Save The Environment Before It’s Too Late to Recover

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Posted on by Conor MacGuire

Being a British, I adore my country and everything about it – its beauty, landscape, its people, flora – fauna, wind, water, mountains, etc. But, from last few years, my country is losing something. The climate is not that pleasing, the air is getting hotter each day, the sky doesn’t seem clear like before, the sunrise at the WinnatePast is not that same, the berries are not that reddy red, the mountains are losing their glory, and even my beer has lost its tipsiness.

Out of my curiosity, I tried to figure out what actually are the reasons behind these irrecoverable changes taking place around me, although my conscience was flappering me that I knew the cause.

The outcome of my research was overwhelming and distressful and it made me feel guilty – a culprit before the Mother Earth. The entire humanity is an offender today!

Look at the below provided scenarios you probably might have noticed around you too.

Serious Environment Issues

Serious Environment Issues

Yes, you realized it correct! All the changes you feel around you – in the land, air, water is due to the environmental ‘injury’ we have been doing, since years.

Since childhood, we have been hearing from our grandparents, a holocaust will destroy us one day and there would be no sign of life on earth since then. Of course, those were mere galimatias people believed on. But, Professor Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University, has finally raised a hand in support of this statement. He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and unbridled consumption along with many other animals too. He says, “We’ll undergo the same fate as the people on Easter Island. Climate change is just at the very beginning. But we’re seeing remarkable changes in the weather already”.

Changes in Climate

Changes in Climate

Let’s see what are the various impacts of environmental degradation in UK and how can we come up together to prevent it before it gets impossible to recover.

1. Global Warming- The Ever Growing Global Threat

The effect of Global Warming has affected the entire world. A one-in-ten chance is there where the world will get 6C warmer than it is today by 2100 leading to cataclysmic changes in the world climate with unbelievable consequences for humans.

Global Warming

Since 1970s, the temperature in UK has risen by about one degree and it’ll still continue inevitably over the next three decades or so. The consequences of the increasing global warming are undoubtedly disastrous:

  • Sea level is expected to rise continuously comparatively to the UK coastline. It could reach somewhat between 26 and 86 cm above the current level by the 2080s.
  • The average annual temperature across the UK is expected to rise by between 2° and 3.5°C by the 2080s as predicted by the Climate models. This rise in temperature will result in the soil drought much more rapidly in summer, leading to soil erosions and dust storms.
  • The predictions further say that the winters in the UK will become wetter and summers may become drier with the decline in the amount of snow by 60% – 90% by the 2080s.
  • The UK is already experiencing an upsurge in the occurrence and severity of winter flood, which it is likely to continue in future. As an example, one can see the devastating flood record in the UK throughout the last five years. Increasing floods are the key threat to life in the UK.
  • The traditional behaviour pattern of species within the UK is already facing disruption due to the climate change. As a result, many species that uses the UK as a winter breeding ground are wandering to further north as the UK climate warms.

The list of repercussions does not end up here – water eutrophication, habitat loss, life loss, etc. are also included.

2. Fossil Fuels – Increasing Demand, Declining Availability

Oil, coal, petroleum and natural gas products – probably were started being used in the Iron Age. But, the commencement of the Industrial Revolution led to their wide-scale extraction.  And in just a short span of 200 years, humans have consumed an incredible amount, leaving fossil fuels all gone and the environment being impacted badly. Since, it takes thousands of years for the fossil fuels to form, once they’re gone means gone forever.

The research from the Global Sustainability Institute has reported that the UK is set to run out of its fossil fuels (oil, coal, and gas) in a little over five years. “The UK has 5.2 years of oil remaining, 4.5 years of coal and three years of gas before completely running out of fossil fuels“, says the institute based at Anglia Ruskin University.

Renewable Share of Electricity Generation

Renewable Share of Electricity Generation

So, if we carry on at this rate without any increase for our growing population and ambitions, our known fossil fuels will be gone by 2052.

For instance, it’s often assured that enough coal is still there to last hundreds of years. This might be true to take us as far as 2088. But, what after that! And, what about the carbon dioxide emissions from burning all that coal?

Fossil Fuel Consumption in UK

Fossil Fuel Consumption in UK

Fossil Fuel energy consumption in the UK (1967-2015)

3. Industrial Effects on Nature:

The Industrial revolution in the mid 1700’s (when machinery began replacing manual labour) played a vital role in causing the depletion of environment and marked a turning point in the relationship between the environment and the humans. While the Industrial Revolution was the cause of positive change for the industrial world like mass production of food and cloth for the world population, it has greatly wreaked destruction on the ecology. The exhaustion of natural resources, carbon emission and human health problems have resulted from the Industrial Revolution’s accomplishments.

Industrial Pollution

Industrial Pollution

In 2006, a report unveiled that the five biggest polluters in the UK produced more CO2 than all the motorists combined. The data also included the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 700 industrial sites across Britain. Critics said that the trading scheme made global warming worse by giving European companies more permits than needed.

4. Contribution of humans in Environment Destruction

Not only the industries have contributed in deteriorating the environment, the increasing population and their homes too have lent them a helping-hand through the discharge of harmful gases like CFCs. CFCs are found in refrigerators, air conditioners that are used innumerably today.

Although, the amount of CFCs are very small in the atmosphere (measured in parts per million trillion), they do contribute to the enhancement of the greenhouse effect.

CFCs are slightly involved in reactions to produce ground level ozone causing damage to plants and materials on a local scale. The releases of CFCs have serious environmental consequences even globally. Their presence in the atmosphere means depletion of the ozone layer – reducing the protection it offers the earth from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

 

How much are we aware?

Only 66%! According to the Public Attitude Tracking Survey in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2015 about the climate change conditions, only 66 percent of the respondents reported some level of concern about climate change. 33 percent are not concerned about climate change, while the remaining one percent do not know if they are concerned about climate change.

Really, if this is still the situation today, nobody will be able to stop the devastation consequences, in the near future.

Percentage of People Aware of Climate Change

Percentage of People Aware of Climate Change

Our Contribution in Saving Environment

  • The first step SHOULD be to be aware of the environmental havoc around you. Be an active participant and set yourself to fight against the climate change.
  • Renewables offer us the best way to avoid the fossil fuel time bomb. That too, if we will start TODAY! Somebody said, “The Stone Age didn’t end for lack of stone, and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil.” Use more of natural resources to prevent the further exhaustion of fossils.
  • Government can also play a vital role here. Although, many environment-protection programs and schemes like the Low Carbon Transition Plan, have already been started by UK government, there is still some more need.
  • Make you world energy efficient, do not waste energy when not in use. This will help save a lot. Walk more and drive less! You can cover small distances by walking, while using your CO2 emitting vehicles.
  • Make your world greener, whether at home or at work. Plant more trees and use natural sources of energy more.
  • Stop people from harming the environment wherever you find some. Educate them and our kids about saving environment and the disastrous results of damaging it.

Although, it’s now hard time to take preventive measures, yet it’s never too late to accomplish a good cause.

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