Environment refers to the entire physical, chemical, biological and social aspects of an area that affects the people who live in it. It can also refer to the quality of air, land and water found in an area. In a broad sense, environment can be seen as everything that surrounds us and is not human. Therefore, an environmental impact is not restricted to man made destruction. It can also be caused by natural phenomena such as climate change. These natural occurrences also affect humans and their way of life.
The natural environment or the eco-system covers all living things and non living things occurring on earth, which means essentially not artificial. The word is most commonly used in reference to the earth or any specific portion of the earth affected by human activities. The earth’s environment may be affected by climate change; the mass extinction events that have occurred throughout the Earth’s history, the pollution of the Earth’s air and water, and the natural degradation of the living things on earth. It also includes the changes in ecosystems resulting from human interaction with the environment such as loss of species of plants and animals, pollution of land, and shift in the food chain.
The changes in the environment brought about by human activities are categorized into two types: either the advantages and disadvantages of the changes or the net result of the changes. Advantageous changes are those that have created opportunity for living beings to survive and even flourish while against the opposite they find themselves in a condition of misery and conflict. These advantages include humans evolving into a sociable and civilized society, the Earth being returned to its pre-industrial condition and so on. On the other hand, the disadvantages of global change could be categorized as man’s exploitation of the environment and the resulting deterioration of the natural balance of the environment. They include accelerating climate change, nuclear proliferation, ozone depletion and the increasing pressure on the human population.