Toward a Sustainable Future
Environmental pollution is one of the major challenges facing humanity and other forms of life on earth. Environmental pollution is exceeding the earth’s ecosystem ability to regenerate and sustain life on earth. People should appreciate benefits derived from the environment by taking pride in the ability to drink clean water and breathe fresh air. Environmental pollution comprises air and water pollution.
Australia has the highest carbon emissions per capita due to over reliance on coal in generation of electricity (Peatling, 2004). This means that each person in Australia contributes close to twenty-seven tones of carbon dioxide annually, which is the highest figure among industrialized countries. The country through its transportation system, electricity generation and production of metals such as aluminum is emitting huge amounts of carbon monoxide, which have profound effects on the environment. Air pollution through transport industry in Australia is largely due to the significant emissions from vehicles.
According to Peatling (2004), Australia loses at least two lives due to carbon emissions almost the same number caused by road accidents in the country which is contributing to the high cost of health care. The high level of pollution is because the government of Australia has not taken necessary measure to reduce the cost of dirty fuels, which would discourage use of the fuels.
Water is an essential resource for sustenance of life on earth. Australia, one of the world’s driest countries, takes pride in its ability to conserve and maintain quality water sources. However, water sources in the country still get pollutions due to human activities. Individuals contribute to water pollution through littering, disposing of oils into water drainage systems, use of chemicals such fertilizers, and pesticides in gardens (Hill, 2010). Litter is a major contributor to water pollution as it is blown or washed into water sources thus reducing the quality of the water. Industries contribute to water pollution through drainage of waste products into water sources. In addition, processes such sewerage treatments that drain into water sources or find its way into the water table its cause’s profound effect, which are detrimental to life on earth. Chemicals used in agriculture are detrimental to the environment if they find their way into the atmosphere or water sources.
Through the Environment Protection (water) Policy of 1994, the government of Australia provides measures to protect water sources in the country (Hillstrom & Hillstrom, 2003). The policy requires all individuals carrying out environment related activities to obtain a license from the authorities. Industries require licenses before making any water point discharges. This ensures that no pollutants get into water sources, which could be detrimental to the humans and life in waterways. The government takes stringent measure against individuals who do not adhere to the water policy. In addition, the government has taken the initiative to create awareness on environmental concerns to mitigate environmental pollution. The initiative concerns disposal of waste material, using chemicals when gardening, water conservation measure, drainage of oils into water sources, and proper disposal of sewerage (Hill, 2010). In addition, the government has policies governing boating. The boating policy prescribes which paints are appropriate to use on boats.
Hill, M. (2010).Understanding Environmental Pollution. Massacheussets: Cambridge University Press.
Hillstrom, K. & Hillstrom, L. C. (2003). Australia, Oceania, and Antarctica: a continental overview of environmental issues. Australia: ABC-CLIO
Peatling, S. (2004). Australia tops greenhouse pollution index. Retrieved From http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/18/1087245110190.html