Ten things we need to know about the environment and our health.

February 11, 2008

Burning fossil fuels 

80% of the energy that we use and consume is made from burning fossil fuels. However the consequences on the environment are usually forgotten about as we use up energy everyday oblivious of them. The result of burning these fuels create carbon dioxide, sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides that all contribute to the rise of climate change, acid rain and smog which ultimately will become a huge problem for the environment if we continue to burn fuels at the rapid rate that we do.

Global warming

With everyday use of driving cars and simply using electricity we increase the amount of greenhouse gases that creep into the atmoshere. The concentration of of greenhouse gases gets trapped in the atmoshere which causes the climate to rise. Not only this but ultimately it will cause seasons to lengthen and serial floods to occur. So even though we may be grateful of a longer summer the consequences are damaging. 

Air pollution

Not only is air polution bad for our health but also extremely damaging for the earths ecosystem. Emissions from cars are a main contributer to air pollution which can ultimately lead to a large number of deaths and respiratory deseases. Air pollution is measured in categories – primary or secondary- depending on how they are emitted. Primary polluttants are emitted directly from a process such as a volcanic eruption. Secondary pollutants however are not emitted directly from a process. They are created when prmary pollutants react with other pollutants in the air, for example smog.

Water pollution

A shocking 70% of the earths surface is covered by water which makes it more alarming that water can be largely polluted. Oil pollution, radioactive waste and industrial waste to name a few all add to the earths polluted rivers, lakes and oceans. Waste dissposed in our water is concentrated with chemicals such as mercury, lead and asbestos that lead to major health implications on human, animals and plant. The toxic pollutants can cause varios types of cancer, acute poisoning and infectious diseases. 

Noise pollution

Can you believe it, even the noises we create can leed to the creation of pollution. The main factor of noise polltion is noise made by vehicles and other pollutants such as factory machinery and power tools. Poor urban planning has seen sound polltion to rise dramaticially as idustrial sites and residentail building are being built very close together. The damaging effects of noise pollution consist of hearing loss and titinitus.

The loss of habitation

Animals are being pushed out of their natural surroundings because us humans want bigger cities, more roads and rivers. However natural causes are also to blame such as forest fires. The spread of human activity into the homes of animals threatens up to a quarter of mammels extinction and a current 73% decline of North America’s fresh fish population.

Over populated world

Were recreating at such a rapid rate that no wonder that environmental issues are increasing on a larger scale. Since 1975 the worlds population has grew by 1 billion per year. If this continues environmental issues such as global warming are going to increase sufficiently, the more people living the more emissions the atmoshere will gain if we dont respond quickly. It is estimated that the worlds population is around 6 billion people and within the next 25 years this is expected to expend to another 2 billion, thats a lot of electricity use and carbon emissions.

Agriculture damages

The fertilisers and pesticides farmers use on crops are toxic to the earth and the environment. Chemical in the pesticides and fertilisers contain toxic chemicals that can kill wildlife and erode soil. Many of these chemicals are now banned but the water used to feed the vegetation still contains chemical run off and traces can till be found in the foods that are produced. They may increase farmers yields immensley however the consequences on the earth are dangerous.

Renewable energy 

Unlike the energy we get from fossil fuels renewable energy resources will never run out. We use the sun, wind, rain and sea to create a constant replenishment of energy to keep our light bulbs bright and our houses warm. These energy providers are eco friendly and often called “clean energy. Wind energy is not always the most reliable source of energy so it is stored to a device attached to the turbines to release energy when needed even when it isnt windy and the energy is needed.

Recycling

This covers a huge spectrum of saving waste from reusing materials such as plastic bags to collecting bottles for the bottle bank to be melted down to remake more. Its about reprocessing old materials into new to prevent further use of raw materials. By doing this it will cut down greenhouse emission and prevent causing harm to the ozone layer.

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