Identify And Discuss One Social Or Environmental Issue

Can you give four examples of enviromental issues in our world?

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The four major environmental issues that I see present the biggest challenge to man are as follows:

1) Overpopulation combined with increased use of resources such as fossil fuels by nations such as India and China, whose rise to prosperity is characterised by an increased consumption of goods.

2) The water crisis. The melting of glaciers in areas such as S. America is leaving countries such as Bolivia and Peru will leave them facing a potential massive water shortage in a few years.

3) The extinction of species caused through global warming, deforestation and other man-made issues is reducing the biodiversity of our planet.

4) The pollution of the sea combined with over-fishing will have massive repurcussions on mankind.

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How about the overpopulation of the planet by humans, and their impact on the world's natural resources?  Our pursuit of oil, electricity, minerals and fresh water have physically damaged the Earth's ecosystems, driven hundreds of species to extinction through pollution and habitat destruction, and yet the population continues to grow.  Earth's "carrying capacity" may well have already been exceeded, and so far we seem incapable of reducing our appetites for resources.

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It looks like this list has hit some of the major environmental issues, especially the issue of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is linked to a number of problems. So let me bring up a few that haven't been mentioned (or maybe I missed them):

1. Pollutants in the drinking water supplies in many places. This is especially acute in communities in Colorado and the Northeast where hydrofracking is used to release natural gas from shale underground; the fluids used in the process are believed to render local wells poisonous.

2. I see #3 already mentioned coral reef destruction. Related to this are the continuing extinction of species due to climate change and human destruction of habitats.

3. Burying nuclear and toxic waste is an ongoing problem. This is mentioned above, but it's worth mentioning an example. I live near Niagara Falls, the site of "Love Canal," where a chemical company buried toxic waste deades ago. In the 1950s-1970s the area was developed as a residential community, but people started having serious health problems due to waste seeping up from underground and into people's basements. The site has been cleaned up as a Superfund site, and is currently uninhabited. Across the state, the Hudson River still needs cleanup of PCB's dumped decades ago.

4. Air quality is an issue in many places due to industry and traffic. This is a more serious issue in the developing world than the developed world. The 2008 Olympics brough awareness of the issue in China; I've traveled in India which has similar problems with air quality and related respiratory illnesses.  

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The egocentricity of mankind is one of the biggest environmental issues. Man lives as if his choices are not a causative factor in the environment and its non-renewable resources. Commercialism results in disposable products rather than longer lasting. Landfills are overflowing with our disposable waste--much of which is not biodegradable. Until the majority of mankind decides to build, produce, and live as if the world is not indestructible the environment will continue to suffer.

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There are so many issues with environmental issues today--oil spills, nuclear plants spilling radiation into surrounding areas, the mystery of the dead fish and birds in several states, air pollution, run-off from fertilizers and other chemicals into the water tables.  The list is endless.  I hope this one helps a little...

Carbon dioxide in the environment causing climate change all over the Earth. Warmer temperatures are wreaking havoc in delicate ecosystems. What to do with pollutants? Earth is not a garbage dump and we are running out of options about where to put all of the garbage we create. Cutting down forests- this is causing more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, erosion of topsoil and flooding, and loss of habitat for birds and other forest animals. Loss of biodiversity- we are quickly losing valuable animals and plants that could potentially be used as cures for illnesses not to mention deserve to live on Earth also.

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There are so many issues with environmental issues today--oil spills, nuclear plants spilling radiation into surrounding areas, the mystery of the dead fish and birds in several states, air pollution, run-off from fertilizers and other chemicals into the water tables.  The list is endless.  I hope this one helps a little...

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In terms of water pollution, there is a huge "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico caused by chemical runoff from agricultural lands.  This all flows down from the Mississippi into the Gulf.

There is also the issue of warmer oceans.  Not many people know about the impact that this is having on coral reefs.  In Micronesia, where I grew up, coral reefs are extremely important for protecting island and as sources of food.  Higher ocean temperatures can kill coral reefs.

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There are many environmental issues in the world today. Some have been around for many years, others have become a major concern throughout more recent years, and others are new or reoccurring.

The first environmental issue that comes to mind is environmental pollution: this includes pollution of the land (land fills, need for recycling, farming that damages the soil, etc.), and radon which comes from the ground beneath houses. Water pollution is another stemming from chemicals, run off from land treated with pesticides, asbestos poisoning from the use of asbestos in homes, schools and old buildings, and industrial pollution in the from of nuclear energy (including thermal pollution) and electrical towers.

Other pollution is seen in polluting disasters caused by man on a large scale. Most recently we saw the enormous oil spill caused by BP Oil, which may not be on the news as much now, but will affect the environment for year to come, along with those spills of the past. There is also shipping pollution based on materials released into the water by increased water trade.

Remember, too, air pollution—smog, global warming and smog (found especially in areas of concentrated chemically-related industry), and global warming.

There is great concern for the pollution that may travel from Japan due to failure of nuclear fallout after the recent tsunami. There is great debate raging about the ramifications of this tragedy on the rest of the world, including the United States.

Finally, another form of pollution is that of humans by other humans: specifically in the processing of foods: this includes adding hydrogenated oils to foods to preserve them, which causes serious health risks over time, and the addition of steroids and antibiotics in food, and the impact this has over time, especially with children.

Also included are products—generally "natural" products that have not been tested by the FDA, that are easily available on shelves at pharmacies and food stores. Many of these carry risks that have not be determined because no long-term studies have been run to check for side-effects and what is actually in these products. Just because you can buy it and it says "natural," does not mean it is safe, and these things can pollute one's body.

Hope this is of some help.

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