Air Pollution and our National Parks

Air pollution is changing the alpine vegetation at Rocky Mountain National Park, a new study concludes.

It would be cumbersome indeed to study all the ways in which we are altering the environment and affecting the planet’s biodiversity. When considering the impacts of industry, agriculture, power production, and transportation, we should assume the worst and hope for better. I think we know enough now to understand that even “subtle” changes to the environment, such as the ones highlighted by this study, ultimately may result in profound, long-term consequences. And air pollution causes many “subtle” impacts across the globe.

While we must accept that every endeavor of mankind reverberates throughout the natural world, we should likewise accept the responsibility to work to reduce those impacts to manageable levels. Again, my philosophy on environmental problems is that we need to approach the issue by simply asking the question: what is the right thing to do? Finding agreeable solutions to our environmental problems will become much easier once we agree on the basic premise that we are causing environmental harm and therefore we should constantly strive to reduce our impacts.

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