Our World is Dying, Here's Why You Should Care

There have been many catastrophic events that have severely affected the earth. Let’s take an in-depth look at how deforestation, plastic pollution, air pollution, climate change, and wildfires have changed different environments in the past year. 

 

Air Pollution

The most common form of air pollution is smog. Smog is a haze of pollution that rests atop cities, usually during the summer months. Smog is produced by factories, power plants, and cars. There are multiple health concerns that result from exposure to smog. Mainly, increases the possibility of heart and lung disease. If this doesn’t worry you enough, smog affects the terrain greatly and causes immense damage to crops and forests. 

 

Climate Change

The emission of greenhouse gasses has caused the earth to warm immensely. This means that the earth is literally melting. As a result, water levels around the world are reaching dangerous heights. This means that millions of people will become homeless due to their homes being flooded or otherwise inhabitable. Climate change also enhances the spread of diseases such as malaria and can lead to malnutrition. If the earth continues warming there could be more outbreaks of different diseases.

 

Deforestation

Not only is logging taking away our plant life at an alarming rate, but it also contributes to 15% of the emission of greenhouse gasses. Plants provide a lot of resources that we often take for granted. They are often used to provide shade and shelter along with providing us with oxygen, food, medicine, and water. Illegal logging is also a thing, and it has been rapidly decreasing our forests. According to Mighty Earth, the world lost approximately 30 million acres of forest in the year 2018. The Amazon has been a focus of concern recently due to the huge wildfires, however, deforestation is also a huge problem and, according to Yale, if we continue to deforest the Amazon it will become a savanna instead of the lush rainforest we know and (should) love. 

 

Plastic Pollution

Water pollution not only affects the safety of our marine life but also the safety of our drinking water. Plastic is a huge problem in our oceans. According to Earthava half of all plastic waste ends up in ecosystems around the world. This adds up to be about 8 million tons of plastic. Along with killing large populations of marine life, plastic pollution poses toxic risks to humans as well. 

 

Wildfires

There have been a ton of wildfires within the past few years. California was hit pretty hard and many people were rendered homeless. Brazil also faced mass destruction from wildfires. As of recently, the Amazon has been under scrutiny due to the long lasting fires that have taken their toll on the rainforests there. Climate change is a big cause of wildfires because it leads to drought which creates a dry environment. The dry environment allows for wildfires to start easily, creating a vicious cycle.

 

A Lot of the environmental issues that we face are caused by air pollution or climate change. You may be asking: How can I help?

 

Air pollution is produced heavily by the types of transportation that we use. So, walk or bike whenever it’s possible. If you need to go longer distances, try and use public transportation, carpool with friends, or use a ride-sharing service. Be sure to recycle your plastic waste, or try and eliminate plastic altogether. We need to take action to save our planet.  

 

Sources

https://www.edf.org/health/why-smog-standards-are-important-our-health?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8oea9Y-45AIVisVkCh2LYQX1EAAYASAAEgLjv_D_BwE&utm_campaign=edf_clean-air_upd_dmt&utm_id=1518122557&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google

 

https://www.earthava.com/current-environmental-issues/  

http://www.mightyearth.org/heres-what-deforestation-looks-like-in-2019-and-what-we-can-do-about-it/ 

 

https://e360.yale.edu/features/will-deforestation-and-warming-push-the-amazon-to-a-tipping-point 

 

https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/2019/2/20/report-plastic-threatens-human-health-at-a-global-scale