As grateful as we should be for the advancements in science and technology and the rapid growth of the human species, we are overlooking a very grave problem. Environment problems are looming over us, and are beginning to make their presence felt strongly. We have taken a lot for granted, because of the benign nature of the earth and environment. But the fact that it has gone too far is now being noticed by the world. What has contributed to this problem that is threatening survival on this planet?
List of Environmental Issues
The list of environmental problems presented here provides a broad overview of the looming dangers over mankind and this planet. This list contains problems, not only of the current year, but those that have been present since a long time. Only the seriousness of the effects of these issues is being experienced now, like never before.
Oil SpillsThough oil spills are not new phenomena, the recent scale at which they have affected the environment cannot go unnoticed. Oil spills are perhaps the biggest environmental issues with one occurring as often as three to four times a year on an average. Oil spills damage the prime source of water for various cities, marine life, and even affect birds. Indirectly they cause severe harm to the environment and are perhaps, among the most important issues to reckon with.
Climate ChangeThe high amounts of air pollution due to the development of several industries, and water pollution due to discarding of toxic waste in oceans and other water bodies, and the high rate of deforestation, are also contributing towards a drastic climate change. This widespread misuse is causing global warming like never before. Erratic changes in weather, brutal blizzards and floods, and vicious heat waves, are now affecting lands where such phenomena were not so common.
OverpopulationPopulation growth and the subsequent overpopulation is another among the many global environmental issues that has affected every nation. With the advancement in medicine and technology, life expectancy has increased, which is a boon in its own way, but has adversely affected the environment. Earth is now overpopulated, and because of the other problems that are affecting it, it is not going to be able to sustain this excess for very long. Also, though family planning measures have been strictly implemented in several countries, they are still not as effective to control the rapidly increasing population.
PollutionPollution is having a horrific impact on the planet and us human beings. Water pollution, air pollution, acid rain due to air pollution, land pollution, noise pollution, are all adversely affecting the environment and people. Some countries are so polluted that children are born with birth defects, such as mutations of different body parts, while several others develop such defects later in life, due to their exposure to different types of pollution.
Land DegradationFast-paced urban life has had a deep impact on the land that we live on. For one, to accommodate the rising urban population, a lot of deforestation has taken place. This not only affects the climate, but also destroys the natural habitat of other life forms, leading to the increasing number of extinct animals and endangered animals, and thereby disturbing the natural cycle of the environment. Agricultural practices such as intensive farming, overgrazing, and use of harsh pesticides, render several agricultural lands useless. Furthermore, soil erosion contributes to land degradation and its subsequent effects on humankind.
Nuclear IssuesThe use of nuclear energy has led to the threat and instances of emission of nuclear radiations that have harmed the environment in unimaginable ways, causing immense environmental pollution. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still recovering from the effects of atom bombs that were dropped in these cities. Though the scale of nuclear radiation affecting people is not the same, it is still slowly showing its effects in different manners on us human beings and is, in fact, increasing in today's day and time.
Resource DepletionDue to overpopulation, and the relaxed manner in which different natural resources are utilized, there is a serious lack of resources that can be used by us human beings now. We are experiencing the phenomenon of rising fuel prices due to their constantly decreasing amounts. Several countries face huge water problems where some houses get water only for an hour a day, and where the ability to provide water to people depends on the erratic rains that elude those who solely depend on it as a source of water. Electricity is another serious problem in certain countries that is not available to everyone. Due to the continuous depletion of all these natural resources, experts have predicted that survival on planet Earth is only going to get further challenging and difficult. The least we can do is try to adopt some energy-saving methods so that it is efficiently utilized, evenly distributed and made available to everyone.
Loss of BiodiversityEarth comprises several life forms that together contribute to the biological diversity that exists on the planet. Because of the aforementioned environmental problems, we are experiencing degeneration of biodiversity. Biodiversity is important because all life species on this planet play a crucial role in its sustenance. Moreover, healthy biodiversity ensures its own sustenance, and allows for the development of further species, which in turn is likely to enhance the overall quality of life of the planet.
This was just a broad overview of the current environmental issues that are plaguing life on this planet. The list of issues that affect the environment is never-ending, with every action contributing to different environmental problems. The least we can do is understand these problems, and try to make an effort on our part to reduce the suffering of mankind and nature. If every one of us tries to make a difference, we are likely to have a positive overall outcome, leading to a better, healthier life for all living species on this planet.