Nature Protection Computers project
that between now and the year of 2030 we are going to have increase of the
average temperature between 1,5—4,5 Degrees C. Sea levels would rise by several
metres, flooding coastal areas and ruining vast tracts of farmland. Huge areas
would be infertile and become uninhabitable.
Water contamination could lead to
shortages of safe drinking water. It looks like the end of civilization on the
Earth. For hundreds of thousands of years the human race has thriven in Earth's
environment. But now, at the end of the 20th century, we are at a crucial
turning point. We have upset nature's sensitive equilibrium releasing harmful
substances into the air, polluting rivers and oceans with industrial waste and
tearing up the countryside to accommodate our rubbish. These are the
consequences of the development of civilization. We are to stop it by joint
efforts of all the people of the world.
The range of environmental problems
is wide. But the matters of people's great concern nowadays are atmosphere and
climate changes, depletion of the ozone layer, freshwater resources, oceans and
coastal areas, deforestation and desertification, biological diversity,
biotechnology, health and chemical safety. United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) concentrates its activities on these issues.
Acid Rains One of the most alarming
forms of air pollution is acid rain. It results from the release into the
atmosphere of sulphur and nitrogen oxides that react with water droplets and
return to earth in the form of acid rain, mist or snow. Acid rain iskilling
forests (Nearly every species of tree is affected) It has acidified lakes and
streams and they can't support fish, wildlife, plants or insects.
Depletion of the Ozone Layer The
protective layer of the Earth, the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from
the sun's destructive UV (ultraviolet) rays, is being damaged by CFCs
(chlorofluorocarbons). They are released by the daily use of industrial and
household products: refrigerators, air conditioners, foam insulation, cleaning
chemicals, food packaging. In the ozone layer they attack the ozone molecules
making a «hole».
This «hole» allows more UV rays to
penetrate to the Earth. It increases the risk of skin cancer, weakens the
immune system of people. Besides, UV rays influence the oceans, the growth of
plankton, an essential part of the marine-life food chain in the negative way,
reduce economically important-crops (rice, cotton, soy beans). The life cycle
is going to be undermined by the ozone. Destruction of the Tropical Forest It's
generally agreed that the destruction of the tropical forest has a major impact
on the world climate.
The tropical rain forest is a
natural recycler, provider and protector for our planet. It recycles carbon,
nitrogen and oxygen, helps determine temperature, rainfall and other climatic
conditions and supports the most diverse ecosystem in the world. Deforestation could
cause one forth of all species on earth to vanish in the next 25 years. These
forests in Amazonia, South-East Asia and West and Central Africa are being
destroyed at an alarming rate of 42 million acres per year. Measures to Be
Taken We have only a few years to attempt to turn things around.
We must review our wasteful,
careless ways, we must consume less, recycle more, conserve wildlife and
nature, act according to the dictum «think locally, think globally, act
locally». To my mind, we are obliged to remove factories and plants from
cities, use modern technologies, redesign and modify purifying systems for
cleaning and trapping harmful substances, protect and increase the greenery and
broaden ecological education. These are the main practical measures, which must
he taken in order to improve the ecological situation. Some progress has been
already made in this direction. 159 countries-members of the UNO have set up
environmental protection agencies. They hold conferences discussing ecological
problems, set up environmental research centres and take practical urgent
measures to avoid ecological catastrophe. There are numerous public
organisations such as Greenpeace that are doing much to preserve environment.
The 5th of June is proclaimed the World Environmental Day by the UNO and is
celebrated every year.
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