The Earth is the only planet in the
solar system where there is life. If you look down at the Earth from a plane
you will see how wonderful our planet is. You will see blue seas and oceans,
rivers and lakes, high snow-capped mountains, green forests and fields. For
centuries man lived in harmony with nature until industrialization brought
human society into conflict with the natural environment. Today, the
contradictions between man and nature have acquired a dramatic character. With
the development of civilization man’s interference in nature has increased.
Every year the world’s industry pollutes the atmosphere with millions of tons
of dust and other harmful substances. The seas and rivers are poisoned with
industrial waste, chemical and sewage discharge. People who live in big cities
are badly affected by harmful discharge from plants and city transport and by
the increasing noise level which is as bad for human health as lack of fresh
air and clean water.
Among the most urgent problems are
the ozone layer, acid rains, global warming, toxic pollution of atmosphere,
disappearance of forests, contamination of underground waters by chemical
elements, destruction of soil in some areas, threat to some flora and fauna
One of the most important pollution
problems is the oceans. Many ships sail in the ocean water- fishing ships, some
ships carrying people, some carrying oil. If a ship loses some of the oil in
the water, or waste from the ships in put into the ocean, the water becomes
dirty. Many sea birds die because of the polluted water. Many fish are dying in
the sea, others are getting contaminated. Fishermen catch contaminated fish
which may be sold in markets, and people may get sick from eating them. Lakes
and rivers are becoming polluted, too. Some beaches are dangerous for swimming.
Another important problem is air
pollution. Cars and factories pollute the air we use. Their fume also destroys
the ozone layer which protects the Earth from the dangerous light of the Sun.
Aerosols create large “holes” in the ozone layer round the Earth. Burning coal
and oil leads to global warming which may bring about a change in the world’s
The other problem is that our
forests are dying from acid rains. Deforestation, especially destruction of
tropical forests, affects the balance of nature in many ways. It kills animals,
changes the climate and ecosystem in the world.
A person can do some damage to the
environment but the greater part of pollution certainly comes from industry.
Modern industry production is the main threat to nature.
There are a lot of places on our
planet that need immediate help. Our country is not exception. The nuclear
accident at Chernobyl, which took place on April 26, 1986., has seriously
aggravated the ecological situation in Belarus. That catastrophe can be
considered as the largest disaster of the 20th century. As the result of that
accident 18% of territories of our republic were contaminated by radioactive
elements. The agriculture of our country suffered great losses. More than 20%
of the population has also suffered. A death rate among children has increased
considerably. The wide researches are carried out, but health state of the people
living in polluted areas, is worsened. The level of thyroid gland cancer has
increased, the immunity of children and women is weakened, many diseases appear
out only a few years later. Everyone understands that this catastrophe is a
threat to health of our nation, and though years have already passed, the
results will be shown on the future generations.
I’d like to say a few words about
animals in danger of extinction. The blue whale is the largest animal which has
ever lived. Once there were over 200000 of these creatures living in the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Since the seventeenth century they have been
hunted for their oil and meat. In fact, so many of them were killed that by
1963 their population had been reduced to just 1000. Today it is even less that
that. The African elephant is the world’s largest land animal. Today there are
fewer than one million of these animals left. Even though they are now
protected, they are still being hunted because of their tusks, which are used
to make ornaments and jewellery. There is only one way to save wild animals and
wild habitats –conservation. That means protecting animals in danger by law,
opening more national parks, building fewer new roads, planting more new
forests, cutting pollution. It this doesn’t happen, many wild animals will soon
have just one habitat- the Zoo.
Ecological problems have no borders.
European states solve these problems together: the necessary measures are
taken, congresses and conferences on these questions are organized, and these
questions have already the reflection in the legislation of many countries.
The activity of many public
organizations is directed to protect environment. One of the most known
organizations is “Greenpeace”, whose purpose is prevention of environment
degradation. This organization was founded in 1971 by the activists from the
USA and Canada and it has representations in 25 countries of the world.
“Greanpeace” acts against nuclear tests, radiating threat, pollution of the
environment by waste industrial products, to protect the animal world, etc.
This organization influences public opinion through mass media, under its aegis
manifestations and protest actions are carried solutions for concrete
For example, the “Greenpeace” sent
its boats to protect whales, and today commercial whaling is banned. In the
North Sea Greenpeace swimmers turned back dump ships carrying chemical waste,
and a new laws to protect the North Sea have been considered.
When I look around I realize that
not all people understand the importance of nature protection. On fine summer
days a lot of people go out of town. They have picnics on the shores of lakes
and the banks of rivers or on beautiful forest glades and they often leave
behind a lot of rubbish- plastic bags and bottles, tins and paper. It makes me
feel sad when I see people returning to town with huge bunches of forest or
meadow flowers. Many of these plants are included into the Red Book which
contains the names of rare plants and animals. Some of them have become extinct
and others are on the verge of disappearing. If we don’t realize that we are
all responsible for what’s happening around us we will never feel secure about
the future of the world we live in.
What can be done to protect nature?
I believe that environment disasters can be avoided if people broaden
ecological education and every person understands that the beauty of nature is
extremely fragile and people must obey the unwritten laws of nature.
Governments must be prepared to take action against pollution. Air pollution
could be reduced if plants and factories were made to fit effective filters on
chimneys and car exhausts. Green zones around big cities must be protected and
extended. Natural resources should be used economically because their stocks are
The ecology is a science studying
interaction of organisms among themselves and an environment.
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