Environmental pollution has been a major concern for most world nations today. The pollution is associated with certain factors such as desertification, global warming and ill health among humans, animals and plants. The effects are evident in most Asian countries like China, Japan and Taiwan. The effects have been notable in these countries due to their high population and extensive use of bio fuels such as coal and petroleum. The effects and causes of global warming are either voluntarily or involuntarily caused. Some of the causes which may be considered voluntary include smoking and burning of fuels. Those considered involuntary include vulicanicity and earthquake. The voluntary causes are easy to control and manage.
Introduction of legislative acts to control some of the voluntary acts that contribute to global warming and environmental pollution sounds necessary and long due. The acts should control the amount of fuels burnt per unit measure and regulate such issues as smoking. The level of population density should be the primary factor in setting up the measures.
Human Population and Urbanization
One of the major global environmental problems is deforestation. In the recent past, the forest cover has alarmingly decreased going below the required 10% threshold. This has greatly affected other issues such as the rain pattern, the atmospheric temperatures and the stability of the ground and soil in general, especially in the mountainous areas. It has further led to massive siltation lowering the quality and quantity of ground natural water. Studies show that the forest cover will be less by 4% in the next ten years. This has raised concern among most governments and scholars.
Population development in the last century has been widely attributed to this problem. The expanding population has led to clearing up of forest areas to create more space for human occupation. It has also led to cutting down of trees to generate wood for construction, poles and fuel. Trees have also been used for medicinal reasons and for cultural purposes. The trend seems to continue rising the problem to almost unmanageable levels (Harris 2003). The belief that there is a very large population in China, Taiwan, the U.S.A and the world as a whole to an extent of endangering the environment is quite unacceptable. The world population though large does not in any way exceed the resources available. The resources are enough and can sustain all people if well managed and if high accountability is observed. China itself has a population of 1,344,130,000 people. This is quite high as compared to the U.S which has a population of 313,914,040 people. Other countries such as Taiwan have a low population of just a few millions. This concludes the fact that the world population is low and can not fully utilize the resources available (United Nations 2009).
Environmental Hazards and Human Health
Smoking has been attributed to about 5.2% of death’s every year. 15% of the deaths occur as a result of passive smoking. Smoking has been attributed to such factors as spread of some diseases such as cancer, influenza and brain damages. It has also been attributed to deformities in the unborn children. On a lower note, it has been attributed to global warming.
The World Health Organization together with several state governments has come up with several measures to control and manage smoking. This is meant to reduce its effects on the environment and the human health in general. The measures include imposing of heavy taxes on tobacco products, controlling the age limit of smokers and reducing the number of harmful chemicals in cigarettes among others (Philp 1995). The agencies have further put up a fight to control passive smoking which involves prohibiting smoking in public areas, offices, cinema halls and other public places. They have also placed a ban on smoking within educational centers and institutions. I fully support these regulations now and in the future as they will not only help reduce the number and rate of smoking but also prevent the young people from buying into the dangerous behavior. It will also help protect non smokers from passive smoking which is a major killer in the universe today (Miller & Spoolman 2013).
In everyday activities, I face some risks. Some are voluntary and others involuntary. One of the risks I face and which may be considered voluntary in my livelihood and for others too is self intoxication. This comes in form smoking, doing drugs and taking of alcohol. To some extent, individuals, I included, take unhealthy and dangerous foods knowingly leading to poor health. In my residence, I am faced with risks such as snake bites, pest infestation and domestic accidents such as fire and electrocution. All these endanger my life. At the work place there are risks such as injuries, fires and chemical poisoning. These endanger my life and the environment. To reduce the risks, I have to avoid the voluntary and ensure I am safe at all times and protected against the involuntary. I have already stopped smoking and taking junk foods to avert possible damages (Paustenbach 1989).
Air Pollution, Climate Disruption, and Ozone Depletion
China has the largest coal deposits in the world. The deposits are found in different provinces of the giant economy nation. It is mined and processed in the fields. The coal industry in China and Asia acts as a major source of energy and revenue. The coal is developed and used in different industries to produce the much required energy. The burning of this type of fuel has, however, been attributed to global warming and air pollution in Asia and North America across the pacific. Although China is justified in developing coal energy as a way of developing their industries, they should be committed to controlling the damage caused. This can be achieved by use of converters in their burning chimneys to reduce the amount of carbon gases getting into the atmosphere. They should also ensure that they contribute more towards carbon reduction measures at the UN levels and agreements (Miller & Spoolman 2011). Further, they should ensure there are internal regulations on use and utilization of the coal energy at all levels. Alternatively, China can turn to electricity, wind and sunlight for their energy. They may also opt for nuclear energy which is readily available.
In an attempt to reduce photochemical smog caused by motor vehicle emissions, I would consider three options. The first one will entail reducing the use of vehicles and instead use bicycles and walking especially for short distances. I would further call for use of common transport system like the railway system. This would ensure we reduce the number of vehicles and, thus, the emission. Use of electric or solar run engines in vehicles may further be considered a long term solution for the same. This would further be enhanced by reduction of lead metals in the fuels currently used (World Bank 2008).
In conclusion, it is evident that the solution to global warming and environmental and pollution depends on us. The fact that we can do away with voluntary causes of pollution and reduce the involuntary is good news to those concerned with controlling the menace. It is also evident that the world governments have a responsibility to control global warming for the good of future generations. Individuals too have a role to play. This appears to be everyone’s stage and responsibility. It is also right to say that an individual has to protect himself first so as to be able to protect the environment.