Environment means our surroundings. It includes air, water , earth , sea or we can say it includes what we can say Panchamahabhuta (पंचमहाभूत).
Environmental protection constitutes an integral part of developmental process. Sustainable development and environmental protection goes hand in hand. It cannot be considered in isolation. Sustainable development means the development which meets the needs of present but not affect the needs of future generation as well.
Peace, development and environment are interdependent and indivisible. Integration of environment and development leads to eco-friendly inclusive growth. The growth which fulfil the basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystem and safer , more prosperous future.
Genesis of the Problem:
The problem of environmental pollution is the problem of both developed and under developed or poor nations. We can categorise it into following:
- Developing, Under Developed or Poor Nations —— There are some key issues which affect the environment adversely, these are:-
- Lack of development
Poverty is the worst form for environmental pollution because the part of population who do not have means to get one meal a day , cloths to cover and shelter to live in cannot possibly think about the environmental protection. For them any method by which they can survive is the best. Further as they are not educated and hence they are not having enough awareness to know or understand the problem.
However, there may be exceptions or disagreement with the fact as best eco- friendly practices can be seen some tribal and interior rural areas , people of which are not so educated but have adopt various methods for the protection of environment.
- Developed Nations :- Key and worrying concerns for developed nations are :
- Over production
- Nuclear radiations
- Over exploitation of resources
- Industrial wastes in different forms,
- Industrial accidents and the living style of the peoples are some of the contributing factors for environmental problem in the Developed countries.
If we analyse the genesis of the problem in above both developing and developed countries, we found that Developed nations are although well-educated but their greed is eternal. They have enough for their need but the greed leads them to over exploitation of natural resources that is what we can calm they are not utilising the natural resources but they are plundering it.
In other hand in developing and under Developed countries they are starving for the fulfilment of their needs.
- There are some common causes of environmental pollution :
- The twentieth century, particularly, in the later half has seen a lot of growth and economic development in almost all the countries.
- The methods of economic development, which mankind has followed, are also creating environmental problem.
- With the industrial and technological development, mankind has not only improved the economic conditions but also altered the natural ecological balance.
- Industrialisation, urbanization and erosion of biodiversity have affected the natural environment adversely.
- Air pollution has now become a major killer with three million people dying of it every year.
- Carbon emissions doubled in three decades.
- Global warming is now a serious threat.
- US carbon emissions are 16 per cent above 1990 levels making it a major polluter.
- 40% of world population now faces chronic shortage of fresh water for daily needs.
- Half the world’s wetlands have been lost and one-fifth of 10,000 freshwater species are extinct.
- Contaminated water kills around 2.2 million people every year.
- Since 1990, 2.4 per cent of the world’s forests have been destroyed. The rate of loss is now 90,000 sq. km. every year.
- Now two-thirds of the world’s farm lands suffer from soil degradation.
- Half the world’s grasslands are over-gazed. India is 25 per cent short of its fodder needs.
- 800 species have become extinct and 11,000 more are threatened, almost 75 per cent of the world’s marine capture is over fished.
- In North America, 10 fish species went extinct in the 1990’s. Of the 9,946 known bird species, 70 per cent have declined in numbers.
- The world added 800 million people since 1990. In 2000, global population was 6 billion, up from 2.5 billion in 1950. In March 2020 the world population was 7.8 billion.
Report of IPCC 2007
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (PCC in its 4th Assessment Report submitted in 2007 has come out with incontrovertible evidence that the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO,), methane and nitrous oxide, has by far exceeded and it has touched the highest levels in the recorded history.
The IPCC Report forecasts that India would be among the countries worst affected by the rising temperature due to global warming. Among the various consequences, there may be drop of 38 per cent in per capita water availability by 2050 for Indians as dry days are becoming frequent. There are some alarming points of the report.
- Sea level will rise 40 cm higher by 2100 and 50 million people in coastal India would be displaced by flooding. In the plains, winter precipitation would decline causing water shortages, shrinking grasslands and triggering a fodder crisis.
- There will be a fall of I7 per cent in wheat yield in India if temperature rises by even half a degree centigrade. 2035 is the year when the Himalayan glaciers may totally disappear causing catastrophic disruptions.
- Food grain production in India is likely to drop by as much as 30 per cent. Wheat crop in northern India would in particular bear the brunt.
- It is expected that by the end of 21st century, there will be overall rise in global temperature by 5°C.
- Vector borne diseases such as dengue and malaria are expected to rise sharply across India as changes in temperature make it conducive for mosquitoes to thrive. Deaths from diarrhoeal diseases associated with floods and droughts could go up.
- There may be risk to 50 per cent of the total biodiversity in India because of climate change, because the grass lands are expected to decline sharply.
- 40 per cent of Himalayan glaciers would perish and Mumbai’s Nariman Point will be submerged.!
- Human activities are wiping out three animal or plant species every hour.
- It is estimated that every day, up to 150 species are lost. Every year, between 18,000 and 55,000 species become extinct.
Dr. Punam Suri, while explaining the consequences of interference with nature by human beings and effects of coronavirus, rightly stated that “since time immemorial, a human being which is just a small organism, using the power of his brain, tried to control and rule over all other forms of life. And in his struggle for power, he played havoc with Nature. This (coronavirus) epidemic has proven to us that when faced with the wrath of nature, a micro-organism, like coronavirus, is sufficient to paralyze, maim, and strangulate the entire human race. Let this be lesson to us, though a very expensive one, that all humanity must live with nature and not at the expense of it.”
After post covid scenario mindset of philosopher of concept of possibilism must tend towards the Determinism.