Pollution is probably the most important problem in the world today. One of the reasons it is so important to human beings is that we know that we brought about pollution. Unlike most of the other problems in the world, such as AIDS, pollution is a human creation. Since the beginning of time, whenever human beings changed their environment, they were greatly affected. Areas where pollution is extremely high encounter death rates and disease rates that are sometimes 15 or 20 times more than areas without pollution. Greedy corporations are pushing these problems to areas not ready to encounter this high level of pollution, and if something isn"t done soon to curtail these problems, we will all surely feel the longstanding effects they bring.
During the 1960"s, which I call the “Throwaway” era, Plastics and Styrofoam Styrofoam - пенопласт were thrown away without a care, and now we are finally seeing what that kind of stupidity can cause. At first, children began to understand the drastic changes that the entire world was facing. The planet was changing, and adults were doing nothing to save it. Yet, the polluted planet was being handed to the younger generations, who, while more educated on the topic, were not sufficiently knowledgeable to control earth"s problems. Nowadays, children are leading the environmental revolution. More educated and smarter on the issues that the world is facing, children are changing the planet. Still, all the education in the world cannot counter the pressure that Big Business is putting on the globe. Chemicals, human wastes, toxic wastes, and other kinds of pollution are beyond repair in some cases. Corporations do not care about the planet; they are willing to trade off small environmental risks for jobs and success in individual communities. Of course, most people in those communities don"t realize that them taking a job with these companies is detrimental to their survival.
Whenever I think of pollution"s effect on the world, I think of its effect on innocent human beings. When someone becomes sick or dies of some kind of sickness brought about by pollution, their human rights come into question. I think human rights, although usually reserved for genocide or other acts of evil, can encompass pollution as well. Our human right is simply the right we have to live our lives as we please, to live our lives without being hurt or affected unless we want to, and the basic needs we as human beings have. Pollution brought about by other people on us is not our choice. Therefore, whenever an area where humans live is polluted, it is a violation of that person"s human rights.
Nowadays, in an age where people are starting to fight back against corruption, the average Joe is winning the battle with Big Business. Pollution is being taken on with a vengeance, and people are beginning to notice how nice it is to rid the place they live in of pollution. Laws are being passed day in and day out in order to help the average person in their battle with pollution.
In order to talk about the problems we face today, we must go back hundreds of years to take a look at the effects pollution had on human beings in the past. The Industrial Revolution in both America and Europe let factories pollute the air without regulation. Because of that, the air pollution in certain areas of the world is causing death to this day. Certain cities in the Northeast United States have air that sometimes has 5 or 10 times more soot in it than the International Standard. The English “Black Country” is aptly named that because of the color of the air. For years, people there have lived in an area with the lowest quality of life in Western Europe. “The average live expectancy in “Black Country”, England, is 10 years less than the rest of the country.” Advances in Environmental Research www.elsevier.com The reason not much has been done to change that is because it has been that way for more than 100 years. One of the problems with pollution is that if it becomes common, then people stop caring.
Another problem stemming from years ago is waste disposal. For many years, human waste was just let out into rivers and streams, spreading disease and sickness. A prime example of that is London, England. “By the 1850"s, the Thames River was so polluted that it was portrayed in cartoons with Death rowing along it.” Advances in Environmental Research www.elsevier.com A public outcry then prompted the city to develop a proper sewage system, but years of damage had been done, and the river is still not clean to this day. Another problem dealing with waste disposal is the fact that human waste is still dumped into rivers, lakes, and oceans without the proper treatment. Although the oceans aren"t greatly affected by a small amount of waste, over time it could definitely begin to hurt human interests in them, such as the fishing industry. In rivers and lakes though, there is usually no way for the waste to find its way out of the water. Because of the water systems we use on earth, this could be highly dangerous. “Using dirty water can make everyday activities like washing clothes and bathing dangerous, due to the infection that lies within the bacteria that live on human waste.” (Johnstone, 9) If people continue to use dirty water, that disease will spread to unimaginable levels.
At the present rate of tropical deforestation, the world"s remaining tropical rainforests will vanish in just 30 years А.Д. Яншин “Научные проблемы охраны природы и экологии” Экология и жизнь, № 3, 1999 г.
The latest statistics also dramatically underscore the benefits of planting tropical hardwood plantations:
· as the world"s population continues to increase in numbers and prosperity, the demand for beautiful tropical hardwoods will continue to grow rapidly
· as country after country in the tropics depletes its own supply of tropical forest and passes from being an exporter of tropical hardwoods to having to import wood to fulfill its domestic needs, international demand for tropical hardwoods will continue to grow dramatically
· as the world loses more and more rainforest, there will be a rising imperative to protect the small amount of rainforest remaining
· as international demand for tropical hardwoods increases and the availability of the natural rainforests as a source of supply of these hardwoods decreases, both because of continued harvesting and because the dwindling remaining forests will be increasingly protected, the prices of all tropical hardwoods will likely soar
· there is substantial opportunity in planting nearly any species of tropical hardwoods - and even more opportunity in planting tropical hardwoods that are sought after for their beauty or unique properties.
In early 1974, scientists warned governments across the globe that the release of certain industrial chemicals, such as CFCs and Halons, could result in a thinning of our ozone layer. The ozone layer is a part of our atmosphere that prevents most Ultraviolet rays from entering the earth"s surface layer. It allows only enough high-energy radiation to enter so that Vitamin D in humans can become active. Too much radiation, and certain human mutations begin to occur. In 1985, a hole in the ozone layer was discovered over Antarctica. Over the past 10 years, more and more holes were discovered over different parts of the world. Since then, skin cancer rates have skyrocketed, as well as levels of radiation among human beings. “Almost 4% of the world population will encounter some type of skin cancer within the next five years.” Валерий Павлович Алексеев “ПРИРОДА И ОБЩЕСТВО: ЭТАПЫ ВЗАИМОДЕЙСТВИЯ” Экология и жизнь,№ 2, 2002г.
The “Green House Effect”
Toxic waste pollution
So, pollution is one of the most burning problems of nowadays. Now millions of chimneys, cars, buses, trucks all over the world exhaust fumes and harmful substances into the atmosphere. These poisoned substances pollute everything: air, land, water, birds and animals. So, it is usually hard to breathe in the large cities where there are lots of plants. Everything there is covered with soot and dirt. All these affect harmfully. Every year the atmosphere is polluted by about 1000 tons of industrial dust and other harmful substances. Big cities suffer from smog. Cars with their engine have become the main source of pollution in industrial countries. Vast forests are being cut down for the need of industries in Europe and USA. The loss of the forests upsets the oxygen balance of the new wastelands. As the result some species of animals, birds, fish and plants have disappeared and keep disappearing. To slow down the rate of pollution many environmental organizations engage in nonviolent actions. But it is surely not enough to stop the processes that have already began in nature, and that had been caused by the way we all live. To protect our environment we all should care and do everything possible to save the nature for our kids.