Nowadays environmental problems occupy the first place in the modern world. A man, having unlimited power over nature, uses it in a cruel way. As a result, a threat to the survival came from the natural environment, rapidly deteriorating under the impact of human activity. The planet’s resources run up, and air and water are catastrophically quickly polluted; fertile lands turn into sands, while forest area is decreasing from day to day. The planet is literally full of ‘mountains’ of garbage and people not only destroy the planet, but also provoke different natural disasters. The main threats to the humankind survival are possible global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, acid rains, green scum, and an accumulation of toxic and radioactive wastes.
There are some countries where all these problems are not as sharp as in other countries, but, in general, humanity is concerned about the above stated problems, and the problems have not local, but even a global character. Thus, the state of the environment has become one of the most pressing and important social and economic issues, fascinating human interests today. The existed situation can lead to the Earth’s destruction and the main aim of this paper is to emphasize the destruction humans have caused on the environment, and show how it gets worse as time goes on. It is also necessary to think about different possibilities to change situation as well as what we can do to help resolve these problems and sustain the life of what environment we have left.
In the beginning of this paper it is important to mention that a human actively intervenes in the natural environment due to own business activities. It has the negative influence at the planet and the more activities lead to the more negative impacts on natural processes that are necessary for the existence of life itself. People do not care that they change landscapes, deplete soils and litter water bodies. In addition, human actions and environmental pollution provide a decrease in soil fertility, land degradation and desertification, loss of flora and fauna, deterioration of air quality, pollution of surface water and groundwater. These problems, in their combination, lead to the disappearance of the entire ecosystems and species from the face of the earth, to the public health decline and to the reduction of the life span.
According to Best, almost about 85% of all diseases of modern people are associated with adverse environmental conditions, arising on people’s own fault (Best, 1999). The problem is not only in the public health decline, but also in the appearance of new previously unknown diseases because it is very difficult to find the reasons for many of them nowadays. Many diseases are cured harder than ever before. Therefore, pressing concerns about human health and surrounding environment became the problem number one all over the globe.
Let us consider some aspects of the organization of human activities, taking into account environmental laws. All people know many examples of positive and negative impacts of human activities on the biosphere. Currently, humanity is facing global problems whose solution depends on the existence of human society on the Earth. It is important to remember that humanity is a part of the biosphere, the product of its evolution. However, the relationship between human and natural communities has never been unclouded. There is no doubt that hunting activity of the ancient man accelerated the extinction of many large herbivores, while many species have been shot to the verge of extinction even today. The ignition of vegetation in hunting purposes contributed to the desertification of many areas. The man began to change and destroy entire communities with the transition to cattle-breeding and agriculture.
Improper ploughing up of grounds resulted in the loss of the fertile layer, which was carried away by water or wind, and excessive irrigation caused the salinization of soil during the development of agriculture.There have been made two important displacements over the last hundred years. Firstly, the sharp increase in population of the Earth, secondly, the more dramatically increase in industrial production, energy production and agriculture development. As a result, mankind began to exert considerable influence on the functioning of the biosphere. Critical situation in our century form the following negative trends: a) consumption of Earth’s resources exceeded the rates of their natural reproduction that the depletion of natural resources began to exert considerable influence on their use in national and global economies and led to an irreversible depletion of the lithosphere and the biosphere; b) waste products and by-products of everyday life pollute the biosphere, cause deformation of ecological systems, break the global circulation of substances and pose a threat to human health.
The food problem has arisen in connection with the rapid growth of population. Every year the world population increases by 2%; about 150 people born every minute in the world (Best, 1999). Population growth requires an increase in food production, job creation and expansion of industrial production. It is really true that Earth’s population needs food. In this regard, the area of agricultural lands and arable lands increases greatly. The area of agricultural lands can not be increased indefinitely, so the main role in solving the food problem is given the intensification of agriculture, the more efficient use of agricultural land will change situation. In addition, the important role in solving this problem is given the removal of highly productive breeds and varieties.
The problem of depletion of natural resources is discussed actively nowadays, and consumption of natural resources is growing rapidly too. For instance, humanity uses about 13% of river run-off and about 100 billion tons of minerals annually. Electricity production doubles approximately every 10 years (Kanner and Ziegler, 2006). As a result, the problem of lack of mineral resources and energy crisis lead to the depletion of world oil and gas.Thinking about the ways to resolve this situation it is necessary to emphasize the fact that for the protection of non-renewable mineral resources people should to improve methods of their production (25% of ferrous and nonferrous metals, 50-60% of oil, 40% of carbon remain in the earth strata using modern methods of production), people should find the ways to more fully extract all elements that ore contain and to use minerals only by prescription (Best, 1999).
To solve the energy problem humanity should more widely use wind energy, solar and tidal energies. Renewable biological resources (plants, animals) as well as the previously observed ones should be taken also in proper way, giving the nature a chance to continue its development, the nature should always have a necessary number of specimens for recovery of the original populations.Environmental pollution by solid, liquid and gaseous substances leads to changes in its physical and chemical properties that adversely affect the organisms. We can distinguish physical (heat, noise, light, electromagnetic, etc.), chemical and biological (bringing in natural communities uncharacteristic of them species, which worsen their living conditions) pollution. To solve this problem are created sewage treatment facilities, introduced low-waste and waste-free technologies, prohibited the import and dispersal of atypical species in communities.
The problem of preserving biodiversity, gene pool of flora and fauna is very important in contemporary conditions of life. The most important challenge facing humanity is to save the diversity of organisms on the Earth. All species are closely interlinked, so the destruction of one species leads to the disappearance of related species.
In order to preserve the variety of plant and animal species are implemented various measures to restore the number of individual species. In this case, an important role belongs to biodiversity conservation reserves wildlife preserve, national parks, botanical gardens, zoos, where people can study the biological characteristics of organisms and where their strength are recovered.Biodiversity contributes to the restoration of natural communities in the territories where they had disappeared by humans. Thus, plantations are carried out in the former forest, grasslands restored in many regions, deserts sands are fixed by planting.
Diversity of living organisms is the basis for the existence of the biosphere, so the person provides conditions suitable for the life on the Earth, keeping all the modern types of organisms. In recent decades, humanity is actively seeking the best ways of doing business to cause minimal damage to nature. Man, like every biological being, depends on the state of the environment. The impact of human activities on the environment continuously increases and causes its changes year by year. Humanity faces an important issue – the sustainability of the environment.
One way to solve this problem is the management of biological resources. Biological resources are all living organisms: plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. Their peculiarity is that they are able to resume the process of reproduction.Biological resources determine the stability of the biosphere as a human habitat; they are a source of food, raw materials and drugs. Typically, these resources are used inefficiently. To preserve these resources people must take a number of measures: review the principles of location and organization of production, establish monitoring – service monitoring of the environment, to regulate populations in natural and artificial ecosystems, to study the dynamics of populations, their biocenotic connection. The basis of these issues is the study of natural successional processes and their efficient management. Moreover, it must be remembered that the disappearance of species has an ecosystem nature. Each defunct plant species carries with it a minimum of five species of invertebrates, the existence of which is associated with the species.
Industry also needs to develop environmentally sensitive patterns. Already, people are able to predict the consequences of technological change of the environment, to solve the problem of disposal of waste, carry out a biological wastewater treatment. It is important to consider the laws that exist in the biosphere with the development of industry. Substances extracted for the use of man from the nature should be returned to the biosphere in the fit suitable for inclusion in the biological cycle of the form, it means that the industry should be integrated into the natural cycle of matter in the biosphere.Thus, the integration of environmental patterns is one of the conditions of survival, preservation and development of human society.
In this part of the paper it is important to pay attention to various pollutions because the most devastating effects of human activities on the community have the secretion of pollutants. Pollutant is any substance that comes into the air, soil or natural waters and violates biological processes having their place there, and sometimes destroying even physical or chemical processes (Freedman and Jaggi, 1993). Pollutants often include radiation and heat. As a result of human activities carbon dioxide CO2, carbon monoxide CO, sulfur dioxide, SO2, CH4, methane, nitrogen oxides, NO2, NO, N2O come into the atmosphere. The main sources of their appearance are the burning of fossil fuels, burning of forests and industrial emissions.
According to Power et al, “air pollution may exert adverse effects on central nervous system (CNS) function. In autopsy studies of dogs and people, researches found evidence of increased levels of inflammatory mediators, [beta]-amyloid deposition, and markers of oxidative damage to DNA, as well as evidence of blood-brain barrier disruption, in the brains of those from a city with high levels of air pollution compared with those from a city with low levels” (Power, M. et al, 2011). It is obvious that acid rain and smog are a result of anthropogenic emissions production. In the lakes, acid rain often causes fish destruction or the destruction of entire animal populations (Weinhold, 2011). They can also cause damage to the foliage, and often destruction of plants and accelerate the corrosion of metals and destruction of buildings. Acid rain is mainly observed in regions with developed industry. Smog is extremely harmful to living organisms, and one of the harmful components of smog is ozone. It has a place because the last have adverse effects on the lungs and mucous membranes of man and vegetation.
Depletion of the ozone layer, which is a protective shield against ultraviolet radiation, and other atmospheric changes are also connected with man-induced activities. The danger of the depletion of the ozone layer is hidden in the fact that it can reduce the absorption of ultraviolet radiation harmful to all living organisms.
In conclusion, the global nature of today’s environmental challenges requires joint efforts of all countries to address them. Each country, being in a single interdependent natural system in the world, can not wall off from contamination and degradation of the biosphere on the globe. Thus, using international resources it is particularly important to adhere to international agreements, so that their joint performance would be accompanied by cooperation, not by confrontation. Every person should remember that the task is to protect the nature, and there is no doubt that not only children’s future, but also the future existence of the planet as a whole depends on this fact.Thus, taking everything into consideration it is necessary to say in conclusion that we have emphasized the main destruction humans have caused on the environment, we have understand how everything connected with pollutions get worse as time goes on. We also mentioned different ways to resolve all these problems in the more efficient way.
Best, G. Environmental Pollution Studies. Liverpool University Press, 1999.
Freedman, M. and Jaggi, B. Air and Water Pollution Regulation: Accomplishments and Economic Consequences. Quorum Books, 1993.
Kanner, A. and Ziegler, M. E. Understanding and Protecting Natural Resources. Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum, Vol. 17, 2006.
Power, M. et al. Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Cognitive Function in a Cohort of Older Men. Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 119, 2011
Weinhold, B. Pollution Portrait: The Fourth National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment. Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 119, 2011.