents various crops and sells their seeds to farmers. Unlike with organic farming practices, farmers are not able to save their seeds from the previous year’s crops. Instead, they must continue to purchase genetically modified seeds from Monsanto for food production since the soil on which the genetically modified crop was grown on cannot be used for any other crop again. Given that crop rotation is essential in maintaining healthy soil fertility, nutrient levels in the soil are reduced from this form of farming practice and can result in salinization, a point where the soil becomes toxic for plant growth. That, however, is not the only issue that arises from the production of GMOs. The extensive use of fertilizers on genetically modified crops can cause the land to become acidified. Insecticides would be used in attempt to kill all the insects when weeds and pests have flourished. The few who happen to be immune to the chemical would not die but would rather continue to flourish and, consequently, an increase in the application of pesticides and herbicides would be required.
Although seventy percent of the surface of the Earth is covered with water, it has been estimated that merely twenty billion people could be supported by the amount of fresh water. Agriculture, along with other industries such as urbanization, mining, and forestry, is a practice that significantly pollutes the fresh water in the world. The growth of genetically modified foods requires an extended use of manufactured chemical fertilizers and pesticides that become pollutants when they are washed into lakes and rivers. As a result, marine organisms either cannot survive in the bodies of water or consume the long-lasting toxins such as DDT, aldrin, and dieldrin, placing a strain on the fishing industry. Soil sediments are washed away from irrigation which clogs waterways, destroys fish habitats, and fills in wetlands.
Raising animals for human consumption is a leading cause of water pollution and water scarcity in the world. Tons of millions of animal manure is discharged into the environment every year resulting in serious negative impacts on aquatic life, wildlife, and human health. The massive amounts of animal waste being produced at alarming rates in factory farms contains deadly bacteria that can have a deadly impact on those exposed to water contaminated by it. There have been situations, such as in May of 2000, where water contaminated by cattle manure...

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