The extremely harmful effects of human activity on our planet’s biophysical environment are more alarming than ever before and most scientists keep warning government leaders about the catastrophic effects this could have for us. So, if we want to continue surviving as a species we must reconsider several things and learn how to live in harmony with each other as well as nature, and respect the environment. The following 11 ecological changes are not just risks anymore, but horrifying and threatening realities for the present and near future. Written by Theodoros II
Water covers over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface but only a small part of it is fresh (2.5% to be exact). Consequently, water pollution is considered one of the most important ecological problems. Water pollution affects drinking water, rivers, lakes, and oceans all over the world.
Our current global population is 7.2 billion and growing. Earth’s total resources are sufficient for about 2.5 billion people at the current demand. We are already using two to three times more of the Earth’s natural resources than is sustainable. A desolate, dry Earth won’t be a fun place for our children and later generations to live.
The human population is growing as never before. We are now adding one billion people to the planet every twelve years. That’s about 220,000 per day. Truth be told, human overpopulation appears to be among the most pressing environmental issues, silently aggravating the forces behind climate change, environmental pollution, and habitat loss, while continued building and burial of humans all over the world only makes things worse.
Over three-quarters of our planet is covered by water. Ocean biodiversity is unmatched and they contain over 80 percent of all life on Earth, mostly unexplored. Millions of people worldwide depend on the oceans for their livelihood but increasingly this has become endangered because of ignorance and a lack of global management, which often leads to overfishing.
Despite popular belief, the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear fission power are much smaller than those associated with coal, oil, and gas. However, there is a “catastrophic risk” potential if containment fails, which in nuclear reactors can be brought about by overheated fuels melting and releasing large quantities of fission products into the environment.
The most common effect of light pollution is that it alters and interferes with the timing of necessary biological activities. For nocturnal animals that begin their activities at sundown, our artificial lights at night seriously constrain their lives, exposing them to predators and reducing the time they have to find food, shelter, or mates.
According to many scientists and experts future changes in climate and land use are likely to have a very important impact on the natural resources and infrastructure of the Western world. They will also alter the pattern and impact of natural hazards such as landslides, rise in sea level, and droughts in ways beyond those known from the historic record.
Intensive farming is characterized by high inputs of labor and capital into agricultural production of either crops or animals. This phenomenon is common in countries that depend on their land to feed huge populations. The biggest disadvantage, however, is that the chemicals that go into intensive farming in the form of fertilizers and pesticides harm the environment by polluting and poisoning soil and water.
For some thirty years there have been discussions and debates among researchers and others in academia, government, non-profits, and private industry regarding the so-called energy efficiency problem and its effects on the environment. Even though there are supposed to be many energy-efficiency technologies to solve this issue, none of them have been adopted.
Deforestation is the clearing of Earth’s forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to land quality. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but swaths the size of Panama are lost each year. The world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation, which would have catastrophic effects on the planet.
Concerns over air pollution have remained steady over the last decade, with more than 40 percent of Americans and about the same amount of Europeans worrying about indoor and outdoor air quality caused mainly by humans.