We can live on this planet thanks to basic components, which are needed for human existence – air, water, soil and the sun. But the paradox is that we are polluting these most important things for us. Pollution is one of the greatest problems of our age. We must think of the quality of our air, water and soil more than any time before, because the environmental problems affect all countries of the world. To be in balance with nature is important not only for us but even for animals and plants, which don’t pollute the environment. During the last years certain species of animals became extinct or very rare thanks to our behavior.
The Earth has many problems for example pollution of seas and oceans and air, the ozone layer thinning and the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide. We know that we would die without water but despite it we pollute sources of drinking water and most of us act like they don’t care at all. Another problem is the ozone layer. Nowadays, our industry and agriculture make less harmful gases but it is still too much. For instance cows create almost 90% of methane. The solution of that would be reducing the number of cows or changing their food but that would take a lot of money from rich companies and they wouldn’t allow it. All of this leads to creating the ozone wholes, probably our greatest problem. They cause an abnormal count of released sunrays with radiation. This radiation is responsible for sunburn, skin cancer, eye damage and many more.
The greenhouse effect
- Caused by accumulation of certain gases in the earth’s atmosphere
- Burning fossil fuels, generates these gases – carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and others – they act like a blanket (layer) and stop the heat reflected from the earth’s surface, which would otherwise disappear into space
- The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) is responsible for about half of the greenhouse effect
- If nothing is done, within a few decades the world will be very different – the climate will change, the sea level will rise up – they will flood several countries in the Pacific and large areas of all other continents, the water from melting snow and ice will cause a lot of erosions, plant and animal populations won’t be able to adapt such climatic and environmental conditions, etc.
- It is necessary to reduce gas emissions and to use other resources of energy, not to buy plastic but recycled materials
- In the past they were covering 14% of the world surface, today they cover only 7%
- They have been cut down to provide: land, paper, timber, medicines, minerals and fuel
- Not only trees are disappearing, every rainforest also contains millions of animals, insects and flowers and these are destroyed too
- If we continue to cut down rainforests, more than one million species of plants and animals will become extinct by the year 2030
At the moment 94% of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuels. One possibility is nuclear energy – but after some disasters, many people think nuclear power isn’t safe and they are for “green” solutions:
- Wind energy
- Solar energy
- Wave energy from the sea
- Geothermal energy from hot rocks under the earth
- One of the most serious pollution problems
- Factories let out gases and chemicals into the air, there they mix together and are carried for hundreds of miles by the wind. And finally they fall back to the earth with falling raindrops
- Kills fishes and trees, also slowly destroys buildings and bridges
We should protect our environment, for us, for our offspring. If we won’t do it, we can destroy our planet or we will glut it with rubbish. The Earth can perish by many causes and we should avert them.
The greenhouse effect – We have to reduce amount of carbon dioxide produced in atmosphere.
- Avert burning fossil fuels in factories, use renewable sources of energy – water or wind power stations, solar panels, geothermal energy
- Use less cars or invent alternative propulsion, reduce flying (reduce food import x local food)
- Avert cutting rainforest – they produce O2 and reduce CO2
Energy – We should spare energy.
- Use environment-friendly light bulbs, unplug appliances, renewable sources of energy
Water – Water is necessary for life and it’s going to be goods in short supply.
- Spare – have a shower instead of bath, use wash machine, water flowers with rain water
- Avoid polluting rivers, lakes and oceans
Very important is also recycling – separating rubbish and processing used materials into new products. In Czech Republic are the most common: blue for paper, yellow for plastic, green for glass and orange for cardboards of drinks. We have also special places, where we can hand in other materials like iron, aluminum or used oil.
What can we do in everyday life?
- • not let the tap turned on (when you are cleaning your teeth)
- • buy local food on markets (not imported products which traveled across the world)
- • drink tap water instead of packed (you will reduce amount of wrapping)
- • recycle
- • turn lights of when nobody is in the room
- • use less car – go to work or school by bus, bike or on foot