home :: North America :: USA :: Geography :: Environment and Society :: The U.S. Environment at the Close of the 20th Century
Environment and Society, The U.S. Environment at the Close of the 20th Century
major environmental problems, national park, air pollutants, water pollution, environmental problems
In the last decades of the 20th century, the United States made major strides in protecting the environment. Reductions in air and water pollution have been dramatic. Research in the United States has excelled in developing techniques to monitor the environment and in designing solutions to environmental problems. Many endangered and threatened wildlife species are rebounding, and the U.S. national park and forest systems are among the best in the world.
At the same time, major environmental problems still persist. Many of these obstacles result directly from the high standard of living that most U.S. residents have come to expect. The United States remains the world’s largest user of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), resulting in continued generation of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Runoff from large amounts of fertilizers used in agriculture affects the ecosystems in waterways. Solid waste disposal remains a problem, with Americans producing large amounts of trash on a daily basis. The high level of consumption in the United States encourages the wise management of natural resources while at the same time poses difficult problems involving the protection of the air, water, and land.
Article key phrases: