Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eco Facts

Pollution: Each kind of pollution- air, noise, water- has significant impacts to our everyday lives, affecting all living and non-living factors in the biosphere and the atmosphere and also involve socio-economic factors. These impacts have caused significant changes to the environment we are living in.
Deforestation: They are the earth’s largest depository of natural resources and house half of the planet’s dryland species. But man’s greed is putting a saw through the fragile ecosystem and over the years half of the world’s forests have been transformed into a concrete jungle. Indiscriminate felling of trees for fuel and timber or for housing and agriculture purposes has gone on unabated despite the clich├ęs mouthed by environmentalists and a line of successive governments.
Soil Erosion: Floods and soil erosion are two of India's greatest problems. Neither is new, but there can be no doubt that in recent years floods are taking an increasing toll on crops and the rapid progress of soil erosion in different parts of the country has caused grave concern. India is thought to be losing 4.7 billion tons of topsoil a year, mostly through water erosion. Its monsoonal climate, with the concentration of rainfall during a few months of the year, leaves its exposed soils vulnerable to erosion. About 60 percent of soil that is washed away ends up in rivers, streams and lakes, making waterways more prone to flooding and to contamination from soil's fertilizers and pesticides. Soil erosion also reduces the ability of soil to store water and support plant growth, thereby reducing its ability to support biodiversity.
Land Degradation: Decline in land quality caused by human activities has been a major global issue during the 20th century and will remain high on the international agenda in the 21st century. The importance of land degradation among global issues is enhanced because of its impact on world food security and quality of the environment. High population density is not necessarily related to land degradation; it is what a population does to the land that determines the extent of degradation. People can be a major asset in reversing a trend towards degradation. However, they need to be healthy and politically and economically motivated to care for the land, as subsistence agriculture, poverty, and illiteracy can be important causes of land and environmental degradation.
Waste Management: Urban India is likely to face a massive waste disposal problem in the coming years. Until now, the problem of waste has been seen as one of cleaning and disposing as rubbish. But a closer look at the current and future scenario reveals that waste needs to be treated holistically, recognising its natural resource roots as well as health impacts. Waste can be wealth, which has tremendous potential not only for generating livelihoods for the urban poor but can also enrich the earth through composting and recycling rather than spreading pollution as has been the case. Increasing urban migration and a high density of population will make waste management a difficult issue to handle in the near future, if a new paradigm for approaching it is not created.
Increasing Energy Consumption: India faces a huge energy deficit: till 2001, only 44 per cent of Indian households had access to electricity. But consumption’s galloping: between 1947 and 2001, India’s per capita power consumption rose from 15 to 592 units. If India has to move ahead economically, it must find ways to bridge the deficit.
High Carbon Emissions: Carbon dioxide emissions are causing the Earth’s climate to change and warm, which will have catastrophic results if we do not act to reduce them. Carbon dioxide emissions in our atmosphere are at their highest levels in recorded history, spanning over 650,000 years. The effects of climate change can be seen now. Temperatures are increasing, glaciers are receding at unprecedented speeds and storms are becoming more frequent and severe.

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