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Environment: What's damaging it?

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Environment: What's damaging it?
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Written by  Staff Writer
Saturday, 05 August 2017 22:13

We are of the opinion that increased environmental impact is a product of mismanaged resources compounded by industrialization and run-away corporate and government leaders greed. In this article we tried to simplify a rather complex global interaction within countries and between people and the natural environment.

Due to the complexity of issues, we have just selected a few examples of data with the objective of painting an easily understood framework.

Each of the factors is growing, although differently in different countries and between developed and developing nations, but we can’t escape the fact that the impact is more likely to be the product rather than the addition of the factors i.e. a 25% increase in each of the three factors could bring about an increase of almost 100% in the overall environmental impact.

We have not provided information on trends in environmental impacts but the following list of issues, lists major global and regional environmental impacts in five categories and with some of their reasons and causes.

The list below is not meant to be comprehensive or to show a cause and effect relationship but is meant to illustrate the range of impacts and their interconnectedness. A big portion of the causes emanate from the actions of business organisations either by their operations and/or by the consumption of their products.

Air

Major Impacts

  • Climate change
  • Human health risk from higher UV-B radiation
  • Ecosystems health risk
  • Pollution

Some reasons for the impacts

  • Green house gas emissions - carbon dioxide, methane, etc
  • Pollutants, climate change, ozone depletion
  • Emissions from transport, energy production, industry and agriculture
  • Geoengineering

Cause or Source Examples

  • Combustion and deforestation
  • Refrigerants, solvents, fire fighting agents
  • Combustion, waste disposal, evaporation of chemicals
  • Oil & gas exploration, mining
  • Geoengineering chemicals and poisons

Land

Major Impacts

  • Pollution
  • Soil biological degradation
  • Soil erosion
  • Human health

Some reasons for the impacts

  • Release of chemicals of fertilizers and waste
  • Clearing of vegetation, depletion of nutrients
  • Clearing  and destruction of vegetation,overgrazing
  • Contaminated land

Cause or Source Examples

  • Industry emissions, farming practices, waste disposal
  • Land clearing, overgrazing, other agricultural practices
  • Land clearing and urbanisation
  • Intensive agriculture (industrial), industry, human use
  • Oil & gas exploration, mining

Water

Major Impacts

  • Depletion of resource
  • Polution
  • Contamination

Some reasons for the impacts

  • Over use, inefficient use and waste
  • Emission from industry, sewage disposal, agricultural practices, land clearing

Cause or Source Examples

  • Growing population, food production, major industrial processes
  • Industry, agricultural fertilizers, pesticides, soil erosion, chemicals, sewage
  • Oil & gas exploration, mining

Natural & Biological Resources

Major Impacts

  • Depletion of resource
  • Contamination or destruction of resource

Some reasons for the impacts

  • Consuption of forest products, fish, animal, grasses, minerals, coal, oil & gas
  • Land clearing, agricultural practices, pollution, exotic species

Cause or Source Examples

  • Land clearing, agricultural practices, pollution, fracking, oil & gas exploration, industrial and domestic use
       

Biosphere

Major Impacts

  • Destruction and loss of habitat, species and biodiversity

Some reasons for the impacts

  • Changing land use

Cause or Source Examples

  • Land clearing, urbanisation, agricultural practices, pollution, waste disposal
  • Oil and gas exploration, mining

 

 

 

Note: This article was first published on empowerment-gateway.com on Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Written by  Laurinda Seabra

 

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