Climate change is just one of many examples of how humans have negatively impacted Earth through the introduction of pollution in its many forms into the natural environment. Other impacts caused by pollution that may not be in the public eye as often but that are also significant include impacts to the land, oceans, surface water, groundwater, and the biosphere. Each are related and affects the others in a complex web that involves the interaction and physical and chemical dynamics of human interaction with the natural world.
Quantifying anthropogenic impacts on a global scale has only recently been available through new technologies and research but the data clearly demonstrates that anthropogenic impacts are substantial and are getting worse. However, now that the many aspects that have caused much of the environmental degradation have been identified, we can now move to action to reduce those impacts.
To reduce further environmental degradation, action must be undertaken at the global level, national level, state and municipal level, and the individual level. The actions must include many aspects of how humans behave and treat the Earth and involve changing our lifestyle through modifications of transportation, energy needs, shelter, and agriculture. Modifications at the global level may be the most difficult but are the most important because pollution does not respect political boundaries. Pollution from one country often migrates and affects all environmental media of other countries and sometimes the entire planet.
In order to support a human population on Earth we must not consume and pollute at current levels. In order to achieve a sustainable living, vibrant, and diverse world instead of a world without humans, we need to diligently work cooperatively towards living in productive harmony with nature instead of trying to change nature.