One of the interesting facts about earth is that it is constantly changing. There is an imperceptible slowing of the rotation of earth on its axis, resulting in the lengthening of days. The change in speed is so miniscule that it will take millions of years for the day to last 25 hours.
However, there are some changes happening to Earth because of the folly that we are a party to. Global warming is just a generic term denoting deteriorating state of Earth because of human apathy towards preserving the environment.
Some of the destructions attributed to human activities:
- Depletion of Ozone layer over the Antarctica as a result of use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the people in manufacturing refrigerators and aerosol sprays.
- Devastation of the Aral Sea because of a water diversion program by the Soviet Union.
- Greenhouse gas emission because of deforestation, which further leads to global warming and melting of ice in polar region.
- Pollution caused due to burning of fossil fuels.
- Destruction of marine life because of indiscriminate dumping of harmful wastes in water bodies.
- Genetic engineering and use of antibiotics to accelerate the growth of animals and crops is resulting in harming the health of the human beings.
- Gross misuse of the non-renewable natural resources.
- Shortage of pure water because misuse of this natural resource is rampant.
- Global environmental imbalance due to nuclear tests.
The list of what mankind is doing to harm the earth is endless. We are not just leaving carbon imprints; we are stamping our metallic feet by spewing tons of carbon and destroying the world that supports life.
As per NASA, the earth is currently in a state of warming, which is at a faster rate than ever before, and the main cause of this soon-to-be catastrophic acceleration, is human. The ways and means in which mankind is accelerating the warming process are:
- Since the Industrial Revolution in 1800, man has attained the power to change Earth’s environment and climate, and has had a negative impact on them.
- The population has doubled and redoubled since the 1900s. With more than 7 billion people inhabiting the earth today, there is a significant increase in the amount of fossil fuels burnt, leading to a surge in the levels of carbon dioxide. This, in turn, traps the warmth within the earth’s surface resulting in global warming.
- Mankind has changed 40% of the surface area of Earth, according to his requirements, and also introduced particulate pollutant called aerosol in the atmosphere. This has reduced the cloud cover, influenced the rainfall and draught patterns, and thus increased the average global temperatures.
If conscious efforts are not made in protecting the earth in near future, NASA predicts a catastrophic breakdown in the earth’s biosphere caused by the gross environmental destruction and unbridled population growth. Such a breakdown will surely bode ill for all the living organisms on earth.
NASA celebrates the World Earth Day annually from 17-22 April, with an objective of helping people understand our home planet and take required action to protect it. The scientists at NASA say, “It is a day to celebrate the environment, and a time to assess the work still needed to protect our world. The idea of protecting the environment has now moved into the mainstream”.
India’s Plan to Tackle Environmental Issues
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently reiterated in his speech that India can take the lead on environmental protection. He said that India’s age-old culture would surely have “green solutions” to the environmental issues that the world is facing. With a culture that equated environment with the Divine, India never believed in exploiting nature, he said. Mr Modi pointed out the following ideas towards a greener future:
1. Solid waste management in the urban areas can result in fertilizers, which in turn can be sent to villages for quality and affordable crops.
2. Urban bodies can recycle waste water and send it to farmers for use in growth of organic crops.
3. India should come to the forefront in the usage of solar and wind energy.
4. People should use bicycles as a mode of transport for a eco-friendly lifestyle.
Recently, Modi also launched a National Air Quality Index, which will help people monitor the quality of air they are breathing, and encourage them to leave lesser carbon footprints.
Save the World
Earth is our home. Destruction of earth constitutes destruction of mankind. As per NASA, every day is an Earth Day. We must awaken to the reality of what we have done to Earth till now, and work towards a greener future, because, after all, “there is no place like home”.