One planet, and no matter how much you would like to believe that one day humans will be able to take to the stars a la Star Trek or other science fiction shows, for the immediate future, we'll have to stay in our inside our own private property. Just take an honest look at the world's space programs; we haven't even sent a ship to the moon in decades, and the best we seem able to come up with is a station that can orbit our only real home.
The problem is, our activity down below the orbit of that station is causing some real problems, as far as the earth's ability to sustain life, not only that of the "lesser" organisms but ours as well. Pollution is a natural by-product of life in some form or another, but most of the time the earth is able to re-absorb that pollution and counterweights it by incorporating it back into the great cycle.
Today, however, human activity is creating such incredible amounts of pollution, on such a vast scale, that we have far exceeded the planet's natural power to take care of itself. If you look in the garages of an average condo you will likely see two cars, one an SUV or larger. We have created materials that can only be absorbed after centuries have passed; there are so many of us that in some areas, our waste has begun to pollute drinking systems, causing us to look into waste water grit removal. If not our waste, then the waste of the millions of animals we raise for our own needs exceeds the earth's recycling capabilities. We suck materials out of the crust that have laid dormant for millennia if not eons, and sent the by product into the sky, where it accumulates and cannot be dispersed.
The result of all this activity? Some say that many of the health problems that are so concentrated today are the direct result of the pollution that for generations we have been contributing to our home. Severe allergies and types of cancer are on the rise throughout the population, and many health professionals attribute this to poor atmospheric conditions.
If you think the problems are bad in North America or Europe, you ought to see the less developed nations of the world. Many of these nations think, and not completely unjustly, that the developed nations had their time to wreck things in order to get ahead, so why shouldn't they? The result is inexpensive means of production that are outdated, in respect to their environmental effects, in the developed world, but are impractical for the countries to use themselves. Everything from growers supplies to California business cards are made overseas and shipped to the developed world, so not all the blame can be placed on the developing countries alone.
The shame of it all is that the Earth could heal and rejuvenate given a break and time, but human activity does not allow for that; after all, time is money. Still, there is hope as more and more people become aware of the negative impact our actions are having on the planet we call home. In addition to cutting down on the waste we produce, many people have begun to look at ways in which we can begin to reverse the effects of our polluting activities on our planet, from putting wall mounted boilers into their Brampton real estate to encouraging the businesses that make hand notchers to find greener methods of production.
Many times, this reversal includes assisting the earth in the processes it undertakes in order to get back to a natural order. There is something that everyone can do to help get the Earth back to its natural conditions, whether it is direct action such as volunteering or indirect action such as refusing to support companies that don't put Earth first; those are the types of things we will be looking at in this section.