Thursday, June 23, 2011

Environmental problems in 2011

Climate change is still by far the biggest environmental problem world is facing today. According to the latest reports greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, and world looks set to reach the tipping point of 2C temperature increase even before the end of this century. Once global temperature pass this tipping point climate change will show its really scary face- this is what most scientists agree on. The potential solution to tackle climate change in form of legally binding international climate deal still looks highly unlikely because of the difference in opinion between the developed and the developing countries.

As the emissions grow so does the pollution, especially air and water pollution. Pollution has become particularly serious problem for fast developing economies such as China and India but this isn't only a serious environmental issue in developing world, for instance there are several large U.S. cities like Los Angeles and Pittsburgh that are heavily suffering from air pollution.

Many species are going extinct, mostly because of climate change and habitat loss. The huge biodiversity loss is not only happening in land but in our oceans too and many scientists claim that world is heading for yet another mass extinction event, last of which happened more than 600 million years ago.

The interaction and close connection between these three environmental issues is making things even worse because each of these three issues is very complex which makes things very hard for scientists.

Science is really our last hope against these environmental issues, because politics is all about talks with very little or no action at all. The politics still puts main emphasis on economy and industry and this is the main reason why our environment is today in such a bad state.

I’m still not sure whether to be optimistic or not when thinking about the future of our environment, and our planet in general. Yes, people seem to care today lot more about environmental issues then they were a few decades ago but this will be of very little consolation if world follows current policy of environmental negligence.

Even climate change, the worst environmental threat of all time, isn’t enough to unite the world in search of solution that would help our environment. The public pressure on world leaders is still insufficient which gives them more time to delay the appropriate action. The more time we lose the more difficult it will be to solve these issues and the worst part is that eventually we will run out of time for action. Today’s environmental issues are really a ticking bomb that could go off any time. And yet the world leaders are still more than willing to risk it all.

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