Environment Pollution and Ecology
The environment is that the sum of all animate and inanimate objects. The environment comprises light, air, soil, vegetation, birds and animals, forests, rivers and mountains, houses and buildings, factories, schools and colleges, offices and courts et al around us. The environment is of two kinds-natural and social or cultural.
The environment influences the existence and the development of an organism. Pollution is that the process of creating the environment dirty by adding harmful substances thereto. Owing to indiscriminate industrialization man has created a polluted environment. He has continuously tampered with nature which led to a threat to the sustenance of mankind.
Earth is the home we live in and will pass on to our future generations as their legacy. But if they inherit the present state of the earth, they would be unable to sustain themselves. Man has steadily improved the technologies for the production of goods to get physical comfort and mental pleasure. The industrial revolution led to a drastic escalation of the utilization of natural resources. Man exploited nature for his own benefits, without any consideration as to what the implications of his action would be.
Before the advent of civilization man respected nature. As there was of chemical fertilizers nature was not tampered With. Man practiced rotation of crops. This allowed the soil to replenish itself with necessary nutrients and regenerate itself. But in the modern age man has choked the soil With chemical fertilizers. insecticides and pesticides. So the soil is getting polluted day by day. Hazardous materials enter the food chain. Increased use of plastics. and other non-degradable products have created the problem.
Environmental pollution has resulted in the pollution of water, soil, and air. In India, all the sources of Portable water like rivers, lakes, ponds, and wells have been polluted and declared unfit for drinking. The water of the Yamuna and the Ganga. the sacred rivers have become polluted by the sewage and industrial wastes from the towns. cities and industrial units situated on the rivers. Owing to the increased use of chemical fertilizers, river water, and seawater have become contaminated with harmful pollutants. Oil slicks and pollution caused by the flow of industrial wastes, sewage, and fertilizers have threatened aquatic life. Water-borne diseases like cholera, jaundice, gastroenteritis, and dysentery are due to the pollution of water.
Air pollution is the direct implication of industrialization. Smoke emitted from the chimney of industries and thermal power plants and the fumes of the vehicular traffic cause air pollution. Air pollution also increases when forests erupt, rubber plants are gutted and plastics are burnt. The Taj Mahal in Agra, one of the seven wonders of the world, is affected by the fumes emitted from the chimneys of the Mathura refinery.
Smog hovering over the cities early in the morning is also the result of air pollution. The spread of radioactive materials into the air has increased as a result of the discovery of artificial radioactivity and techniques of harnessing nuclear energy. This Radioactive Pollution may cause cancer, abnormal births, other diseases.
The emission of greenhouse gases in increased concentration has led to climatic changes. Greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide is formed on account of the burning of fuels of all kinds. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the most authoritative scientific body. It investigates all aspects of climate change.
It has concluded in its second assessment report published in1995 that ‘the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate. The increase in pollution has resulted in heating. The ice caps in the polar regions would melt and submerge the low-lying areas like the deltaic regions of the Ganga and Brahmaputra in India and Bangladesh and Irrawaddy river of Myanmar and the small island scattered over the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean.
Chrorofluro carbon gas in the atmosphere sphere is responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer. Due to the verification of the ozone layer, the ultraviolet rays of the sun come easily to the earth’s surface. The ultraviolet ray is responsible for skin diseases. An ozone hole has already been created in the South Polar region.
The modern world has a new pollution to face, the noise, caused by loudspeakers, aircraft, processions and rallies, crackers and fireworks, etc. Research has shown that noise pollution is capable of causing ulcers, abortions, cardiovascular dis- cases, and hypertension. The first and most vital explanation for pollution is that the growing population. Another important factor is rapid industrialization and haphazard urbanization. The forest area in India is shrinking alarmingly due to overgrazing and other forms of exploitation. Firewood removal from our forests is recorded at 235 cubic meters which exceeds the sustainable limit of 48 cubic meters.
The pollution problems can’t be isolated from questions of economic progress, political stability, social awareness, migration, and international aid. The pollution problem is manifold and complex. But the global awareness on the issue of the environment has been on the rise since the United Nations Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972. The Policy Statement on Abatement of Pollution, 1992 comes up with instruments in the form of legislation and regulation to prevent and control pollution.
The Central Pollution Control Board enforced certain Acts, like Prevention and Control of Pollution of Water (1974) and Air (1981) and Water (cess) Act, 1977. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has passed some environmental legislation like “The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. “Clean Ganga Plan” has been taken to make the Ganga free of pollution. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highway has introduced Bharat Stage-II similar to Euro II emission norms to prevent air pollution. The Government conducts the National Environmental Awareness campaign every year. All the nations of the world should work to control environmental pollution in their own countries.
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