Nowadays, it seems like climate change and the ecological footprint we leave behind are receiving more and more attention, and rightfully so. It’s no secret that us humans have a huge effect on our planet and the environment, and it usually isn’t meant in a positive way.
Of course, climate change and its possible solutions are sensitive subjects, but there’s absolutely no denying that humanity has a huge impact on our planet, and unfortunately, a large number of people seem completely indifferent about it.
These ten sobering and striking images perfectly illustrate just how humanity is changing the world, and not necessarily for the better.
1) Leaving behind piles of electronic waste
Even though these are situations you likely won’t see in Western countries, the reality is that there are countless electronic waste dumps in poorer countries, such as in Ghana, Africa.
Every single day, the local population go through these huge electronic waste piles, searching for the tiniest bit of valuable materials or any electronics that there are left. Many electronic parts contain minerals (such as gold) that can be recycled.
2) Existence of megacities
It’s no secret that a number of places deal with unprecedented population growth. In some cases, it’s so severe that you can’t see anything else but homes and buildings everywhere, even across the countryside and hills. This picture taken in Mexico City is one example of these megacities, having no less than nine million inhabitants.
3) Habitat destruction
While the situation may be improving lately thanks to awareness campaigns and tree-planting initiatives, this photograph taken in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon is a perfect and sad example of human destruction of wildlife habitat. What once used to be a beautiful forest of green, is now a sober, empty and lifeless piece of land.
4) Melting ice caps
One of the more visible effects of climate change is one that’s far removed from our bed, but it still extremely serious nonetheless. This picture was taken in Norway, and you can see how giant ice caps are simply disappearing due to rising temperatures around the globe, increasing the sea level. The damage that has been done up until now is already substantial, and it has the potential to become much, much worse.
Mining is big business, there’s almost nobody that will deny that. Every day, countless of people dig the earth in search of rare and expensive minerals and resources. This is a picture of the largest diamond mine in the world, in Russia. As you can see, the sheer size of the mine is an absolutely mesmerizing sight.
6) Effect of waste
There’s no denying that a great deal of the waste we produce isn’t dealt with properly. In fact, countless ecosystems all around the planet are being affected in one way or another by waste, and it usually results in poor animals unnecessarily losing their lives. This striking image of an albatross who passed away because it ingested plastic waste is definitely an eye-opener.
7) Oil fields
What used to look like a desert as far as the eye can see, is now an industrialized place full of oil pumps across entire landscapes. Oil doesn’t necessarily have to come from the far north, as this image was taken in the oil field in Kern River, California.
Whether or not consumerism is a good thing is up for debate, but there’s no denying that people will go to incredible lengths in order to obtain new stuff or products, especially if there are financial incentives involved such as during Black Friday. This image of people almost fighting to enter the store first says it all.
9) Surfing in trash
For people who feel comfortable in the water, surfing is probably one of the most fun ways to spend your time. Unfortunately, you can’t always do that in clean, crisp and beautiful blue water. While the image may look Photoshopped and taken to the extreme, it’s the harsh reality. The picture was snapped in Java, Indonesia where proper waste disposal is still an issue – meaning it just ends up in the river and nearby bodies of water.
10) (Polluting) power plants
Electricity has become such an essential factor in lives that no one really even gives it much thought, but that power has got to come from somewhere. This image was taken nearby a coal power plant in the UK, and it just shows how much of an impact we directly make to the atmosphere. Burning up coal in order to produce electricity is particularly polluting, and it leaves tons of wasteful chemicals in the air.
These pictures are just a few examples of some major issues and how it affects our environments, and it’s absolutely sobering, to say the least. Perhaps it’s truly time to make a change before things start getting even worse.
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