In a recent article which examined the impact of different countries on our environment, the countries were ranked according to their relative and absolute impacts in various environmental categories, which included: natural forest loss, fertilizer use, water pollution, and threat to animal species.
Just like within the body, the whole is healthy when all of its parts are healthy and working together the way they were designed to. When certain parts are no longer bearing their load or become sick, the organism as a whole begins to break down. This is true from the cell, to an organ like the liver, to the human body as a whole, to the society as a whole, to the earth as a whole. Each larger organization is dependent on the health of the smaller parts, and anything that affects those smaller parts also affects the whole.
Table 7. Ten worst- and best-ranked countries by individual absolute environmental metrics: natural forest loss (NFL), natural habitat conversion (HBC), marine captures (MC), fertilizer use (FER), water pollution (WTP), total threatened species (THR), and carbon emissions (CO2).
If you can make out the above chart, you can see that America received the rank it did mostly because we use more chemical fertilizers than anyone else. These fertilizers have been shown to seep into the soil and to contaminate our drinking water sickening and killing not only animals but our children and ourselves as well (have you heard of "blue baby" alerts, here is a door-hanger alert from the government).
When thinking about the fertilizers, I can't help but turn my thoughts to the corn and soy fields of the Midwest which continue to be subsidized by tax dollars so that we can support our addictions. Addictions to what you ask? Why, firstly to diseased cattle and chickens which are turned into hamburgers, hotdogs, and "nuggets" which make up too many American fast food meals. And secondly to the corn sweeteners which help to plump our little ones. These corn sweeteners are in a very high percentage of processed "foods" from ketchup to fruit drinks, sodas to candy. Is it any wonder why the top diseases killing most Americans are Heart Disease, Cancer, Type II Diabetes, Obesity, and Strokes?
Please understand that I am not being critical of Americans for this, for it is our lack of understanding that allows us to be in the current situation, but I wouldn't be doing my duty as an American if I didn't let you know that the current epidemics of chronic health issues are not normal. The question we must ask ourselves is: As far as the earth goes, what do we want to leave to our children?
And when I look at my kids and know that if we don't do something they have no chance, I get the motivation to spread the word about how we can have a mutually beneficial relationship with the earth rather than a parasitic one.