Environmental Pollution: A Global Phenomenon

The hydroelectric power station in the northern part of India near a river was a center point of debate among the many environmental issues facing India certain years ago. Many environmental activists were adamant on preventing the building of the dam. The reason was that the building of the dam can create pollution in the nearby areas including vegetation, wild life, flora and fauna. The struggle between the activists and the government continued for several years was a main environmental issue in the leading newspapers of the country.

The above cited incident is one of the many cases of environmental degradation caused by human beings. There are many issues which needs immediate concern like the global warming, endangered species, Ozone layer depletion, water pollution, air pollution and the land pollution. Various efforts like formation of organizations at global and country level are there to resolve and prevent many serious environmental issues facing the world today. There are Environmental activist groups around the world in different countries to face the issues.

The environmental degradation was not so pronounced before the nineteenth century. However with invention of steam engine and rapid industrialization in nineteenth century and early part of twentieth century there arose many pollution problems. Concentration of carbon dioxide and many other poisonous gases has increased ever since the mass hysteria of industrialization. The growth of these gases and effluents has been steadily increasing and thereby their concentrations has reached alarming levels today. Invention of various heat engines in vehicles, industries contributed much to the pollution problem the world is facing today.

The environment is in a state of imbalance today in the twenty-first century. On the one hand there is temperature increase and on the other there has been temperature decrease due to environmental imbalance. The air pollution caused by industries, transport systems, deforestation has increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The plants including trees falls down worldwide massively to meet the needs of industries. This has resulted in the phenomenon called deforestation that is the rapid removal of forest including flora and fauna from the earth’s face. The reduction in number of trees and vegetation means that there is less absorption of carbon dioxide emitted by humans and other living species. This cumulative effect of deforestation and industrial pollution is raising the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The increased amount of this harmful gas has resulted in what the environmentalists call as the greenhouse effect. In greenhouse effect the basic process is that the earth’s atmosphere with carbon dioxide allows the ultraviolet rays to pass through but not the infra-red radiations present in the sun rays. The more concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the more infra-red radiation (heating properties) trapped by earth’s atmosphere thereby increasing the earth’s temperature. So, increasing concentration of carbon dioxide has resulted in the increase of temperature thereby causing the global warming.

The deforestation has caused the reverse effect on temperature that is decrease in temperature of earth. Due to rapid clearing of forests there is now more area available on earth from where sunlight gets reflected. Reflection of sunlight from earth is the albedo effect. With the rise in the surface area caused by deforestation more light get reflects from earth. So the heat energy of sun rays that was once absorbed by land in forests land now get reflects back to space thereby decreasing concentration of heat near earth’s surface. This has resulted in the decrease of temperature of earth.

The ozone depletion is another main issue in the environment. The chlorofluorocarbons emitted from earth are depleting the ozone layer through a series of chemical reactions. Depletion of ozone layer means that the harmful ultraviolet radiations can escape the earth’s atmosphere causing various diseases in human. This rapid depletion of the ozone layer is harmful to the very existence of the human beings.

The air pollution is endangering the environment as already discussed as well as the other living species habituating the earth. The water pollution like splitting of oil, harmful chemicals in the water bodies is endangering the aquatic life. The land pollution has created an all sorts of diseases and ailments in the humans. All these three forms of pollution are serious threats to the life on earth.

Amazon is a forest in America full of biodiversity. The forest has thousands of species of plants and animals. Each species lives in a symbiotic relationship with one another. Even if one species or wild tree leads to extinction then it can prove as disastrous if not in the short-term then in the long-term for the forest. There are many animals endangered and facing extinction, and if there is no action now to save them then who will come forward? Someone should take the responsibility to save our fellow creatures because indirectly if not directly our survival also depends on them. And if there is no action now then our own survival is in danger and our future generations might not see these beautiful creatures that once roamed over on earth. Despite various initiatives taken by governments and organizations worldwide there are many endangered species whose lives face threats from human beings. A lot of trade of animal’s skins, bones, skins etc. through illegal means prevails worldwide. A ban or full control on such activities through laws and regulations is in place but still such illegal activities operates illegally unchecked in the background. So protection of wild life and natural habitat is one of the many critical environmental issues on the planet today. The issue needs a comprehensive approach and a worldwide action.

Environment Sustainability is the regular replenishment of the natural resources used. Once a tree falls for paper industry then it is necessary to replant a tree to compensate for the loss. Thereby keeping the natural resources unharmed over a long-term so that they remain unaffected. Various initiatives like this by corporations and organizations worldwide needs to put in.In the corporate governance structure followed the environmental sustainability is one of the main issues raised. Recent alarming growth rates in world have put tremendous pressure on world’s natural resources which has affected earth’s environment health. If depletion of resources continues at this alarming level then time is not far enough when future generations will have to face scarcity of resources. Sustainability calls for avoiding this thing to happen and save environment of the world.

What the world desires today is sustainability of environment through environmental protection. In the sense whatever people consume today does not affect the natural resources so that they are available for our future generations. What we do today to the environment will affect the future generations and if we want our future generations to live happily and prosperously we must take the action now otherwise it will be too late. The global warming will cause large effect over a long-term that could be disastrous for earth and its residents. Even a slight increase in temperature could be devastating. Earth is our habitat, a precious planet on which our survival depends if it’s not there then there is no life and hence no humans. If environment keeps on degrading like this then time is not far when our grandchildren or their children’s children will not share the same environment that we enjoy today.

There have been many bodies and programs launched worldwide to counter the environmental pollution worldwide. The worldwide programs on raising environmental issues by United Nations, creation of independent environmental protection agencies in various countries are some of the initiatives taken worldwide. The carbon credits scheme launched is particularly important in the sense that the scheme has balanced world growth with the environment protection. The growth of the world has led to the environment problem the world is facing today, seeing this world environmental body created the carbon credits. The basic advantage of the carbon credits is that the growth of the world is not jeopardized at the same time the environment remains free from pollution. The scheme of carbon credits is now practiced around the world. The corporations earn the carbon credits for the environmental protection initiatives applied by them in their operations. The carbon credits thus earned exchanges for cash from the designated world authority. There are well-developed exchanges for carbon credits where they trade and exchange for cash. Similar such innovative schemes could be provoked such that it raises the environmental concern but at the same time benefit the people. So what is necessary is to give lust to people because it is in human nature to greed and do anything to fulfill that greed. Simple programs and other direct initiatives to save environment might be successful to some extent but the creative innovative schemes like the carbon credits will have significant impact on human psyche to understand the environmental problem better. If carbon credit scheme has forced the corporations to take environmental issues seriously than similar schemes will encourage other strata of society besides the corporations to take the issue seriously. Such schemes needs to encourage school children, old retirees, non-working women and other such people to care and encourage environmental protection.

We the humans have lived with our natural surroundings including flora and fauna for centuries since the dawn of our life on earth. The natural instinct should not allow us that the nature with which we have shared everything the food, home and everything we yearn for centuries. Earth is a place where we live in a symbiotic relationship with other species and even a slight disturbance in this balance can affect our very existence.