Environment refers to the entire planet in space and time. The environment is the “average” condition of a planet in its current state of development or in relation to the information and scientific knowledge it has at the present time. It is usually used in reference to science fiction novels where the future world is described and sometimes deliberately left ambiguous to invoke fear and mystery. It can also be used in everyday life, though not always intentionally to evoke such an effect. It can refer to how the world works in general, including the processes by which people interact with one another, the physical environment one lives in, the cultural and socio-linguistic features of that culture and the political environment one sees.
The entire natural environment or the earth’s environment encompasses all living and non-life objects existing simultaneously, which means in this instance not man made. The word is most commonly used in reference to the Earth or its parts in geology, astronomy, topography, and biology. However, the term encompasses all aspects of the earth’s environment. These include humans, their interaction with one another, the physical processes by which they survive and thrive, the climate by which they live (including temperature, precipitation, wind, clouds, rainfall, land elevation and soil fertility), and the biological diversity of the entire living world.
A large portion of the earth’s environment is made of living organisms. These living organisms (which we call “organisms”) have developed through a process called natural selection. Natural Selection is the gradual evolution over time of traits ( adaptations ) that serve an organism’s fitness in a specific environment. adaptation is the resulting change in the traits (a change from one state to another) that serve an organism’s fitness in its current environment. Therefore, all land animals and plants are considered adapted to their current environment if and when changes in the environment enable those organisms to adapt by changing their traits to match that environment.
But, the environment is constantly changing. It is very difficult to keep track of all the changes that take place within the living Earth environment. Furthermore, most Earth systems are extremely complex and unbalanced. This is further compounded by the fact that most Earth systems are connected in networks and a super-network of interacting environments known as ecop ecosystems. Ecop ecosystems are highly delicate and there is a great deal of interdependence among them.
Therefore, a great deal of energy, water, heat, chemicals, light, and other forms of vital life-sustaining energy and materials are required to maintain the existing and ongoing balance of ecosystems and their environments. Additionally, without these ecop ecosystems or constructed environments human civilizations would quickly become unsustainable. One of the most serious consequences of climate change is the possibility of drought, which has the potential to completely destroy human civilizations, possibly leading to wars and deaths of millions. One of the reasons for the potentially disastrous impact of climate change is the rapid rate at which the Earth’s environment is being destroyed.
The destruction of the Earth’s ecosystems and built environments by human beings is directly proportional to the accumulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Therefore, by understanding how the Earth’s ecosystems interact and work, it becomes possible to save the ecosystems from collapse. A better understanding of the interdependence and feedback mechanisms among Earth’s ecosystems can help us design better strategies for avoiding the catastrophic devastation of Earth’s ecosystems and built environments. A better appreciation of the importance of natural environments will provide a greater number of solutions to global warming than have been available up until now.