There are major environmental issues that require urgent attention to make the ecology friendly.
Global warming: This has been considered as the most pressing environmental issue. Climate change is real and it is influenced by human activities through the production of green house gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. Global warming is necessitated by the ability of our ecosystem to respond to climate change due to compromised environment. Global warming has the effect of melting polar ice caps, displacing people form tropical and coastal islands and can ultimately threaten the survival of human race.
Clean and Renewable energy: This is second only to climate change. The human race is faced with the environmental problem of cleaning up or replacing the burning of fossil fuels that enhanced industrial revolution during 18th century. Unless a clean and renewable energy is found as an alternative, our planet risks being turned into an inhabitable and hostile not fit for human survival. There is need for the development and adoption of clean energy.
Ocean system collapse: Oceans are critical part of Earths support system and are considered to pose huge risks and sink for atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide. It is important to prevent ocean systems from collapse since the over exploitation of oceans might result in the collapse of the fishing industry. Acid rain resulting from industrial pollution has pollutes oceans and seas hence killing coral reefs; this has the effect of threatening tourism. Oceans are degraded by spills, run off chemicals.
Electronic & Nuclear Waste: This type of wastes can cause massive pollution and several health complications. Millions of electronic products such as computers, laptops, television sets and mobile phones are discarded annually in developed countries and dumped into third world societies. The recovery of these products in the developing economies can result in the release of hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, heavy metals and many other toxic substances. This will harm the workers that are exposed to the dangerous materials. These wastes are the modern environmental threats due to technological advancements. The disposal of nuclear wastes from the reactors poses major risks to the environment. Nuclear wastes such as Plutonium-239 are very dangerous when released to the environment, same to isotopes. Currently there are 31 countries with nuclear reactors.
Water degradation: In the modern world the quality of water is under threat form the fast growing population. The quality of inland water is under compromise from dumped industrial and chemical wastes, untreated sewage, medicinal residues and fertilizes and chemical run off. The above activities worsen the already existing problem of water pollution. The increased use of underground water in coastal regions results in the intrusion of salt water. Water wars are not becoming a reality.
Land rush: The world’s population is growing at a faster rate. This has led to large number of people being declared food-insecure; this has therefore resulted in land rush since nations are scrambling to secure land for agriculture and also to grow bio-energy crops to generate cheap fuels. Slashing and burning of forests is an ever increasing practice and it can lead to biodiversity and ecosystems loss as well as land degradation. According to the UNEP, approximately 5 million hectares of land is annually lost through soil erosion and land degradation. Pastoralists and cattle ranchers are plundering the Amazon rain forest at an alarming rate.
Biodiversity conservation: Biodiversity is critical for the survival of the ecosystem because it can help in food production, disease control, crop pollination and recreation. There is need to prioritize the areas that require conservation.