Current environmental issues make us vulnerable to disasters and tragedies – both now and in the future. All over the world, people face many new and complex environmental “failures.” Some of them are small and affect only a few ecosystems, while others dramatically change the living conditions that we consider normal.
1. Pollution makes air, water and soil unsuitable
It takes millions of years to neutralize the effects of these contaminants. Industry and car exhaust are the main source of air pollutants: heavy metals, nitrates and toxins from plastic. Gases and toxins released by industrial enterprises result from the burning of fossil fuels. And water pollution often occurs due to oil spills, acid rains, city drains. Land pollution is mainly caused by industrial waste, depriving the soil of essential nutrients.
2. Global warming brings drastic and unpredictable climate change
And this is the result of human activity – we are talking about greenhouse gas emissions. Global warming leads to an increase in the temperature of the oceans and the earth’s surface, causing the melting of polar ice, rising sea levels, as well as unnatural weather conditions that lead to flooding, blizzards or, conversely, desertification.
3. Overpopulation leads to a lack of resources and environmental pollution.
The planet’s population is reaching an unacceptable level, and it is already facing a shortage of resources: water, fuel and food. The population explosion in less developed and developing countries is depleting already scarce resources. And intensive agriculture, practiced for food, damages the environment through the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides.
4. The depletion of natural resources – without the development of alternative energy sources can not survive
This is due to the active consumption of fossil fuels. In addition, this leads to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. So all over the world, people are striving to switch to renewable sources of energy, such as the energy of the sun, wind, biogas and geothermal energy. The cost of installing and maintaining the infrastructure for their production has fallen in recent years.
5. Disposal of waste – necessary, but sometimes dangerous to health
Overconsumption of resources and the creation of plastics have led to this problem. Especially in this stand out the developed countries, which produce excessive amounts of waste, and then store them in the oceans and less developed countries. At the same time, there are problems with waste processing: for example, the disposal of nuclear waste poses a huge health hazard.
6. Biodiversity loss – ecosystem destruction and species extinction
Ecosystems that took millions of years to achieve perfect balance are at risk when a population of a species falls. The balance of natural processes, such as pollination, critically affects the survival of the ecosystem. And human activity puts him at risk. Another example is the destruction of coral reefs that support rich marine life.
7. Forest destruction – every year an area equal to the area of Panama is cut down
Forests produce fresh oxygen and also help in regulating temperature and precipitation. Currently, forests occupy 30% of the land, but every year they are being cut down more and more – the demand for food, building materials and fabrics is growing. Deforestation simply means turning land into building sites for residential and industrial facilities.
8. Ocean acidification makes shellfish fragile
This is the direct effect of the excessive release of carbon dioxide, 25% of which is produced by humans. Over the past 250 years, the acidity of the ocean has increased, but by 2100, it will reach 150%. This effect on mollusks and plankton is similar to how people are affected by osteoporosis, a disease that reduces bone density.
9. Ozone depletion increases cancer
Depletion of the ozone layer is explained by pollution caused by chlorine and bromides found in chlorofluorocarbons. They are banned in many industries and consumer products. After these toxic gases reach the upper atmosphere, they “eat” a hole in the ozone layer – the largest of them is above the Antarctic. However, there is good news: this biggest hole began to drag out.
10. Water pollution further complicates the shortage of this resource.
While industry dumps toxic substances into rivers and oceans, water becomes an economic and political issue, people are fighting for this resource. One way to get usable water is to desalinate it.
11. Acid rain even affects aquatic species of animals and plants.
They are due to air polluting substances. Sometimes acid rains occur suddenly due to burning fossil fuels, volcanic eruptions or rotting vegetation that releases sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
12. Growing cities occupy agricultural land
Moreover, the massive migration of people from villages to cities leads to land degradation, an increase in traffic volumes and environmental problems. At the same time, due to the constantly growing demand for land, the flora and fauna are being squeezed out of their natural habitats.
13. Public health issues are directly related to environmental
Dirty water jeopardizes the health of people around the world, threatens the quality of life. Rivers bring toxins, chemicals, and pathogens. Air polluting substances cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma and cardiovascular problems. And high temperatures contribute to the spread of infectious diseases.
Our daily lives are influenced by many different factors, including government policy and a desire to stick to a routine. Living “as everyone has always lived,” many people believe that they absolutely do not affect future generations and their environment. So far, the “green” initiatives are mainly shown by large companies with famous names. And in order to instill such approaches among the population, it is necessary to carry out extensive information campaigns on this topic.