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The Environmental Problem of Our Time

I am a professional teacher, writer, researcher, and learner. I always try to learn because there is no age for learning.

How Environmental Problems are Bad?

How did the environmental problem of our time get so bad? The earth has been around for millions of years and throughout that time it has seen its fair share of disasters from volcanoes to floods to natural events such as ice ages and droughts. Humans have been around only relatively recently in the grand scheme of things, yet we find ourselves in the midst of an environmental crisis that threatens the health and well-being of human beings and animals alike with little sign of abating any time soon. Understanding how this occurred will help us work towards solutions that can hopefully reverse this crisis and improve our quality of life for generations to come.

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What is an Environmental Issue?

An environmental issue is a social, political or economic concern relating to impacts on biodiversity and natural resources. Examples include air pollution, climate change, deforestation, habitat destruction, overpopulation and water pollution. Many consider these issues to be caused by humans since they can (in most cases) be traced back to human activities. While many people think that global warming is an environmental issue today, it has not always been seen as such; scientists are still divided on whether or not it is actually being caused by humans. Human impact on nature has been around for thousands of years; examples include deforestation due to agriculture and hunting in wildlife habitats. More recently these effects have increased dramatically with greater population sizes and increased demand for goods from consumers around the world.

Air Pollution in China

One-fifth of global deaths attributable to air pollution : Each year, more than 600,000 people die as a result of air pollution. According to World Health Organization data, that’s almost one in every nine deaths across all countries. Pollution is responsible for killing three times more people worldwide than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Many industrial nations have made significant improvements in managing air quality over recent decades; however, most deaths related to air pollution occur in low-income countries. In 2012 alone, about 1.3 million people died from ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution combined—half were located in China and India alone. It's clear there is a need for better policies that prioritize public health and safety as millions continue to be exposed to dangerous levels of pollutants.

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Global Warming

In general, global warming is defined as a long-term increase in Earth's average surface temperature due to emissions from fossil fuels and industrial activities. In some areas (such as Northern Canada) global warming means just that: an overall increase in temperature across both land and sea. But for most regions, global warming means more specifically a rise in local temperatures, which can lead to severe problems like wildfires, droughts and floods. It’s one of our biggest environmental problems today – here’s why you should care about it. For example: California has been experiencing a dry spell since 2011 – its driest ever recorded – leaving fields fallow and lakes empty.

Water Pollution

Over-pumping ground water can cause wells to run dry, which is a big reason why California—the world’s eighth largest economy—is currently in its worst drought on record. The drought has resulted in $2.2 billion worth of damage to crops and livestock, and experts predict that will only continue if rain doesn’t come soon. According to one study, more than half of California is at risk for a severe lack of drinking water by 2020 if conditions don’t change. To combat further damage from water pollution, take shorter showers and use less water while doing laundry and dishes. As an added bonus: turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth saves three gallons of fresh water every day!

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Deforestation

Around 30 million acres of forest are cut down each year. That's equal to 50 football fields every minute, according to National Geographic. Forests have many uses beyond habitat for wildlife and protection from erosion and natural disasters; for example, forests are vital in mitigating climate change by storing carbon dioxide as trees absorb CO2. They also act as filters for pollution and help with water management by either directly removing pollutants from water or influencing where rainwater flows through surface runoff, soil absorption and groundwater recharge. Therefore, deforestation is an incredibly important issue that needs attention now before it's too late.

Eutrophication

Before going to start, many of our people do not know the definition of this big word. It is a process in which harmful algal, blooms, dead zones, and fish kills are the results of this process. Runoff from farms, human and animal waste (and fecal matter), and improperly disposed items like rubber tires is loaded with nutrients that contribute to algal blooms. These tiny organisms die off and sink to their death at sea where bacteria decompose them, using up more oxygen in water at a critical point in our food chain. It’s what scientists call hypoxia, or low-oxygen content environments. Hypoxic conditions have contributed to massive fish kills, harmful ocean dead zones or eutrophication, says Michael Dawson, PhD., an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University who specializes in marine ecology.

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Waste Disposal

Many people view trash as simply a byproduct of everyday life, but it actually has a much bigger impact than most of us realize. Because disposing of waste is so inexpensive and easy in developed countries, we often generate more garbage than we need to. As a result, some communities have started banning disposable plastic items such as straws and forks. And according to Business Insider , governments around the world produce almost 2 billion tons of municipal solid waste each year—and more than 50% ends up in landfills or incinerators instead of being recycled or re-purposed.


Ozone Depletion

In 1987, scientists discovered that chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's), which were commonly used in air conditioners and refrigerators at that time, were attacking Earth’s ozone layer. Ozone is a form of oxygen that sits in a layer high above Earth’s surface. It helps protect life on Earth from dangerous ultraviolet rays from the sun. But when CFC's attacked it, they made tiny holes in it – so small you can’t see them! The CFC industry said their products didn’t hurt ozone; but we now know that was wrong.


© 2022 Ghulam Nabi Memon

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