We talk about the global climate changing without even being aware of how much it is changing. And while not all change is for the bad, this change is definitely not good. While many of us would like to ignore what is happening, we feel that learning about these changes is the first step in working towards improving things. Most of you may be aware of the temperature changes and natural calamities that have been happening. The time has now come to break the different aspects of why this is happening, take steps to ensure that we stop the changes, and then reverse them. The time has come to go beyond just coming with heart touching songs on climate change and actually do something about it. We need to look at each of the problems that the current environment faces and come up with solution for each of them.
We have come to accept that global warming is a concept as we can feel the effects and have also become aware that we are the one who is causing it. But that is not the only problem connected to the environment we are facing right now. Globally, people are facing varied environment-related problems on a regular basis. Some of these problems may be relatively small while others are large and have an obvious impact. But no matter how small or big the change is, we can be sure that it is affecting the world we live in. You only look at scary predictions of future global climate to realize that we do need to take these problems seriously.
The fact of the matter is that our planet is poised on the brink of disaster with the many changes making us more susceptible to harmful incidents at present as well as in the future. Unless steps are taken right now, these changes can accumulate and result in problems. You only have to look at the heartbreaking images of water pollution and the way it affects marine life to imagine how it could be affecting us.
Current Problems Faced by the Environment
Pollution: Pollution has permeated all around us, whether it is the water we drink or the air we breathe or the soil in which our food grows. Waste from industries and exhaust fumes from vehicles are the main causes of pollution in the air. What is more plastics, heavy metals, and nitrates are also cause for the toxic atmosphere? Water-bodies are being polluted by acid rain, urban waste, and oil spill. The pollutants in the air and water also get absorbed into the ground.
Global warming: There have been changes in the climate due to manmade practices and the emission of greenhouse gases, which has resulted in the global warming. The temperatures in the surface of the earth and oceans are due to the global warming. This has resulted in the melting of glaciers or flash floods or on the other extreme, excess snowfall.
Population explosion: The increase in population is starting to affect the resources like food, fuel, and water sources. The resources are bound to be scarce in the first place, when it comes to developing countries, and increase population is bound to strain this further. This has resulted in the use of fertilizers and pesticides especially in the top drought-prone countries in the world that adds to the spoiling of the environment.
Depleting natural resources: Since there is a lot of urbanization and more people are using cars and modernizing their homes, the consumption of fuel like petroleum and coal have gone up. As you may be aware, the supply of these fuels are limited and humans increasing consumption of these have resulted in the depletion of these resources. Which is why, there has been some effort into using renewable sources of energy like air, solar, and hydropower. But we are a long way from making these affordable as most of them have huge initial costs.
Garbage disposal: We have talked about the increased population and their usage of all the resources, which naturally includes the use of plastics. This, in turn, could result in increased garbage being produced, which leads to the disposal of these. You can often note that many developed countries dump their waste on lesser developed countries. And you also have to factor in nuclear waste and electronic waste when facing the problem of waste disposal.
Climate change: You have to realize that the environment is composed of many factors and the change in any of these factors will have a domino effect on the whole. The burning of fossil fuels, the improper disposal of waste, and the changes in the ecology has resulted in climate changes. The oceans are also affected due to the changes in the coral reef.
Deforestation: The forests on planet earth are one of the main sources of fresh oxygen and the natural sinks for carbon dioxide, and this helps regulate rainfall and the temperature. Around 30% of the earth’s surface is covered by forests but this is fast coming down as more and more trees are being cut down. The deforestation is lessening the green cover we have and is leading to some detrimental changes to the atmosphere.
Acidification of the oceans: The water in the oceans has become more acidic due to the increase in the production CO2. It is on the increase and could be really bad by the year 2100 and this is affecting shellfish and plankton in the ocean.
Depletion of the ozone layer: There is an invisible layer of ozone that is protecting the earth, which helps protect us from the harm that the rays of the sun could cause us. But studies show that the ozone layer is eroding due to chlorine and bromide which are used in Chlor-fluoro carbons. These gases reach the ozone layer and cause a hole in it. Presently, one of the biggest holes is above the Antarctic area. The time has come to take heart-touching sayings and slogans on save environment to the heart.
Acid rain: This phenomenon happens when some pollutants are in the atmosphere. Acid rain is also caused by the usage of fossil fuels, the eruption of volcanoes, and the rotting of vegetation. As you can imagine, acid rain has a detrimental effect on our health as well as the state of vegetation and animal species.
Pollution of water: Water that is clean enough to be drunk is becoming a luxury and there are many battles being fought over the right to the water body. Just looking at the most beautiful waterfalls in the world should be enough to make you realize that it is a battle worth fighting. People are even looking at desalinization of ocean water to ensure that we have enough supply of drinking water. There also needs to be a focus on industries becoming more responsible in their disposal of waste to ensure that water doesn’t get polluted.
Sprawling urban areas: The population of the world is slowly moving to cities making the city areas to sprawl over larger areas and spilling over to the rural areas. This means land gets eroded, the water and air are polluted. All these factors can affect the flora and fauna of the place causing ecological imbalance.
Health issues to the population: Since the environment is becoming increasingly polluted, it is affecting the health of the population. The pollutants in the air and water and the resulting contamination of food sources are all causing more health issues to people and other living beings.
Genetic engineering: There has been a lot of changes in the way food is produced with genetics having a hand in it. This can result in increased toxins and allergy-causing agents. What is more, such genetically modified produce and the resultant wastage would also have an effect on the wild animals and livestock. Insects that consume resistant to antibiotics.
These problems that affect the environment have to be tackled at all levels. Not only should we passionately advocate for laws to be passed to prevent harm to come to the environment, but we should also make changes at a personal level. Each one of us can positively contribute to a healthy environment by reducing the carbon print, becoming more responsible in the use of plastic, and encourage green initiatives. We should each of us start by taking small steps in our lives to mitigate the problems that our current environment faces.