Dictionary Definition of Environment:
That which environs or surrounds; surrounding conditions, influences or forces, by which living forms are influenced and modified in their growth and development. The natural environment encompasses all living and non living things occurring naturally on earth or some region thereof. It encompasses the interaction of all living species. Environment consists of universal natural resources like air, water, and climate as well as energy, radiation, electric charge, and magnetism, not originating from human activity.
The natural environment is in contrast with build environment, which comprises the area and components that are strongly influenced by humans. A geographical area is regarded as a natural environment.
Basics of Environmental Issues:
In today’s era of globalization, earth’s natural processes have transformed local problems into international issues. A variety of environmental problems have affected our entire world. Some of these problems are Acid Rain, Air Pollution, Global Warming, Hazardous Waste, Ozone Depletion, Smog, Water Pollution, Overpopulation and Deforestation. Every problem has causes, numerous effects and most importantly, a solution.
DEFORESTATION is the destruction of forests and woods. It has resulted in the reduction of indigenous forests to fourth fifth of their pre agricultural area. Forests now cover 21% of the earth’s land surface.
THE GREEN HOUSE EFFECT is the second major cause of environmental pollution. It is a natural occurring process that aids in heating the earth’s surface and atmosphere. Certain atmospheric gases, such as carbon dioxide, water vapor and methane change the energy balance of the planet by absorbing long wave radiation emitted by earth’s land surface. This energy is then used in a number of processes, including the heating of the ground surface, the melting of ice and snow and the evaporation of water.
WATER POLLUTION affects plants as well as human beings and in almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species but also to natural biological communities.
“Countries that Manage their Natural Wealth for the Long Term Move Up the Development Ladder”, says New World Bank Book.
Close to one third of the wealth of low income countries comes from their “natural capital” which includes forests, protected areas, agricultural lands, energy and minerals.
Issues like rapid climate change, polluted air, acid rain, depletion of ozone layer and global warming prove that how ineffectively we use our resources. All we need to do to reduce these problems is simply to be less wasteful. We can use following measures:
- Switch off anything that uses electricity.
- Use renewable energy sources.
- Turn off the water when not in use.
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries.
- Invest in a good bicycle and helmet.
If we want to give harmless, safe and healthy environment to our coming generations, we have to follow the above mentioned measures, otherwise we will all cite the lines of Coleridge’s poem
“WATER WATER EVERYWHERE, NOR ANY DROP TO DRINK.”