Everyone is well aware that there are many problems in the world, especially when it comes to the natural environment that sustains life on earth. Environmental problem is defined as those negative effects that comes due to lack of sustainability of the quality of the environment required for the well being of all organism living on earth. It can also be defined as burdens that come from human activities that affect the well-being of organism living on earth. These environmental problems affects the ability of the earth to sustain it ability to serve future generation. If not controlled in good time, people living on earth will face serious scarcity of natural resources to support future generation.
What cause environmental problems
The main cause of environmental problems is the increase in world population, which has resulted into increased consumption and generation of waste among other environmental damages. According to (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013), another cause of environmental problems is land degradation. The continued increase in world population increases demand for scarce resources such as food and water. A research conducted by World Vision showed that the consumption of fresh water increased more than seven times from 1900 to 2010. Increasing number of poor people is also increasing pressure on natural resource through deforestation, high birth rate, and over-mining. There is an increase in household wastes, which are toxic to the environment thereby contaminating the environment.
Some examples of environmental problems
Examples of environmental problems include air pollution, ozone depletion, air quality, and green house effect. Another example of environmental problem is lead coming from homes that were built before 1970 before the introduction of ban on paints containing lead (Gibbons 2). Waste sites also pose problems to the environment as people living in highly populated areas with low income prefer living in such areas due to availability of cheaper houses. Pesticides coming used in farms also pose health risk to people who work working in firms who get into contact with such chemicals. Wastewater from city sewers also pose threat to the sustainability of the environment as some of their contents find their way into natural water bodies such as oceans that serve as home many animals and plants.
How these problems affect the environment?
Pollution of the environment leads to drastic loss and decline of biodiversity. Deforestation of forestlands can damage the habitat for many animals that depend on trees for food and shelter. Environmental problems have the potential of reducing and even making some plants and animals to disappear from their habitat. An activity such as mining leads to depletion of land resources as it reduces the available space for farming (Peter, 2013). Use of chemicals in firms also has health effects on firm workers who get in contact with such chemicals. The use of fertilizers to restore soil fertility also causes further soil depletion, and as such, should be avoided as well.
What environmental engineers do to solve these problems?
The work of environmental engineers involves using the principles of engineering, biology, and soil science to develop solutions to environmental problems. They can undertake initiatives such as improving recycling of waste in order to reduce the amount of waste in dumpsites. They can also devise better ways of conducting waste disposal in order to ensure efficient waste disposal. This includes efforts such as designating areas for waste disposal and using some wastes as manure in farms. Environmental engineers can also the principles of biology to ensure public health safety of people working with chemicals such as firm workers who get into contact with chemicals. They can also help contain air and water pollution through development of strategies aimed at reducing pollution.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Environmental Engineers, Web http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and engineering/environmental-engineers.htm (visited February 19, 2013).
Gibbons, Whit. What are our top 10 environmental problems? 2013 Web http://srel.uga.edu/ecoviews/ecoview060326.htm
Peter J. Stoett. Opinion: Environmental issues go beyond Keystone. TheGazette, 2013 Web http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Opinion+Canada+environmental+issues+beyond+Keystone/7971865/story.html