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Environmental Issues

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Introduction

Environmental issues have become of special attention of the public interest. Different environmental movements and organizations are established all over the globe to work on environmental issues. Many experts are discussing that environmental problems may lead to negative impact both human health and environment. Governments have provided different environmental policies that are based on a process of careful, scientific inquiry, civil and democratic discourse, which recognizes the dilemmas society faces. It is important to better evaluate these issues toward improving society’s management of its environment in the future. Nowadays, environmental issues have been observed through different perspectives, such as climate change, enormous economic damage and pollution (Brauch, 2011). Income-generating resources are under the threat in many parts of the world because of the humans’ activities, which destroy flora and fauna what inevitably leads to the environmental disaster.

Environmental Protection Must Become a Priority

Environmental issues, such as pollution of freshwater and marine resources, the growing human population that lead to crushing demands on environmental resources and degradation of flora and fauna have worried the global population for many years. Such environmental issues as global climate change and genetically modified crops are relatively of more recent origin. Together these environmental issues possess a dangerous challenge for the future generations. Moreover, this dangerous situation has become unpredictable, especially in less-developed countries, where environmental protection still remains a low priority (Oldfield, 2005).  Nevertheless, highly-developed industrial countries, such as the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and others have achieved striking success in searching an appropriate balance between economic advancement and recourse protection.

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Further research is undoubtedly needed to resolve environmental issues

Earth is a wild planet no more. Human activities have transformed the Earth. Mountains have been leveled and wild rivers tamed. More than six billion Homo sapiens inhabit the planet. Humans have treated limited natural recourses as though they were unlimited. They have mistreated the biosphere, the portion of the Earth and atmosphere that supports life, by dumping billions of tons of toxic chemicals into the air, soil, and water. Thus, precious recourses are seriously depleted and the biosphere is fragile (Brauch, 2011). Recent research asserts that most of the transformation took place during the past few hundred years. Such social movement as environmentalism declared that people must stop making war on nature and start living in harmony with it. Various environmental groups all over the world protest and demonstrate against human activities damaging the natural world. Therefore, the main objective of these groups is to keep the Earth clean and healthy for present and future generations. The federal governments in many countries responded by passing new legislation to protect the environment and depletion of natural recourses. Laws, such as the National Environmental Protection Act were passed to protect air, water, and endangered species (Spoolman & Miller, 2011).

The economic growth that has provided the means for society’s improvements has required a corresponding increase in energy supply. During the recent decades, many thoughtful people have questioned whether the by-product effluents of such increasing energy use might produce seriously damaging and costly environmental consequences. The concerns have expanded from smog to acid rain to global climate greenhouse issues. In each case, the root cause is energy use. Thus, a projection of future energy use may have particular relevance to these concerns. The humanity faces the very basic issue of finding an optimal balance between economic growth, related energy use, and the environment (Oldfield, 2005). Many experts and scholars study the trend of the world’s energy demand, how it might be managed by conservation and alternative energy sources, and what the resultant carbon emissions might be. It is generally recognized that energy and electricity use are historically intertwined with economic and population growth. This will become more so, if the humanity moves from subsistence farming to the industrial-urban-farm patterns needed to support a large population. The question of energy use underlies virtually all environmental issues. People are coming to realize that supplies of energy as they have taken for granted will be exhausted before long.

The Role of Human Activity in Causing Environmental Change

The research asserts that human activity is a significant cause of environmental change. The changes that human activities are causing to the Earth’s basic physical and biological systems have always been much more than an environmental issue. Climate change combined with other types of large-scale, human-caused environmental change is increasingly recognized as one of the greatest public health challenges. Human health and the health of the environment are intimately connected. Both are necessary to satisfy basic human needs. The environment is a key factor in determining the health of people. At the same time, investments in human health can help improve the health of the environment and ecological systems. Both human health and the environment are under greater pressure than ever before (Spoolman & Miller, 2011).

Human activity damages greatly the environment and continues to increases pressures on the Earth’s recourses. For example, the planet’s capability to assimilate wastes has been constantly ruined. Many scholars argue that human activity is a destructive regarding natural process in the social-economical systems. It also has to be taken into consideration that global environmental change has been occurred under the influence of socio-economic and political processes. The research asserts that cultural globalization is another source of environmental problems.

Moreover, the human activities, such as, deforestation, urbanization or energy consumption are determined mainly by population growth, which is considered to be one of the key parameters. The less developed countries will be the likely source of most of the growth, even though the rate of growth may be decreasing everywhere. Population control became accepted by much of the developing world. Different methodologies have been used to control people from having more children than needed (Brauch, 2011). For example, in China the government keeps under control the birth rate in the country. Thus, each Chinese family is supposed to have one child. These measures have been implemented because of the overpopulation. The constantly growing population in many Asian countries, such as India, may lead to the great lack of food, freshwater, natural resources. Actually, there are a lot of people, who support population control, because they understand the threat of overpopulation. On the other hand, there is a great portion of those, who consider population control antihuman and unethical issue.

Global climate change is dangerous for human health and life in different ways. Thus, it brings with it more frequent natural disasters, air pollution, shortages of safe water for drinking and sanitation, vulnerability to infectious disease (Spoolman & Miller, 2011). Sufficient food and nutrition have overcome certain changes and more often than before do harm to the human’s wellbeing. All these factors demonstrate that climate change dismantles the main elements of a healthy society. In order to find better lands and food, people ought to migrate to new lands. Actually, they are not welcome in these new lands, what may lead to civic instability and national conflicts. Most scholars agree that climate change is the main threat of the 21st century. That is why the problem has been studied globally. It is worth to note that many developed countries contribute a lot of their efforts in order to improve the situation. On the other hand, undeveloped countries, mainly in Asia and Latin America continue their destructive activities. For example, deforestation in Indonesia and Brazil that contain the largest amount of rain forests has become a real threat to the environment.

Different Perspectives of Environmental Issues

Another important environmental issue that is largely discussed by scholars and experts is logging and deforestation. In many parts of the world, people protest as forests are stripped by mining, flooded by hydro developments, or removed to free the land for non-traditional agriculture. Recent attempts by several European countries to ban the importation of tropical hardwoods threaten to reduce the economic value of some tropical forests. This ban might reduce logging in some areas, as intended. However, in some tropical countries, logging would undoubtedly be replaced by deforestation, if such a ban were successfully instituted. If the tropical timber had no economic value for the local people or the government, and if this loss could not be compensated by harvesting other recourses from the forest, then large areas would be cleared and replaced by more economically rewarding agriculture or exotic tree plantation. Failing to make a living or generate taxes from the forest, local people and governments would be forced to turn to farming (Brauch, 2011).

Similarly, attempts to save elephants and other large ‘trophy’ animals in east Africa by banning hunting have not always worked well. In some cases, a simple banning of hunting led to a black market in animal products fed by active and successful poaching. The regulations achieved little effective conservation, because they failed to consider adequately the social and economic aspects of the problem. International bans on the export of ivory and other products have greatly reduced this poaching, but they have not solved the problem of rural poverty. Such bans provide no incentive to the local people to conserve wildlife populations (Oldfield, 2005).

In contrast, villagers in Zimbabwe and several other southern African countries have been given license to take a sustainable harvest of trophy animals. This approach has created an interest on the part of the villagers in conserving populations of the threatened species. There are numerous other examples that can fail as a result of a too narrow view of the problem. For example, attempts to preserve anadromous fish stocks. The abundance of these fish is affected by overfishing at sea as well as by forest harvesting, which can adversely affect spawning beds and stream habitats. The prevention of forest fires in order to protect recreational forests that in fact depend on frequent fires for their desirable condition will ultimately protect neither recreation nor the forest ecosystems. It may increase the risk of a highly destructive wildfire.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is worth noting that environmental issues have really become of special attention of the public interest. Different environmental movements and organizations are dedicated to cope with environmental issues. The fact that all environmental issues may lead to negative impact both human health and environment encourages federal and state governments to provide different environmental policies that are based on a process of careful, scientific inquiry, civil and democratic discourse. It is important, therefore, to better evaluate these issues toward improving society’s management of its environment in the future. 

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