Environmental Pollution

With the changing times, and the progress, specially Industrial made by humans in the due course, there have been many problems which have threatened to cause the wiping out of the living creatures from the very face of earth. Environment pollution is one of them. Since the early 1900’s man with his quest to have a better life and to grow as a civilization, created his own plans, and in the process started interfering with nature and its way of functioning. It was the industrial revolution which gave rise to the factories and also spurred the excessive usage of coal and other fossil fuels, which contaminated the air. To add to it the hazardous chemicals discharges added to the growing human waste.

The world over especially in the European and the American nations this interference has resulted into to the reducing of the forest cover and depletion of the flora and fauna drastically, subsequently causing climate change. Nature always maintains a balance between things and has its own way. Contrary to that man for selfish reasons and his own greed changes this balance by Industrialization and dangerous changes in the environment.

Pollution literally means to make something dirty and to destroy the purity and sanctity of a place. During the genesis of our earth nature had its own way of doing things, which allowed the survival of the fittest and thus helped the evolution of various species on earth. But with growing population and the need to provide the human species a better and secure future led to the further exploitation of the natural resources and paved way for the activities like mining, hunting of animals, conquering the ocean and the skies. Thus damaging the overall eco-system to an extent where there were visible signs of danger of the life earth being finished. The major ways in which the earth was damaged was through air, water, and overall atmospheric pollution. Dumping of garbage, increased use of conventional and fossil fuels, cutting down of trees for building cities and for others purposes, further helped the cause. A situation has so been reached that, nature is beginning to get back at the humans by ways of Tsunami’s earthquakes, floods and epidemics. Pollution is responsible to adversely alter the environment and is a major reason for the genesis of many diseases. Air and water contamination, soild waste mishandling are some of the majors contributors of pollution.    

Cities like Cincinati and Chicago were the initiators of laws on pollution, as the unprecedented rise of pollution caused a threat. Besides the incidents in England called “The Great Smog which killed 4000 people, were serious warning signals, thus grabbing public attention. Though post world war II the awareness on environmental pollution gained momentum. But the introduction of nuclear warfare and the testing of weapons of mass destruction caused the introduction of new pollutants like radioactive material to the atmosphere. Some major catastrophes like the Bhopal gas tragedy and the Amoco Cadiz oil tanker off the coast of Brittany in the 70’s and the 80’s which demonstrated the universality of events which were responsible for major pollution as well. It also clarified the degree to which damage can be caused and the level of efforts to really curb these situations.The borderless natures of atmosphere and oceans inevitably resulted in the implication of pollution on a planetary level with the issue of global warming. Though their effects remain somewhat less well understood owing to a lack of experimental data, they have been detected in various ecological habitats far removed from industrial activity such as the Arctic, demonstrating diffusion and bioaccumulation after only a relatively brief period of widespread use. Pollution is of various types air, light, littering, water, noise, radioactive contamination, soil contamination, thermal and visual pollution. About 400 million metric tons of hazardous wastes are generated each year. The United States alone produces about 250 million metric tons. Americans constitute less than 5% of the world’s population, but produce roughly 25% of the world’s CO2, and generate approximately 30% of world’s waste. In 2007, China has overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest producer of CO2.  Some of the more common soil contaminants are chlorinated hydrocarbons (CFH), heavy metals (such as chromium, cadmium–found in rechargeable batteries, and lead–found in lead paint, aviation fuel and still in some countries, gasoline), MTBE, zinc, arsenic and benzene. In 2001 a series of press reports culminating in a book called Fateful Harvest unveiled a widespread practice of recycling industrial byproducts into fertilizer, resulting in the contamination of the soil with various metals. Ordinary municipal landfills are the source of many chemical substances entering the soil environment (and often groundwater), emanating from the wide variety of refuse accepted, especially substances illegally discarded there, or from pre-1970 landfills that may have been subject to little control in the U.S. or EU. There have also been some unusual releases of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, commonly called dioxins for simplicity, such as TCDD.

Pollution can also be the consequence of a natural disaster. For example, hurricanes often involve water contamination from sewage, and petrochemical spills from ruptured boats or automobiles. Larger scale and environmental damage is not uncommon when coastal oil rigs or refineries are involved. Some sources of pollution, such as nuclear power plants or oil tankers, can produce widespread and potentially hazardous releases when accidents occur.

In the case of noise pollution the dominant source class is the motor vehicle, producing about ninety percent of all unwanted noise worldwide. Having said all of this pollution is a major threat to the existence of the mankind in the near future. Although there has been enough concern shown by various nations, there really has not been enough which has been done to battle pollution. With the evolution of various bodies like the “Green Peace” and the likes, there has certainly been an upsurge in the awareness of the issue.

Secondly corporate and the Government have taken up many initiatives to curb pollution through various programmes and foundations, but the success of these has been really limited so far and inspiring stories are far and few. Promotion of the use of clean-technologies like wind, solar, hydro etc by the generators is one such step, planting of trees, reduction in the felling of trees and proper awareness amongst the masses as to how each can really contribute towards reducing pollution and encouraging them sufficiently. Drives and initiatives from various walks of the society is another important point to control pollution. It is a reality which everybody has to deal with, thus it is important to really be the change and help reduce pollution.

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