Environment Consciousness- Right Thing To Do?
There is no doubt in this that our world is evolving. Every day new technology is coming in which is replacing the others to improve and make our lives easier. However, in this process we are hurting our planet. By now, it is a known fact that our planet is degrading and if nothing is done now, we have to be ready for the serious consequences which we might have not seen coming.
But before we find the solution to the problem we need to understand how grave the situation is right now. And for this, on the occasion of World Environment Day, we have collected some statistics and data to help you understand things better.
1. Our Soil Is In Deep Trouble
- Declining quality of food
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated that 33% of soil is moderate to highly degrade through erosion, salinization, compaction, acidification, chemical pollution and nutrient depletion, hampering soils’ function and affecting food production.
It is well known that poor soil produces poor quality food because the solid lacks the nutrients which are required for the proper and nutritious growth of the food. The developed and modern intensive agricultural methods have reduced the amounts of nutrients present in the soil. Thus, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant fruits and vegetables is truly less rich in nutrients than the one you had in the last season.
A study conducted by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry found a ‘reliable decline’ in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and Vitamin C in the 43 different fruits and vegetables. Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition.
Simialr studies at Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped by 27 per cent; iron levels by 37 per cent; vitamin A levels by 21 per cent, and vitamin C levels by 30 per cent. A similar study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal, found that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined by 19 per cent; iron by 22 per cent; and potassium by 14 per cent.
Depleted soil cannot absorb water. This is one of the reasons flooding in many regions is heard very frequently.
Deforestation is something we have heard about often. It is something which is happening in front of our eyes. Chopping down trees in the name of development is more common than you can imagine. It is estimated that the world has been chopping down 10 million hectares of trees every year to make space to grow crops and livestock.This accounts for about 16% of total tree loss cover. 96% of deforestation takes place in tropical forests.
One of the most stunning deforestation facts is that forest loss contributes nearly 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. This is equivalent to nearly 10% of annual human emissions.
Agriculture, deforestation, and other factors have degraded and eroded topsoil at alarming rates. Globally, 52% of agricultural land is already degraded. The planet is in crisis. If current rates of soil degradation continue, this would be the end of life as we know it.
Water Bodies in Threat
An estimated 8 million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year. It’s true! The plastic which was made to make our lifes better has contributed significantly towards leading it to the worse.
There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. 269,000 tons float, and 4 billion microfibers per km² dwell below the surface. (Source)
That doesn’t stop there. The use of hazardous chemicals in manufacturing industries and agriculture causes severe water pollution. This waste generated from these industry goes directly into nearby water bodies without getting treated to remove harmful toxins. This not only affects the quality of water but also poses a danger to several human consuming the water as well as the aquatic species.
There’s so much junk at sea, that the debris has formed giant garbage patches. For instance, there are five of them around the world. The largest, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch includes an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of trash. This is nearly the twice the size of Texas.
Some 80 per cent of the world’s wastewater is dumped largely untreated back into the environment, ultimately causing pollution.
Related Read: Can We Every Be Fully Plastic-Free?
Pure Air Or Just Toxic Chemicals
91% of the World’s Population Are Breathing in Polluted Air Every Day
The World Health Organization (WHO), estimates that at least 9 out of 10 people across the world are living in places with polluted air. Global air pollution is caused by the burning of fossil fuels to generate power, as well as emissions from fossil fuels powered motor vehicles. Rich and developed countries contribute a large proportion of global air pollution on the account of their energy generation from non-renewable sources and the number of vehicles on the road. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that about 68 million tons of air pollution were emitted into the atmosphere in the US in 2020 alone. According to a 2021 report by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, residents in India, which is home to the highest levels of air pollution on the planet, lose an average of 5.9 years from their lives as a result of poor air quality.
What The Future Holds
The climate crisis is real if no strict action is taken. The temperature of the world is expected to rise by 1.5 degrees celsius.
Extinction of Species
Many species will disappear from Earth due to various causes. Therefore, if we don’t stop changing our ways.
Our Final Thoughts
It is very important to be consious about our environment now more than ever. If we dont change our ways, the consequences will be very serious which we and our future generations have to deal with.
Our enviornment needs us and it is hight time we start listening toits need without being selfish for once.
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