uman beings are the sole inhabitants of the planet Earth who are capable of changing its fate. This planet’s existence dates back to 4.5 billion years. Yet, it has taken mankind only a few centuries to rid Earth of its biological richness. And no, this is not an exaggeration.
The reasons for its present state are not unknown to humans; we just turn a blind eye towards them. And all the reasons are interconnected. The environmental shift on Earth has happened like a chain reaction where one thing has gradually led to another. Over the years, problems like global warming, water scarcity, and the increasing use of hazardous wastes have resulted in a depleted state of living.
As the pace of development grows, humanity faces a tough challenge. Here are the top 6 environmental concerns for mankind in the 21st century.
6. Threatened Wildlife
Believe it or not, but animals are required for the survival of humans. In fact, every being on this planet is an integral part of the food chain. This food chain can get disturbed if any species suddenly become extinct.
Different types of species have their own food habits that facilitate the maintenance of the growth of certain living creatures. If that ratio is made disproportionate, then the entire system is bound to become imbalanced.
Extravagant human activities, rash driving, climatic conditions, deforestation, climate, and many other reasons have endangered Earth’s wildlife.
Did you know?
According to a study done in 2015 by the Center for Biological diversity revealed that despite extinction being a natural phenomenon, the rate of species extinction has increased in the past few years. Recently, the rate has reached dozens going extinct each day!
5. Energy Consumption
Day by day, our rate of energy consumption is increasing greatly. Whether we need energy to see in the dark, or cool/heat our homes, we consume energy at every step of the way. Renewable sources of energy can be ‘recycled’ to employ again for human use. But non-renewable sources like coal and petroleum will get depleted someday.
And that day is not very far. Mass commercialization has made us close our eyes to the loss of fossil fuels. Since they are the most important source of immediate energy, their scarcity can affect human sustenance on this planet.
Humans urgently need to find other sources of energy and use renewable sources of energy instead.
Did you know?
Although fossil fuels literally power our daily activities, they are also major contributors to environmental damage! The gases released while burning coal, petroleum, and natural gas produce greenhouse gases that cause problems like pollution and global warming.
4. Waste Disposal
Centuries ago, who could’ve thought that garbage would become a worldwide issue? We don’t pay much attention to recycling waste and end up throwing all kinds of waste in the trash.
Biodegradable waste can be buried and gotten rid of without causing any environmental damage. However, non-biodegradable waste like plastic, metals, and even radioactive waste remain in the environment and affect other beings. This has led to an increase in the amount of the world’s waste on land as well as in water.
Dumping waste on land is harmful to terrestrial beings while dumping garbage in water bodies is bound to harm marine animals. Humans need to put a stop to the usage and production of non-biodegradable waste before it covers the entire planet!
Did you know?
Plastic bags and bottles have become a huge problem in a lot of countries. According to OVO Energy, for the year 2050, the number of plastic bottles disposed of in the ocean will become more than the amount of fish living in it!
3. Deforestation and Pollution
As lands are increasingly bought by corporate firms for industrial purposes, trees are being cut down for commercial use. Not only is deforestation leaving wild animals homeless, but is also affecting the process of air purification and precipitation rate, thereby causing pollution.
This is a serious problem because it is affecting a number of natural functions in one go. There are vehicles that release harmful gases, and so do factories. Burning of fossil fuels also contributes to the production of polluting gases in the air. These gases form harmful compounds with the molecules present in the atmosphere to become harmful, even lethal. They are known to cause respiratory and cardiac diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among many others. It is, in fact, even dangerous to pregnant women and newborn babies.
And due to the absence of enough amount of trees, the air we breathe does not get purified. Reminding ourselves of the necessity of oxygen, humans urgently need to take a stand in order to save trees. And in places where the damage is too much, we can begin with the reverse “afforestation” by planting trees.
Did you know?
A study published in the journal Nature in the year 2015 revealed that we have cut down over 46% of the world’s green cover in the past 12,000 years!
2. Climate Change
The imbalance in the smooth functioning of Earth’s ecosystem has led to a rise in the overall climate of regions. According to NASA’s temperature analysis, the average global temperature of Earth has increased by 0.8º Celsius since 1880. This increase has affected the overall temperature, rate of precipitation, and wind patterns.
This has also led to the prolongation or shortening of seasons in different places. One of the main impacts of the disturbing climate system is global warming. It is a result of the increase in carbon dioxide level in the Earth’s atmosphere. If our exploitation of natural resources continues, it won’t be long before the world climate becomes unbearable for human survival.
Did you know?
Since climate change indicates increased warmth in the atmosphere, ice glaciers have been melting rapidly. Due to this phenomena, sea levels have risen dangerously in many places, thereby making them vulnerable to climatic disasters related to water.
The one and only reason for all the above problems is caused by the overpopulation of humans on this planet. In the year 2000, the world population was 5.2 billion. And in 2018, the population shot up to 7.7 billion. And all these years, man has just taken from nature, without any regard to what that will lead to. Overpopulation has also caused an increase in the demand for resources of all kinds. And this has led to a shortage of natural resources for the inhabitants of planet Earth.
Overpopulation also predicts a sudden upshoot in the world economic development, which means technology and urbanization will increase. Placing such demand on nature will exhaust and pollute our planet faster than we can predict!
Did you know?
The greatest contributors to overpopulation are improved medical services and reduced mortality rate!
In the process of economic development, we have forgotten to take care of our planet’s ecosystem. And this irresponsibility has resulted in serious threats to the survival of living beings. These concerns need to be urgently addressed if mankind harbors any hope of survival beyond the 21st century!