With so many media sources today, it’s hard to keep track of what is important in the global sphere. To make it easy for you, we’ve outlined the top five current environmental issues that you need to know about.
Loss of Biodiversity
Every organism on Earth plays a vital role in our ecosystem: from the smallest microorganism to the biggest elephant. However, biodiversity has declined 30% since the 1970s, and this declining biodiversity has put food chains, water sources, and other natural resources at a detrimental risk. Without enough biodiversity, ecosystems can disappear, creating a mass current environmental issue.
Thankfully, not all hope is lost. You can make an impact by reducing your meat intake, specifically red meat, and making sustainable life choices in your day-to-day activities.
Water scarcity has developed as a current environmental issue because of an increase in oil spills, plastic waste, and toxic chemicals entering our waterways through pollution and environmental hazards. An estimated 780 million people have no access to clean drinking water currently. This is not an environmental issue that affects only people in underdeveloped countries: Flint, Michigan did not have clean drinking water for nearly 4 years.
How can you help combat this current environmental issue? The first step is to admit that there is a problem. Then start by making small changes to your everyday lifestyle like turning the water off while brushing your teeth. If you feel informed, help educate others on the importance of dealing with this pressing and current environmental issue.
Forests are one of the most important resources on planet Earth: they provide oxygen, water, food, and medicine for people everywhere. However, with natural wildfires and mass commercial timbering, the planet’s forestry is decreasing fast, creating a serious and current environmental issue. To make things worse, about 15% of greenhouse gas emissions come purely from deforestation, therefore, increasing climate change.
Numbers show that if we continue to participate in deforestation at the rate we do now, by 2030 we will only have 10% of the rainforests we have today.
Deforestation has mass environmental consequences: species losing their habitat, ecosystems dying out, fewer trees converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, and the continuation of climate change. Thus, this is a major current environmental issue that requires our attention.
We’ve heard the word “pollution” since we were little kids in science class, but what does it really do? Pollution is a current environmental issue that can affect air, soil, and water. Pollution in the air breaks down the ozone layer, pollution in soil destroys natural irrigation systems and habitats, and pollution in water makes it undrinkable for all species. Pollution is such an environmental issue that it takes more than 100 million human lives every single year — think about the animal lives that are not included in this statistic.
A great way to help combat this current environmental issue is to include zero-waste and sustainable living practices into your lifestyle.
Climate change is one of the most disputed current environmental issues of all time, but it has been scientifically proven. In fact, 97% of climate-specific scientists agree that climate change is caused significantly by human actions: the leading cause of climate change being greenhouse gas emission.
Climate change is evident in the way that the Earth is warming, ice caps are melting, and natural disasters such as droughts, hurricanes, and wildfires have become ever more common.
However, people can stop climate change from going further. We must do our best to live sustainably, to use renewable energy sources when possible, and limit the waste and pollution that we create. We must make big changes like saying no to driving more so we can reduce our carbon footprint and small changes like switching off lights when not in use.