We read about them almost every day. Hear it all over the news. Even watch video documentaries about them. All of this information would not matter at all if we fail to understand and be fully aware of the environmental issues threatening our planet. Here are just some of the few environmental issues.
Many environmentalists and scientists will agree that one of the greatest problems that man has to face is Climate change or Global warming (Greenhouse effect). Satellite images captured and environmental research had proven the melting of polar ice caps causing a significant increase in sea levels. Weather patterns have extremely changed. Droughts, heat waves, wildfires are more widespread. Typhoons and hurricanes occur more frequent and with more intensity. Human health is continuing to be threatened as well, by the increase in epidemics and climate-sensitive infectious diseases.
Human populations throughout a large region in many parts of the world have experienced a large-scale epidemic of infectious disease, or to what are called as a Pandemic. To mention a few, notable pandemics were: Cholera, Tuberculosis, Malaria, SARS, Typhus, Influenza, Avian Flu, and Swine Flu. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus starts from infected animals, in some cases will then infect nearby humans. The virus is then spread directly from human to human. It is then considered as a pandemic if this new virus is spread over the world.
Another environmental issue that should not be brushed aside is the Endangered Species. Planetary changes are occurring at a rapid rate. Ecosystems and natural habitats are altered or diminished to accommodate human overpopulation. Dangerous chemical waste products from industrial areas and agricultural chemicals find their way into nearby bodies of water causing contamination. Illegal hunting and trading is also threatening to deplete a number of our endangered species. It all falls down to the fact that these animals and plants do not have enough time to react and adapt to these circumstances therefore are on the verge of being extinct.
Overpopulation is also one of the complex problems in need of immediate attention. Critics say that we are coming to close to the sustainable capacity of the Earth. Overpopulation arises from increased number of births, low mortality rates and even increase in immigration. With overpopulation comes poverty. People are also lead to war and violence from the lack of sustainable resources. It is expected that by the year 2050, the Earth's population will surpass the 9 billion mark, which is a very significant increase from the current number 6.5 billion.
I believe that proper education is the only key to unlock awareness. We can either choose to be the instrument for change or be a hindrance to it. It is never too late for CHANGE because every single effort counts. Put all the small efforts together eventually will turn into a movement of a global-scale. It may take time before we turn things around, but who knows one day we might wake up to see our planet in a better shape.