Blog post: Let’s Work together to Save the Earth
The list of environmental concerns that confronts the world is long. Problems such as global warming, air pollution, waste disposal, water pollution and climate change head the list of problems that we are encountering. Last week we celebrated Earth Day but we must constantly be aware of the problems that the planet is facing.
Global warming leads to rising temperatures of the earth’s oceans and crust. One problem from the rise in temperature is the melting of the polar ice caps. The melting of the polar ice caps in turn leads to a rise in sea levels and even unusual precipitation patterns that can cause excessive snow, rain and flash floods. Other effects include wildfires, droughts, heatwaves and an increase in the amount and strength of storms. How can we stop Global Warning? Most scientist agree the main cause if the “greenhouse effect” due to gasses blocking the heat from escaping the earth’s atmosphere. Some of these gasses are water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane. Carbon Dioxide concentrations have been increasing due to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
The problem of water pollution is also felt across the world. The city of Flint Michigan has been having problems with their drinking water for several years. It began in 2014, when the state changed the water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Due to failure to properly treat the corrosive water from the Flint River, contaminated water flowed into the homes of the residents of the city. This water looked, smelled and tasted bad. After testing it was determined that Lead and Bacteria contamination as well as disinfectant contamination was found in the water supply. In June of 2015, the EPA issued a memo warning the city that the failure to have a corrosion control treatment has led to a high level of lead in the water. Tests were conducted and lead contamination was found as high as 13500 ppb. The EPA level of concern for lead in drinking water is 15.0 ppb. Three years later, even with all the news and publicity, the problems have not been fixed. Families are still living off of rationed bottle water in order to survive.
Waste disposal is another critical problem facing the world. Each year over 1 billion ton of waste is generated across the globe. The United States, China and Japan are some of the leading trash generators. The U.S. produces over 250 million tons of trash a year. Of this trash about 34 percent is recycled. The amount of trash recycled is increasing each year, but the other 66 percent of the trash is either incinerated or ends up in a landfill. Some of these materials that end up in the landfill, such as styrofoam and plastics, will take hundreds of years to decompose.
Being aware of these and other environmental concerns each and every day is the only way to ensure that we are taking care of the planet. At home, turning off lights and reducing the amount of trash by using reusable bags when shopping and avoiding the purchase of single pack containers and continuing to recycle are ways we can help at home. Bringing about changes in legislation is much harder to accomplish but must be done. One way is to write to your Senators and Representatives and let them know that you are concerned with these environmental issues. To aid you with this letter, here is a website which will aid you in contacting your elected officials: List of Elected Officials Let us all work together to save our planet.