We, the humans are today the most polluting and most dangerous species on Earth, causing the Earth’s major environmental issues. It’s interesting to note that modern humans have been around for a very long time and lived for much of it without causing much irreparable damage to the environment. However, over exploitation and pollution have started affecting the environment negatively over the last few centuries.
As Mahatma Gandhi put it, “Earth has enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” From 1970 onwards, the world has been in an ecological overshoot; our demand on environmental resources is exceeding the earth’s supply capacity.
Earth has a great capacity for regeneration and is very good at recycling waste, but we are generating far more than earth can cope with. Pollution occurs at different levels and it doesn’t just impact our planet; it impacts all species, including mankind, who dwell on it.
The major global environmental issues are:
Pollution of Air, Water and Land
Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes
Loss of Biodiversity
Loss of natural and cultural resources
Some global facts about the consequences of environmental issues:
- 5000 people a day die because of dirty drinking water
- The average temperature of the last 15 years have been the highest ever recorded.
- In just one generation, our production of man-made chemicals increased by 40.000% – from 1 million to 400 million tons
- Pollution is one of the biggest killers, affecting more than 100 million worldwide.
- Deaths caused by air pollution cost the European Union €161 billion.
- A single person in industrialised countries produces 2 kilograms of garbage every day.
- A study published by Cornell University maintains that about 40 percent of deaths in the world are caused by pollution.