Environmentalissues can be described as the adverse effects on biodiversity causedby human activity. The environment is always changing with increasedactivity. Hence, as the environment changes the need to becomeincreasingly aware of the problems that come with it. In the pastthree decades, the environment has been experiencing massive changesthat include extreme warming and cooling periods, unpredictableweather pattern among others. Environmental issues/problems havebecome more familiar with industrialization and urbanization. In theUnited States, air and water pollution have attracted enormousattention in the past few decades. In recent times, environmentalproblems have become more globalized regarding their impacts,existence and factors that create them (Walsh, John, and Wuebbles."Climate Change Impacts in the United States: Chapter 2, OurChanging Climate.")
Severalfactors can be attributed to causing environmental problems/ issues.They include
Pollution: Pollution can be of various kinds such as water pollution, air pollution, and soil contamination. Pollution requires hundreds to millions of years to recoup. Primary sources of air pollution are caused by combustion of fossil fuels in industry and motor vehicle. Soil pollution is caused mainly by heavy metals and plastics while water pollution results from acid rain and oil spills.
Global warming: Global warming primary cause is through the emission of greenhouse gasses as a result of human activity. Global warming leads to the rise of earth and ocean surface temperatures that cause ice melt leading to flash floods an abnormal weather pattern.
Overpopulation: The increase in human population has resulted in the emergence of a shortage of resources such as water, food and fuel. Population growth strains the resources that are already scarce. Population increase has led to an increase in farming which damages the environment through the use of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Overpopulation is currently one of the major/crucial environmental problem/ issue (Bommarco et al. 230).
Waste disposal: The emergence of plastics in the past few decades are creating a major crisis in waste disposal. Plastic waste has currently emerged as a threat to human wellbeing. Waste disposal is one of the current major environmental problems.
Climate change: In the past few decades the climate has changed tremendously. This has been associated with the increasing in atmospheric temperature due to the release of greenhouse gases into the environment through the release of gases and burning of fossil fuels. Climate change has been associated with the various harmful environmental effect that includes a change of seasons, the emergence of new diseases and melting of ice.
Depletion of Ozone layer: Ozone layer is an invisible layer around the planet that protects against harmful sun rays. Ozone depletion is associated with pollution caused by chloro-floro carbons (CFC’s). The use of CFC’s is banned in the majority of countries. Ozone depletion is currently one of the major environmental problem gaining a lot of attention from environmentalist and Governments’ all over the world.
Deforestation: This can be defined as clearing of forest cover either for industrial, agricultural and commercial purposes. Forest cover is about 4 billion hectares which amount to approximately 31% of the world’s land, a figure down from 5.9 billion hectares in the pre-industrial era (Hannigan Environmental sociology). Forest act as the sinks of carbon dioxide as well as play an important part in temperature and rainfall regulation.
Althoughenvironmental issues are ubiquitous, it is clear that human activityis the source of environmental problems. When humans overuse theenvironment, problems such as pollution, overpopulation, and theshortage of essential resources emerge (Benton, Ted, and Michael Ch.1). The leading cause of environmental problems from the list aboveis pollution that is caused by burning fossil fuels in industries andmotor vehicles. Fossil fuels are the primary energy sources andinclude natural gas, coal, and oil. Combustion of fossil fuels is oneof the main source of pollution in the environment contributing toenvironmental issues such as climate change, smog, health risk, acidrain, depletion of Ozone, global warming among others (Botkin, Edwardand Dorothy 392). In a report compiled by the EnvironmentalProtection Agency in the year 2010, fossil fuel burning contributedto 79% of the total U.S greenhouse emission (Javid, Ali and Katharine961). There have been enormous efforts and campaigns to minimizegreenhouse gases emission emanating from fossil fuel combustion.
Despitethe current dependence on fossil fuels, Governments and industrieshave joined efforts to ensure clean fuels through technologicaladvances and use of green renewable energy. The development ofelectric cars by automotive manufacturers is estimated to reducegreenhouse gases pollution by over 70%. It estimated that an averagecar burns nearly 30 tons of gasoline which are a fossil fuel annuallyand produces 102 tons of carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas. Electriccars are said to be the best remedy to the problem caused by fossilfuel dependent automotive (Xia 282). Industries also have mergedeffort to reduce air pollution by adopting technologies that utilizegreen energy such as solar power, wind-powered machines among others.Industrial pollution is a primary source of an environmental issue.In the year, 2005 industrial facilities in North America aloneproduced over 5 million tons of pollutants in the environment(Huaman, Ruth, and Tian 368). Adoption of clean energy by theindustries has seen a major decrease in industrial pollutions.
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Bommarco,Riccardo, David Kleijn, and Simon G. Potts. "Ecologicalintensification: harnessing ecosystem services for foodsecurity." Trendsin ecology & evolution 28.4(2013): 230-238.
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Walsh,John, and Donald Wuebbles. "Climate Change Impacts in the UnitedStates: Chapter 2, Our Changing Climate." (2014).
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