by Mondale S. Patterson
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| Improving and maintaining
the earth’s environment is becoming a more important task every day of
our lives. Due to ignorance and frequent carelessness, this important
task is quickly becoming a critical one. For this reason, I took
it upon myself to construct a strategic plan to enlighten my peers to the
problems of our environment. I did this in hops that is would encourage
everyone to act responsibly towards improving and maintaining the environment.
With ongoing threat’s to the earth’s water supply, atmosphere, and surface,
I found it necessary to devise a method of environmental enlightenment.
I plan to apply this method at my place of academic study, The University
of South Carolina. If supported by the faculty and staff and approached
with confidence and determination by the student body, I am convinced that
our environment on campus would undergo a drastic improvement.
As a nation, we are facing many different problems with our environment. Two of the most important focuses are conserving our water supply and protecting the ozone layer. These two conditions are statistically the most threatening. Water, one of the necessary components for life on Earth, is being consumed at an extreme rate. I recently discovered that one cheeseburger takes more than 700 gallons of water to produce (includes water consumed by cows, water used to irrigate the cornfields that feed the cows, and the water used to produce the beef and cheese). When considering the millions of cheeseburgers that are consumed worldwide everyday, it is evident that the earth’s water supply is declining rapidly. Due to air pollution, the ozone layer is also being consumed at an extreme rate. Its arch nemesis is the various fumes from cars and factories. Scientists estimate that each 1% drop in ozone levels causes a 3 to 6% rise in skin cancer cases. Since the ozone layer prevents most ultraviolet and other high-energy radiation from penetrating to the earth’s surface, this is a crisis that has to be rectified. The ozone’s depletion has dropped to a level so thin that if we brought it down to Earth, it would only be as deep as the thickness of three dimes. The only positive outlook concerning this matter is that the ozone has the ability to reconstruct itself when UV-C rays break the bond of O2. Single oxygen atoms combine with O2 to form ozone (UV-B rays limit this process still yet). This evidence shows that the world is in dire need of an environmental resurrection. In order for this to occur and be successful, it would require an effort by every individual nation of our world.
My resolution requires
that The University of South Carolina add a mandatory environmental appreciation
class to its yearly curriculum. This plan of action would add the
class to the schedule of every student attending the university, during
the first year of its existence. After the first year of operation,
only incoming freshmen would be obligated to attend the class. The
students would be required to attend the class one Sunday out of each month
during the semester. The class would last for 2 hours and thirty
minutes and would inform the students of the most useful methods to improve
and maintain the environment. The most accredited professors from
the school of the environment would teach the course and it would count
as two credit hours for every student at the conclusion of the semester.
I truly believe
that the decline of our environment is a matter that will soon arise as
an extremely intense matter on a world front. We should all begin
taking steps towards conserving our environment, which is mandatory if
we wish to conserve a future for our children. Mother Nature is the
greatest individual the world has ever seen and it is our job to keep her
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© 2002, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.