Over the past few decades, the earth has faced very many issues concerning the environment. The situation is worsening day by day. These environmental issues are affecting the growth of many nations and the life of living organisms generally. Several factors are sole contributors to these issues. This paper discusses a few of the environmental issues, causes of environmental issues and their control. The rate at which the environment is degrading is alarming, and therefore, measures have to be put in place to control it.
Environmental issues and their Effect
Earth has faced very many problems related to the environment. Examples of these issues include pollution (land, air, and water), global warming, overpopulation, waste disposal, ocean acidification, ozone layer depletion, deforestation, urban sprawl and genetic engineering among others (Rinkesh, 2017). Some of these problems are discussed below.
Pollution-Industrialization makes the lives of humans easy and fancy. They, however, lead to the pollution of land, water, and air. The land is polluted by the industrial wastes and plastics together with nitrates. Air is polluted by toxins and gases released by fossil combustion, vehicles, and factories. Water, on the other hand, is polluted by urban runoff, aid rain and oil spill (Rinkesh, 2017).
Depletion of natural resources-the more a resource is used the more it gets depleted, fossil fuel for instance. This is a major environmental issue. Combustion of fossil fuel, however, is the contributing factor to global warming, depletion of ozone layer and climate change.
Global Warming-Human practices, for instance, greenhouses emission lead to global warming. Global warming is now a major environmental issue on major discussion rooms. The effect global warming has, is temperature rise. This is both on the earth surface and the ocean. As the temperatures rise, they lead to the desertification, melting ice in the Polar Regions, precipitation that has unnatural pattern and sea level rise (Rinkesh, 2017).
Waste disposal-developed countries have a habit of over producing wastes and dumping them in the less developed countries or the oceans. Nuclear, electronic, fast food, plastic, packaging among others are the wastes being produced but not well disposed of.
Biodiversity loss-As humans intensify their activities that sustain their livelihoods, they lead to the loss of habitats for other species thus making them extinct. The result is the biodiversity loss. The decimation of species threatens the ecosystem which took a long time to balance. Humans destroy the coral reefs thus putting marine life in danger.
Ocean Acidification-it is directly affected by humans. The rise in the levels of acidity is engineered by the increase of CO2. Humans have increased the production of the gas in question. It is predicted that in the coming years, this acidity will increase more (Rinkesh, 2017). Acidity is a threat to marine life.
Depletion of the ozone layer-An increase of the CFC’s in the atmosphere leads to the thinning of the ozone layer. The ozone layer is a protective layer that prevents the harmful rays from reaching the earth. Depletion of this layer is a contributing factor to global warming and major health issues such as cancer, skin diseases among others.
Genetic Engineering-this is the use of use of biotechnology to produce food that is genetically modified. The problem associated with this is that these kinds of crops can be very harmful to the wildlife (Rinkesh, 2017). It can as well lead to the production of a resistant type of pests thus affecting the agricultural sector negatively.
Deforestation-due to the increased population, there is the shortage of basic needs such as cloth, food, and shelter. To survive; people have taken to encroaching into and thinning the forests without replacing them. Deforestation leads to desertification, global warming and climate change among others.
Causes of Environmental Issues
An overpopulation-the population is growing at an alarming rate, but the resources to sustain it are finite. An increase in population means that more space is required to produce food, for shelter and clothing (Tilman & Lehman). To sustain itself, people are clearing forests, disturbing land, depleting natural resources among others.
Urban Sprawl-People moves from the rural to urban centers in such of jobs. This leads to overpopulation in the urban centers making them expand to the rural. The result of this is increased traffic; build up of waste, pollution, slums among others (Tilman & Lehman).
Industrialization-this is the mother causality for environmental issues. Factories lead to the production of waste and they dump them in water bodies or on land. At most, the gases emitted lead to the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere leading to global warming and climate change (Tilman & Lehman).
Natural Cause-examples include storms, wildfires, tidal waves, avalanches among others. With these, man has got no power over them. The earth is ever-changing, and to some extent, the environment is affected by ecological issues that lead to other species getting extinct.
Control, Management, and Conservation
Several states have enacted laws through which every nation must comply to, to protect the environment. Several countries have signed treaties, and there are several acts to protect the environment. In addition to that, here are some of the ways through which people can protect, control and manage the environment.
Conservation of the resources-by conservation it means 1) protecting the natural resources as a way of protecting nature and 2) condemnation of the of the large corporations’ and businesses’ irresponsible acts. Green living is one of the methods of conservation. It means taking power away from the large businesses that instead of working to promote the environment, they are wasting it instead (Spiegel & Maystre). Conservation also promotes a life where people live to make little positive changes to the environment.
Embracing the use of alternative or fewer energy-As seen earlier, fossil fuel is a major causality of environmental degradation. To protect the environment, people can adapt using machines for instance automobiles that are energy efficient. People can also adapt to using alternative sources, i.e., using the renewable sources of energy such as solar among others (Spiegel & Maystre).
Advocating for environmental conservation-it can be through campaigns or seminars. Education is paramount. Each person should be first made aware of the environmental issues, their impact on their lives and then shown how they can mitigate the effects. They should also be taught how to protect and conserve the environment according to their abilities (Spiegel & Maystre).
Creation of jobs in the rural-this will prevent urban sprawl
Population Control-this is, especially in the developing countries. As seen earlier, overpopulation is a cause of the environmental concerns discussed above. The best way to control the issues is by controlling the cause. Governments can put ways and laws to control the population in their countries for instance through birth controls (Spiegel & Maystre).
The world is undergoing several environmental issues which prove to be a threat to human, plant and animal life. Among the major causes of the environmental issues include overpopulation, urban sprawl, and industrialization among others. There have been ways put in place to control and protect the environment for instance signing of treaties among countries, laws among others. Despite that, it is an effort of every individual to ensure that the environment is protected.
- Rinkesh (2017)Environmental Problems. 15 Major Current Environmental Problems. Retrieved from https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/15-current-environmental-problems.php
- Spiegel, J. & Maystre, L.Y. (n.d.) Environmental Pollution Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.ilocis.org/documents/chpt55e.htm
- Tilman, D. & Lehman, C. (n.d.) Human-caused environmental change: Impacts on plant diversity and evolution. Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/98/10/5433.full