Can We Save Planet Earth?

As we all know there is a great effort being made worldwide to counter act the alleged impact of the human footprint on the world's climate, the earth’s land, oceans, and atmosphere, as well as the health of the inhabitants destroying it! I have a few important questions for my readers to contemplate. Is it possible to keep the air and ocean unpolluted with populations of 10 million or more in the world’s megacities? Will our beaches become an example of the Tragedy of the Commons:”

A concept that states that any resource open to everyone will eventually be destroyed? If in fact, the human beings toxic lifestyles have caused the seas to rise appreciably by causing CO2 induced global warming, and created holes in the earths’ ozone layer, then certainly, let's do something about it! But, “what if global warming is not what they say it is? What if the world's temperature is headed in the opposite direction?”Pohanka (n.d.).

Compelling scientific studies suggest that, "deadly adverse effects" of toxic pollution are detrimental to the earth and its inhabitants, and it must be addressed. With these questions in mind let’s investigate the facts. I agree with Pohanka, in his article, “Is there really global warming?” That now, many scientists are becoming skeptical of the theory of man made global warming! It appears that global warming is looking more and more like the Y2K scare of the late 1990’s.”

The largest sources of air pollution are transportation engines, industry and power generation, and solid waste. An interesting thing to remember is air pollution does not stand still, the wind and weather play an important role and can transport these small particles locally, regionally, and even between continents. There is a lot of scientific evidence that these small articles of pollution are linked to shortened life spans, heart attacks, chronic asthma, missed work, and other health impacts; as allergic reactions like sneezing, watery eyes and wheezing.

As retrieved from (UCAR) University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, ”Effect Of Tragedy of The Commons,” In Belgium 63 people died in 1930, 20 people died in Pennsylvania in 1948, and more than 4,000 died in London in 1952 as a result of severe air pollution. Breathing even small amount of pollution over a long period of time can be deadly, like children being around second hand smoke from cigarettes. Speaking of children, they are more at risk than adults because they are outside playing, and pound for pound inhale more pollution than adults.

Furthermore,” Noise pollution is a modern day plague, which is defined as unwanted environmental noise.” Gaines, L., & Hagler, L. (2007), Noise pollution is dangerous to those living by airports and trains and those that hold jobs that are very loud. They are at great risk of permanent hearing loss, not to mention the people who rock out to extremely loud music; this is probably the most detrimental of all the other forms of noise pollution.

Land pollution is the destruction of the planets’ earth surfaces caused by the populations’ toxic trends, and misuse of earths’ assets. The inappropriate disposal of urban and industrial wastes, exploitation of the planets’ mineral reserves, and non-rotation of crops, and insufficient soil and agricultural practices, are some of the problems leading to land pollution. Also, increased urbanization and industrialization has imposed great strain on the earths’ environment.

The industrial revolution has created a series of events that have destroyed many natural habitats and created disease in both humans and animals. How is it possible for the planets’ land, oceans, and atmosphere stay vibrant and clean with populations of 10 million plus of the worlds’ megacities? These megacities affect every aspect of the planets’ assets.

The toxic effects of the industrial revolution have significantly imprinted our planet! This type of pollution is constantly being released into the atmosphere, twenty four seven, to maintain electricity, not to mention all the other industrial processes taking place for manufacturing of all the items every person on the plant uses daily. I have personally experienced the horror of the toxins of industrialization; I once lived in an industrial town on Lake Erie, in Ohio. All of my family that lived in this area, died there, from various types of cancers. Some days I could not see two feet out the front door. I moved to Florida, but most of my family lived and died there.

Now in my home state of Florida, the Elkhorn coral is endangered with white spot disease caused by bacteria. Research has found that this type of bacteria is responsible for killing many corals in the shallow reefs of the Florida Keys. This particular bacterium is found in the intestines of both humans and animals. This particular bacterium is only affecting one species of coral, the once common Elkhorn coral. This type of coral is now hard to find in the Florida waters and will soon be in the endangered species category.

Another major cause of marine pollution is oil spills, and the tedious work of cleaning them up. “One study examines the development of safeguards against marine oil pollution in Alaska since the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, in which oil spilled from the tanker Exxon Valdez.” Busengerg, G. ((2009), May). “The potential threat of marine pollution caused by offshore oil and gas development activities in areas like the South China Sea are killing the sea life, and destroying the oceans, “ Song, Y. ((2008), April-Jun). Oil spills are usually unintentional releases of liquid petroleum at sea.

Even small amounts of petroleum hydrocarbons hurt marine life and seabirds’. Oil is heavier than water and soaks into the seabed and usually takes years to dissipate. Some popular ways to clean up the spills are dredging, skimming, dispersing, and bioremediation, but time is the only real effective method. Just recently BP had an explosion of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and it is once again killing sea life and polluting the land and waters in my home state of Florida. This oil spill will prove to be worse than the Exxon Valdez spill of 1989.

The land and the oceans, as well as the atmosphere have been polluted. The water pollution is so great in the South China Sea, they are harvesting dead fish. Just imagine having to take the risk of eating dead fish because the pollution has killed the sea life, and that is all that is all that is left in the polluted oceans for food to feed your family, not to mention this is how most of the people native to this area make a living. These Chinese people rely on the sea life in the oceans for commercial trade to support their families. If this water pollution is not stopped, this area could become a starving society, like is prevalent in Africa.

It is further alleged the atmospheric pollution has affected the earth’s climate and ozone layers. Some studies show over the past century, greenhouse gases and other air pollutants released into the atmosphere have been causing big changes like global warming, ozone holes, and acid rain. It is quite controversial as to the validity of society’s toxic trends being responsible for climate changes. Without human presence on earth would the climate be changing, or is it just propaganda from our government to hide information from us, or control our thinking? Is there actually a hole in the earths’ ozone layer? If this is a fact, what is the cause? Some argue; it is a natural transition of the earth over hundreds of thousands of years. However tragic, these stats and opinions are good food for thought!

Ozone is an unusual type of oxygen molecule, which protects us from ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. That is why holes in the ozone layer are “very bad news.” The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). Retrieved from: Some scientists say the earths’ climate is warming! During the 20th Century, Earths’ average temperature rose 0.6° Celsius (1.1°F). ). Scientists are finding that the change in temperature has been causing other aspects of our planet to change. The effects of global warming are far reaching say some.” I encourage you to do more research on this subject before making a final decision. Make an informed intellectual decision after weighing all the facts, not just concluding from one sided biased opinions.”

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is very aware of the pollution issues and has been monitoring and putting laws in effect for many years. Retrieved from: Milagro, (Windows to the Universe) “Under the Clean Air Act, EPA sets limits on how much of a pollutant is allowed in the air anywhere in the United States. Although national air quality has improved over the last 20 years, many challenges remain in protecting public health and the environment.”

There are multiple other environmental agencies at work to stop the toxic trends, such as DEFRA, Global Atmosphere Watch, Greenpeace, National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and Clean Air Act. Also the Clean Water Act, Kyoto Protocol, Water Pollution Control Act, and the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Below is a photo of the air pollution in Mexico City. It is unthinkable to have to live in this unhealthy condition, remember this is the area the recent “Swine Flu, (H1N1)” originated. I think this is a wake up call!!

Retrieved from (New World Encyclopedia) “Global temperatures increased for twenty years from the late 1970s to the late 1990s but have actually been cooling the last eleven years. The global warming and subsequent cooling were even predictable due to hundreds of years of historical trends and observation of the impact of variations in solar activity on global temperature. Europe, North America and many other area of the Earth have recently experienced a score of unusually low temperatures.” So where is the global warming that we are preparing for?

If the past is a predictor of the future the earth is headed into a 30 year period of global cooling. Global cooling is much worse for mankind than global warming. Many more people die from the cold than heat.

Crop yields will be reduced and global hunger increased from global cooling. With the evidence presented within, I think it’s quite easy to understand why we need to reverse the toxic trends we have imprinted on this earth, and save the earths’ resources for future generations, we must act now to prevent the “Tragedy of the Commons,” but on the other hand, “to get to the truth of what drives global climate one must first separate politics from science."

Pohanka (n.d.), (Page 24). With all this evidence, does the theory of global warming appear similar to the Y2K fear? Where is the global warming? You will make an “educated decision” about global warming, (or cooling), and holes in the ozone layer.

One thing is for certain, Now, is the time to make your decision about reversing your individual imprint on our environment and the validity of global warming!! Remember, the “Scientific Method:” consists of theories and concepts proven through observation, investigation and research. Take a look at our beautiful planet in the photo above, “Can We Save It?” I say, “Yes We Can!” But only with a combined effort from each and every individual, we all put our own footprint on this planet every day, “Please,” let it be a positive one!

References

Busengerg, G. ((2008), May) Managing the Hazard of Marine Oil Pollution in Alaska, Review of policy research, 25(3), 203-218, Axia Student Library.

East burn, T. (2006). Milagro,Windows to the Universe. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). . Retrieved from http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/milagro/effects/tragedy_commons.html

Goines, L., & Hagler, L. ((2007), March). Noise pollution: A modern plague. Southern Medical Journal, 100(3), 297-294. Axia Student Library.

Paragon House Publishers. (2010). New World Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/New_World_Encyclopedia,About

Pohanka, G. (n.d.). Is There Global Warming? Retrieved from http://www.isthereglobalwarming.com/

Song, Y. ((2008), April-Jun). The Potential Marine Pollution Threat from Oil and Gas Development Activities in the Disputed South China Sea/Spratly Area: A Role that Taiwan Can Play Ocean Development and International Law, 39(2), 150-177. Axia Student Library