What Is Global Environmental Health?

an arial image of planet earth

view of the earth from spaceThe Earth is a naturally sustainable system—through photosynthesis, the sun provides energy to plants, which in turn produce oxygen for animals to live. Even our bodies decompose and are once again used by the earth. This natural cycle does not produce unnecessary waste; every part of the system is interconnected and used to facilitate life.

But humans disturb this balance by producing toxic waste that harms the Earth, burning fossil fuels, and overconsuming natural resources. The effects of our actions in a highly industrialized society are alarming and undeniable: we are creating conditions that will eventually not be able to support and sustain life on this planet.

The World Wildlife Fund likens the environment to a bank account: “Just as it is possible to withdraw money from a bank account faster than to wait for the interest this money generates, renewable resources can be harvested faster than they can be re-grown. But just like overdrawing from a bank account, eventually the resource will be depleted.”

To put it into perspective, across the globe, we are currently using the resources of 1.5 planets.