The original thought was that Gaia, the world, was capable to replaces and replenishing whatever humans took or damaged. Animals would continuously breed and nutrients would cycle through the earth. It is the endless cycle of life until humans took too much, surpassed her abilities (Lovelock). An error had been made in the thoughts of mankind. This error has lead to the demise of many creatures and loss of many habitats that may never be restored. Darwin, a famous figure in science history, noticed the problem. He proposed that resources and finite and grow arithmetically, while the human population grows geometrically. The growth of human populations with the development of technology and greed for the newest and best of everything has surpassed the capabilities of our beloved Gaia.
It was not until 1970 that any action was taken to address the concerns of environmental pollution. That year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established, on December 2nd, to consolidate a variety of federal research, monitoring, and enforcement of activities to protect the environment. The EPA has formed a series of laws and regulations to work towards a healthy environment but struggles to gain complete compliance and support. The Clean Air Act is what sets regulations of the amount of emissions of air pollutants are legal coming from sources like chemical plants and steal mills. These limits set forth by the EPA are the maximum any source can emit; individual states can only have stronger laws not weaker. The Act was amended in both 1977 and 1990 to set new goals because the dates previously established had come and gone and the goals were not achieved (“Clean Air Act.”).
The agricultural practices of the world have developed and evolved in many ways throughout time; many of these techniques devised and now used are not environmentally friendly. They harm the land and air with the many different sources and types of pollutants. Vegetarianism, Veganism, and eating locally are environmentally friendly practices and have minimal pollution if farming is done correctly. A vegetarian diet is an important and effective way to ease the strain on earth’s finite resources, prevent the planet from declining conditions due to pollution, limit global warming, and saves endless species from extinction ("Our Earth: How Every Bite Affects Mother Nature."). The way we currently breed animals for food is a huge threat to our planet. It creates a byproduct of multiple sources of pollution and uses large amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides, and drugs. Agricultural practices are a huge pollution problem in all areas of the world because they are most often non-point sources of pollution due to their runoff into other waterways. Other farming practices that affect air quality are smoke from agricultural burning, dust from tillage, traffic, and harvest, pesticide drift from spraying, and emissions from fertilizer use. Specifically, nitrogen and phosphorus are found in large loads around farms. These nutrients come from farmers using fertilizers and other chemicals to boost crop yields ("Waste Management."). Animal farms also give off nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as potash and organic matter that polluter waterways. It is the manure from animals that release these elements, which are beneficial in soil but need to be kept in the soil using correct methods. Industrial farms are the worst of polluters in many ways. These farms are also called CAFOs, Confined animal feeding operations, or factory farms. Primary air pollution from these farms is in the forms of foul odors, airborne particles, greenhouse gases, and numerous toxic chemicals.