The earth's environment has become a pervasive and global problem. There is growing awareness about the need to conserve our environment. Read on to know more about issues faced by our planet.
1. Climate Change
A human-induced phenomenon, global warming has concerned scientists for decades, but Al Gore legitimised the crisis with his documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Humans are influencing climate change with the production of greenhouse gases resulting in melting of polar ice-caps and leaving us with threatened ecosystems. With global warming on the rise and habitats on the decline, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing.
Energy security is another growing concern for rich and emerging nations alike and is second to climate change in significance. Leading nations admit their addiction to oil, but investment into alternatives has been lacking, or little, in comparison to fossil fuel investments. Oil, coal and petroleum are fast running out, which may throw us back to the Stone Age!
With the immediate looming problems of climate change and energy, focus has shifted away from landfill waste, but this still remains a serious problem. The world has largely gotten accustomed to a throwaway lifestyle, that's neither healthy nor sustainable. Waterways are choked with trash and modernised nations ship their undesirable leftovers to the developing world. Plastic waste has become symbolic with all nations following the 'best of waste' mantra!
Pure water is in short supply. Global reserves of drinking water are a miniscule one per cent and one in five humans do not have access to safe drinking water. The strife has already broken out in drought-hit zones like Sudan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and many more nations.
Large parts of the world have been hit by food security crises. The task of fighting against hunger and malnutrition has been undertaken by the UN and various world organisations.
Apparently, the industrialised world mostly consumes in a way that is not sustainable to the Third world nations. And the developing world is also imitating the very same model to balance the problem.
7. Land Management
Existing land management choices are not serving the planet or its inhabitants very well. There is very little land left that is undeveloped, either with structures or roads. And there is virtually no land left that is not subject to light or noise pollution. This has escalated problems like fresh air depletion, pollution, deforestation and many other environmental hazards.
8. Ecosystems and Endangered Species
Many species are under threat of extinction like the Siberian Tiger, Blue Whale, Giant Panda, including indicator species and evolutionarily unique species. (When an indicator species becomes threatened, endangered, or worse, extinct, this means an entire ecosystem faces collapse.). The consequences can have global impact too. Rapid industrialisation and ecosystem ignorance have been one of the precursors!