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The destructive nature of Human beings has started reaping the fruits of its own doing after long centuries of wrecking lots of havoc upon its ‘mother’ planet. This is presently visible like the various biophysical markers including flora (plant life) and fauna (Animal life). This is mainly all done with selfish motives at the expense of the overall environmental well being. Prime examples of such processes include mineral mining, nuclear bomb tests, industrial manufacturing and production and many others. This is the reason why major cities around the world like New Delhi, Mumbai, Los Angeles, Paris, Shanghai, Lima have alarming environmental pollution effects. Such issues must be addressed with utmost importance because they have a huge impact on the lively hood of people around the world and their future generations. It’s very concerning that from the list of the most polluted cities around the world, India has 11 cities out of the top 12 cities according to this recent study.
MOST POLLUTED CITIES IN THE WORLD
The environmental impact of people can be social, economic, health, ecological and even geographical in nature as its scope has grown out so wide that it's increasing by the hour. The biggest and most common environmental effect today was introduced with the scientific lab invention of polythene bags and synthetic plastic polymers like Low-density polyethene (LDPE), High-density polyethene (HDPE), Thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU), Polypropylene (PP), Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Teflon, Nylon and many others. These have collectively caused the lots of environmental pollution due to their non-degradable abilities meaning that they can’t naturally break down once disposed of. They are easily shown through products like straws, plastic bottles, fishing nets and plastics drainage & water pipes.
Marine life has been impacted a lot due to plastic dumping as its reported that the oceans receive around 8 tons of plastic waste alone each year alongside other pollutants like sludge (untreated sewage wastes) and fertilizers taken to water bodies through surface runoff erosion causing a lot of Eutrophication in the water bodies. This has led to the decline of several marine wildlife such as the turtles, Galapagos fur seal, African manatee and the sperm whale populations which creates imbalances in the marine eco-systems since some organisms are pushed to point of extinction.
Humans are also not excused from the mess they created as they are also on the receiving end of the environmental pollution through several health hazards like the smog, lung cancer from air pollution, land and mudslides from mining in mountainous regions. Such has led to multiple fatalities that its even becoming a major concern in major cities with very poor air qualities like Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Delhi that people resort to moving around with gas masks on the faces to breath in fresh and cleaner air. As this real-time index shows, many cities are within the red (unhealthy) zone. This has increased the mortality rates substantially for many people as the world health organization (WHO) now speculates that presently 9 out 10 people breath polluted air and this has contributed to at least 43% of all lung cancer patient deaths which is about 4.2 million deaths per year due to air pollution a number that can be reduced with great countermeasures.
Global warming has become more and more of a concern in the present world during political and economic conferences. Global warming in simple terms is the rise in average temperatures of earth’s climate systems and as result, the summers are getting hotter and the winters getting colder. There is no other place where the effects of global warming have manifested more pronouncing than the polar caps and glaciers that are melting at an alarming rate. This study shows that between 2010 and 2016, the Antarctic underwater glaciers reduced by 1,463sq km and to put this into perspective, this is an area slightly smaller than the city of London. This has adverse effects since the ice caps hold a lot of water that may cause global ocean levels to rise to put many mega coastal cities like Jakarta, Bangkok, Miami, goa, Mombasa at risk of flooding. But looks like a ‘slap on the wrist’ compared to the rate to land reclamation that humans are doing to set up infrastructures especially in fast developing cities and countries like Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) where land from the sea was reclaimed to build the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah plus many artificial islands which adversely displaced the animals that previously called those area’s home like Coral reefs and sharks
In summary, the concerned environmental organizations especially those in India like India Nature Watch, The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, world wide fund for nature (WWF), Friends of earth international should see to it that the mother nature is protected and preserved for us, our children and the generations to come in future to enjoy the fruits they have to offer. Be the change you want to see in society because making the world a better place starts with you!
As well quoted by the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) BAN KI-MOON,
“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health and food security”