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July 2014 QUOTE OF THE MONTH: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” - Native American Proverb
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By Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar
Grade 11
Media Academy
Oakland, CA
Is human advancement more beneficial or harmful to the environment?
- Posted January 12, 2011
 Survey says...






Human advancement helps the environment because it allows us to learn more about it. Because of science and technology, we are able to analyze our effect on the environment. Because of human advancement, we were able to detect global warming and invent new things that can help the world. For example, green technology like electrical cars and energy efficient light bulbs that lower our carbon footprint. Human advancement has also taught us about the value of life, regardless of species or size. We learned about biodiversity and the importance of preserving animal life in the wild. If it were not for human advancement, we would still be barbarians, burning logs for warmth and killing off herds of animals for clothing and food. We wouldn’t know anything about agriculture; instead, we would slowly be destroying our livelihoods and ourselves by hurting the environment we rely so heavily on, not knowing how to interact with it. But because of human advancement, we are able to have a right to education and to protect and preserve out environment.
- Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Grade 11, Media Academy, Oakland, CA




There is now denying it: human advancement has ultimately hurt the environment. Think of all the things we own now: cars, electronics, expensive clothes, magazines we’ll eventually throw away. If humans didn’t advance, then we wouldn’t have cities and automobiles that spew carbon dioxide and waste precious resources. There wouldn’t be over 6 billion people in a world that can barely sustain them. Most people see advancement as a sign of progress, as something incredibly beneficial. But is it really? Most environmental crises like the gulf oil spill and the rapid destruction of rain-forests for urbanization has been directly caused by human advancement. Not to mention the extinction or near-extinction of countless species when we’ve destroyed habitats or we’ve killed for game or collections. We suffer from so many environmental ills because we are careless and selfish. Sure, green technology is still in its early stages and is always bettering, but is it effective? Will it be able to reverse all the centuries of pollution we’ve caused the world? Abusing the world and its resources isn’t justified by thinking we can just “fix it.” Global warming and pollution surely wouldn’t be an issue if humans hadn’t become “civilized” and “modern.” We have hurt the environment and everything in it because we believe we should come first, and have been more harmful than helpful.
- Kim Mejia-Cuellar, Grade 11, Media Academy, Oakland, CA




I agree that human advancement has also contributed to things like global warming, but you have to agree that it has also helped. Human advancement, like I said before, provided us with the education that we have today. If we had never advanced, we would have never had technology. We would not know about global warming or how to stop it. Human advancement helped the environment because it allowed us to be able to use things like the sun to power out electronics. It made life easier for humans and, for some part, for animals. A lot of animals were saved from extinction because of the invention of zoos and domestication. Because of human advancement, we can detect natural disasters and help the people and the animals that live in the location where the natural disaster will hit. Regardless of the fact whether humans advanced or not, there will always be pollution. Even if we were an uncivilized race, we would still pollute the waterways and produce CO2 into the atmosphere. We can never truly reverse the effects humans have put in the world, but through the use of technology at least we can recuperate some of the things we have lost to a careless generation before us.
- Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Grade 11, Media Academy, Oakland, CA




At the end of the day, we have to look at the world before us and reflect on how we have impacted it. More often than not, we have damaged it to an extent it could not have been damaged to before. It can be blamed on carelessness, ignorance, or accident: either way you choose to look at it, it’s still blamed on us. Life on this planet could’ve thrived and biodiversity would’ve remained high if it hadn’t been for human “civilization” paving away at nature. We could’ve had immense forests if it hadn’t been for the human need (better said want) of luxurious shelter. We could’ve had great marshes and swamps that would be home to a vast array of life if people didn’t decide a few hundred houses should be built to “admire the view.” Disregard the argument of natural disasters: in the end, we are the ones who put more people in danger by overbuilding on places where human life is unnatural and unsafe. For example, the Deep South, which constantly gets hit with hurricanes and bustling cities mere miles under volcanoes prone to eruption. Human advancement has caused overpopulation and has ultimately damaged the world we live in by stripping it of its pristine natural features and polluting it. Sure, polluting would still be a problem, but would it be so on such a great scale as it is now? Think about the supposedly green electronics—where do their used parts and leaking chemicals go? We have to admit that we have hurt it more than we have helped it.
- Kim Mejia-Cuellar, Grade 11, Media Academy, Oakland, CA


Which is better for the environment? Recycling or public transportation?

Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Is hydroponics a better alternative to traditional farming?

Gloria "Jack" & Kim Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Who should be responsible for stopping overfishing?

Gloria "Jack" & Kim Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Are the Environmental Protection Agency’s new pollution rules for power plants beneficial?

Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Is e-waste recycling good for the environment?

Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Is using paper helping or hurting us

Alonna, Fairglen, cocoa

Are animal shelters ethical?

Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Is Environmental Racism still a problem in America?

Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia, Media Academy, Oakland

Is there a problem with using plastic?

Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Should nonnative species be controlled?

Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Should the US do more to conserve water?

Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Should the US adopt clean coal technology?

Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

What is the greenest form of transportation for the environment: bikes or public transportation?

Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Are the US nuclear power plants safe?

Kim Mejia , Media Academy, Oakland

Should we eat meat and support 'methane'?

Nothando N. Nene, New Forest High School, Durban

hould it be legal for famers to use antibiotics and hormones in livestock?

Should it be legal for famers to use antibiotics and hormones in livestock?, Media Academy, Oakland

Should schools make more programs about the environment available to students?

Kim and Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Should nuclear energy replace fossil fuels?

Kim and Gloria "Jack" Mejia, Media Academy, Oakland

Should the government be able to regulate the environment?

Kim and Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Are zoos good or bad?

Kim and Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

Is wind power the most effective source for renewable energy?

Kim and Gloria "Jack" Mejia, Media Academy, Oakland

Should plastic bags be banned or carry a fee?

Kim and Jack Mejia, Media Academy, Oakland

Is the United States’ Drinking Water at Risk?

Kim and Jack Mejia, Media Academy, Oakland

Should Dissections be allowed in School?

Kim and Jack Mejia, Media Academy, Oakland

Genetically Modified Foods: Do They Hurt Our Health & the Environment?

Kim and Jack Mejia, Media Academy, Oakland

Should the government build renewable energy structures like wind turbines?

Kim and Jack Mejia, Media Academy, Oakland

Should People Go Vegetarian?

Kim and Jack Mejia, Media Academy, Oakland



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