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Unformatted text preview: Michael Kuntson (11040656) Beall 7 September 2010 ES/RP 101 Essay 1 In the world we live in, most people don’t think about how their daily routines affect the grand scheme of things. That is, how our actions and technological discoveries influence and af- fect the world. In fact it is common that we as a human race, take for granted all of the wonderful assets our earth gives to us. These assets, or services if you will, enable us to consume food, drink water, breathe air, and do many other things paramount to our survival. Scientists group all these “assets” together into what is known as ecosystem services. It is compiled of all the differ- ent things that the ecosystem gives to us. Because the list is so extensive, they are categorized into four different subsets. The first subset is comprised of all the most commonly used environmental necessities. These being, water, food, medicine, and energy. It is no secret that we get water and food from the earth, but many people overlook the fact that our pharmaceuticals and biochemicals are de- rived from natural elements. The biomass fuels and hydropower we obtain from our surround- ings enable us to do everything from drive a car, to power a dam. The next group of services provided by our beautiful earth are those that regulate the environment. These services include waste decomposition, climate regulation and air purification, as well crop pollination. Even pest and disease control are considered in this category. How does the earth regulate all these things you might ask? Through the amazingly overlooked abilities of our own natural plants and anim- als. Plants take in the carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we need to breathe and regulate our atmosphere. The rest is left up to the tiniest members of our animal kingdom: insects and an- nelids. Bees take pollinate plants, worms decompose and fertilize soil, and large bugs kill smaller nelids....
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2012 for the course ESRP 101 taught by Professor Kathryntilotson during the Fall '10 term at Washington State University .
- Fall '10