Like any nature-lover, I spend a lot of time worrying about the deteriorating state of our planet. Recently, however, I have come to know of the amazing ways science fights the consequences of our pollution. Science has given environmentalists hope. Here’s how:
Beauty in conservation. Science-based conservation is the key to saving vital components of ecosystems such as coral reefs. Coral reefs serve many purposes including forming “...nurseries for about a quarter of the ocean’s fish…”, preventing coastal erosion and flooding, and, of course, contributing to the beauty of our planet. However, due to pollution and overfishing, coral reefs are at risk.
In Grenada, scientists are combatting the effects of pollution using artificial reefs. Artificial reefs combined with natural ones have proven to do the essential jobs of a coral reef. This means the unique creatures of the sea are protected while still allowing us to appreciate the natural beauty of a Grenadian beach.
Beauty in community. Science is not just a significant part of conservation; it also creates community by bridging the gap between conservationists and industry. While the two groups seem to be working with different intentions for the environment, research has given us a way, for example, to protect forests while producing profits. The answer is portable bridges. Previously, the logging industry relied on stream crossings, which have adverse effects on the environment, to transport timber from chopping sites. In response to this, engineers developed portable bridges which are temporary and reduce soil erosion and water pollution. Movable bridges are also easier for loggers to set up. A beautiful kind of community is formed from this compromise. Two groups that could be at each other’s throats have instead turned to science to create solutions that satisfy them both.
I can breathe a little easier knowing there are scientists working to protect the environment. I am also inspired by the choice to peacefully reconcile opposing forces by pursuing mutually satisfying solutions, rather than continue unproductive conflict that results in unsatisfactory results for one group over the other. Technology can provide these positive results for us all but only if we consider the needs of both industry and the environmentalists. I will continue to reduce my waste, use less water, and find new ways to help out, because I love this earth, and I want to work alongside the good guys to preserve its beauty.