As much as we want to avoid the issue with the changing environment(not for the better, at that), the problem simply won’t go away on its own. Closing our eyes at the inevitable facts that are right there in front of us is not the proper way to react. Unfortunately, this is what most people do because they are content with their current social status, and nothing else seems to matter. This is certainly not how it should be because what people don’t realize is the long-term outcome, the one that will affect generations to come. Something small like a plastic bag carelessly thrown away will take a thousand years to break down. A whole millennium! Isn’t it time to rebuild the world we live in? Maybe the following lines will make you open your eyes to what’s happening with our planet right now.
Environmental Concerns of Today
1. Climate Change
This is certainly a topic everyone has heard of many times. But not all seem to be able to understand the consequences. Simply, climate change is related to global warming caused by greenhouse gases released in the atmosphere. The ecological balance is disturbed, which leads to certain anomalies that are not supposed to happen with the speed they’re occurring today. It is believed we are the cause, starting with the industrial revolution and continuing to think more of financial benefits instead of environmental ones. Biodiversity and ecosystems are threatened, centuries-old glaciers are melting, the weather becomes unstable which leads to cataclysms, etc.
If you live in a region where there’s plenty of pure water to drink, consider yourself lucky. That’s a scarce resource in some countries. Have you been aware of the fact that one in five people doesn’t have access to potable water. The need of drinkable water will become a serious issue in years to come, especially when wasting it like crazy. The next time you turn the tap on think of the people across the world, fellow human beings, that don’t have that luxury. This has to make you stop being so wasteful.
Fossil fuels are the usual suspect for environmental damage as far as producing energy is concerned, no doubt about it. Burning them is obviously not in our favour but once we discovered this method, we can’t seem to be able to stop using it, even if there are other alternatives. Today’s sources of electricity are based of burning gas, oil or coal, which cause the aforementioned greenhouse effect. Some think that an energy crisis is coming once these natural resources run out. Suggestions to use renewable power instead of the fossil fuels we are used to for a long time now have been already made. Geothermal, marine, wind and solar energy are also efficient and not harmful. So, that’s where we should be heading.
If we apply simple logic here, we can assume that sooner or later we’ll be living under piles of our own waste. So much consumption will have to result into many items we dispose of simply because they don’t work anymore. To replace them, we buy new ones, which will eventually become unusable and the cycle repeats. Most of the items are made of plastic. Remember what was said about it in the first paragraph – it’s hardly degradable. Recycling is a popular concept nowadays, and it has to become a priority in every household when it comes to getting rid of waste. Plastic, as well as metal and paper, can be recycled and thus given a new life. This way, the already produced material will be reused instead of just being thrown out.
5. Air Pollution
Air pollution comes hand in hand with greenhouse gases since they are the main cause of it. As you can see, everything seems to be connected. One issue causes another, and this process never seems to stop. Truth is, it won’t stop by itself. Once the wheel is turned and constantly powered by disastrous human activity, air pollution will gradually continue growing, and growing, and growing. Acid rains caused by coal burning by-products like nitrogen and sulphur can negatively affect soils and crops, as well as accelerate the decay of materials man uses in construction. Underestimating the issue is once again not a solution to the existing problem.
When the balance in nature is disturbed, it’s normal to think that some species won’t be able to make it in the new environment. With the change happening so fast, some species can’t adapt to the new situation as quickly as needed, so extinction is inevitable. Maybe not right now, but certainly in the future, if things continue the same way. An entire ecosystem can collapse if an indicator species is endangered of extinction. The term ‘system’ itself hints for dependency, so the principle is kind of like that – if one goes, they all go.
7. Ozone Layer Depletion
Before climate change turned into a number one environmental issue, ozone layer depletion was the hot topic that was vigorously discussed. It is related to the release of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in the atmosphere. They are used in manufacturing. What happens when CFCs reach the upper atmosphere is that they make ozone molecules break apart forming a hole. The ozone layer plays the role of a shield against the harmful UV rays coming from the sun. Guess what happens with a hole in it?
8. Land Concerns
Call it deforestation, desertification, erosion or else, the land management decisions that humans make are not in favour of the wildlife. Trees are needed for producing paper, so the forests have to be cut down. Roads and buildings are being constructed, so once again forests have to be sacrificed for the sake of people’s development plans. Another issue is that instead of growing food naturally on the land we have, we stimulate the growth of plants with artificial fertilizers, spraying them with pesticides and so on. This isn’t the healthier way for the people, as well as for the land.
Global warming causes the level of the world ocean to increase with all the melting ice. What this means is that water will ‘swallow’ the land. Also, overfishing has a contribution to the disbalance of underwater ecosystems like coral reefs, for instance. Oil spill in the ocean are also a serious issue that affects all living creatures in the water and on the shore once the spill reaches it.
10. Human Activity
Have you noticed that all of the above, directly or indirectly, can be traced back to us, humans. We are the ones who have to care the most, but yet we don’t. Unsurprisingly, we did this to ourselves.
The assumption that as long as the environmental issues don’t affect our lives directly, we’ll sit and do nothing is a selfish point of view. Who says that the polluted air is not harmful to our health? It does affect us, even if that’s not how we see things now. By doing something worthy during our lifetime, we’ll make it easier for our heirs to live a healthier life in a relatively more stable environment.