Businesses' Major Threats to Earth's Ecosystem

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  • 0:01 Sustainable Development
  • 0:51 Ozone Depletion
  • 1:33 Global Warming
  • 2:58 Marine Life Destruction
  • 3:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Businesses are a major threat to the earth's ecosystem. Some businesses are not supporting sustainable development and are causing enormous damage to the earth's ecosystem. Let's take a look at the damage.

Sustainable Development

The earth is being attacked on a daily basis, not by alien beings, but by threats from global business. We will examine businesses' major threats to the earth's ecosystem. Some businesses are not supporting sustainable development, where natural resources are used at an amount that can be extended over an infinite period.

While some resources, such as water and forests, can be replenished naturally through rain and planting of new trees, some resources are nonrenewable. These nonrenewable resources, such as oil and coal, are gone forever once they are used up. Businesses that are not concerned with helping preserve the earth's resources are threatening our entire ecosystem. Let's take a look at each type of threat caused by businesses.

Ozone Depletion

The earth depends upon ozone, which is a layer of gas that is located in the stratosphere and protects us all from the sun's rays. Unfortunately, the emissions from many companies' production processes and products, such as aerosol hairspray, emit chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which have destroyed large parts of the ozone layer. This is called ozone depletion.

In 1987, a large group of nations created the Montreal Protocol, which called for the banning of CFCs. If countries and companies continue to support the agreement, there is potential for the ozone layer to recover.

Global Warming

Many scientists blame global warming for the drastic weather pattern changes or natural disasters, such as hurricanes. Global warming is also known as the greenhouse effect, and it happens when carbon dioxide and gases in the atmosphere stop heat from dissipating into space. This can result in unusual weather patterns and activity, the melting of glaciers and the rising of sea levels. There has been an increase of 25% in greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution.

The problem can be blamed on a few different reasons. The first way global warming occurs is through the oxidizing of oil and gas as a byproduct of corporations. In addition, diesel engines and wildfire release black carbon into the atmosphere, which results in black smoke. Scientists predict that if emissions from corporations continue on their current path, the earth's temperature could increase by 6.4 degrees Celsius by 2100.

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