Environmental pollution is one of the most serious problems facing humanity today and it calls for immediate actions as it causes global warming, destruction of the ozone layer, and other potentially disastrous processes. Air, water and soil – all harmed by pollution – are necessary to the survival of all living beings.
Badly polluted air can cause illness and even death. Polluted water kills fish and other marine life. Pollution of soil reduces the amount of land available for growing food. Environmental pollution also brings ugliness to our naturally beautiful world.
People pollute their surroundings in many different ways. They dirty the air with gases and smoke, poison the water with chemicals and other substances, and damage the soil with too many fertilisers and pesticides. People ruin natural beauty by scattering rubbish and litter on the land and in the water and operate machines and other vehicles that fill the air with disturbing noise. Nearly everyone causes pollution in some way.
Pollution problem is as complicated as serious. It is complicated because much pollution is caused by things that benefit people. For example, exhaust from cars causes a large percentage of all air pollution. Factories discharge much of the material that pollutes air and water. Thus, to end to reduce pollution immediately, people would have to stop using many things that benefit them. Most people don’t want to do it, of course.
There are thought to be between 5-8 million different animal and plant species in the world. The world is currently losing species at a rate of about one a day. The loss of wild life on this scale will have dramatic and irreversible effect on the whole fabric of life.
Thousand of species of animals and plants are endangered, and the number increases each year. Endangered animals include whales, some kinds of crocodiles, orang-utans, rhinos, snow leopards, tigers and whooping cranes. Endangered plants include running buffalo clover, Santa Cruz cypress and many species of cactuses.
There are many threats to wild creatures: wars, hunting, agricultural reclamation, pesticides. Each plant and animal plays a part in the delicate balance of all living systems. Thus the extinction of large numbers of species threatens the survival of other living things, including human beings. The chief reasons that species become endangered include destruction of habitat, wildlife trade, overhunting, and competition with domestic animals.
A growing number of animal species have become extinct in the wild and live only in captivity. Some zoos and animal research centres breed such animals and release them into protected areas with the hope of returning of their offsprings to the wild. In some cases the offspring can be trained to survive in the wild.
Dramatic environmental tragedies, nevertheless, have point out the seriousness of the problem and a public concern over the environmental pollution gradually grows. Millions of people are alarmed by the danger of pollution and large numbers of people are now working to reduce pollution and clean up the environment. People also start to understand that conservation doesn’t only concern itself with trying to guarantee the survival of the human race, it also tries to give us a pleasant environment to live in, by limiting pollution, ugliness, overcrowding, stress and tension caused by the world around us. This is perhaps its greatest service to the present generation of men and women.