- Think about the environmental burdens you’ve been taught throughout this lecture. What are the most influential pivotal observations or convincing arguments in influencing your perceptions?
- Provided that, participate in the following scenario: you are the mayor of your metropolitan area. Create a list of 3 ideas to help your city become much more eco-friendly. Each tactic should be explained.
Since the beginning of the course in early June, the environmental science course has been extremely interesting and educational. The course provided sufficient knowledge in the field of environmental science, including acknowledging external environmental indexes such as freshwater, soil, forests, biodiversity, atmosphere, marine fisheries, waste and hazardous wastes, and toxic chemicals. In furthermore, I have extensive knowledge of environmental conservation efforts, environmental ethics and sustainability, conservation and biodiversity, water quality and quantity, environmental hazards and human health, food and hunger, to name a few (Dorsner, K. (2020).
My thoughts on some ecological issues I’ve learned so far, for example:
Deforestation; I am addressing deforestation so I have personally observed the negative impact of it in my home country of Kenya. My area is located in the highlands of Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest mountain and a significant water catchment/carbon sink area. Notwithstanding being designated as a biodiversity hotspot, Mount Kenya has widespread vegetation that is covered by forests and is home to varied fauna and flora. A couple of years ago, the forest was densely packed with a wide assortment of forest vegetation, not to mention wild animals, but due to lawlessness and laxity in the security agencies tasked with conservation, authorizations and permits were issued to both public and private companies, as well as high profile individuals, to procure wood for power poles, charcoal burning, paper industry, pulpwood, and firewood, leaving the forest empty only with some few trees surviving (Kenya Forest Service, n.d.).
The forest had been heavily exploited, the affluent had become wealthier, but this didn’t take too long before we could see the consequences; the climate within this geographical area altered precipitously and rainfall began to decrease at an astonishing speed. Temperature rising to nearly double and before we used to experience rather a moderate climate. Presently, the region is hot and at times without rainfall at all. The drawback of deforestation of Mount Kenya forest affected agricultural production, wildlife, and water supply, leaving Kenya, which was once known as the regional backbone of Kenya’s food and water supply, in need of relief. Recently, reforestation has been implemented, and things are gradually returning to normal, and from my physical perspective at home, I can see that the mountain top is still covered in snow, as it was previously (Kenya Forest Service, n.d.).
With increased air emissions from industrialized nations, pollution has become a threat to our planet. Pollution can be in the form of air, water, or soil, of which I will go into greater detail later, or it can be in the form of air alone. Air pollution can take several forms, such as gaseous pollutants or particulate contaminants in the atmosphere. The most common air pollutants are produced by the combustion of fossil-based fuels such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, gasoline, and engine diesel, to name a few. All of the aforementioned causes the production of noxious gases such as sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide, which are primarily emitted by automobiles, agricultural activities, and natural processes, resulting in the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The effects of these greenhouse gases in the atmosphere include global warming, acid rain, and ozone depletion, all of which contribute to climate change (Dorner, K. (2020).
They endanger human health, food security, flora and fauna, marine ecosystems, and biogeochemical processes when combined with soil and water pollution. To reduce the negative environmental effects of pollution, we must shift to renewable energy sources such as hydropower, geothermal, wind power, and solar. In this regard, planting as many trees as possible and utilizing available technology to develop affordable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly energy sources have the potential to become a solid solution to the problem. I’m Greenwise (n.d.).
Global warming is caused by both human and natural processes, which are the equilibrium rim of temperatures on Earth, which is dependent on the balance of energy entering and leaving the earth. The earth absorbs solar energy to warm itself, while the sun’s energy is reflected into space to cool it – this is the balance that is disrupted by human and natural processes. Natural processes include greenhouse effects, solar energy, and changes in the reflectivity of the earth’s atmosphere and surface, whereas human activities such as the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, deforestation, desertification, and urbanization influence climate change by increasing temperatures, altering precipitation, reducing snow and ice cover, rising sea levels, and acidifying the oceans, resulting in negative consequences such as food insecurity and human health problems (2020).
Embracing and acknowledging that global warming is real and that humans are a major contributor, has been the most convincing or decisive experience in shaping my attitude. At first, I thought climate change was a purely natural phenomenon confronting our planet, but after conducting additional research and personally witnessing and experiencing Mount Kenya forest climate changes as a result of human activities I observed on the forest, I concluded that humans are the primary contributor to global warming.
If I were to transform my city, I would implement three strategies to make it as environmentally sustainable as Curitiba, Mexico, if not better. The first strategy would be to enact a law requiring all manufacturing industries to use 60 percent of the materials used to manufacture their commodities to be entirely recycled waste materials and any company that violates that law would have their license revoked and charged in court. By doing so, I would encourage waste product recycling as a method of waste disposal, as well as the creation of more jobs, as people would sell their waste products to manufacturing companies, and these companies would employ a large number of people to carry out the role of waste collection. Similarly, people would value their waste materials, prompting them to seek out more waste to sell and earn more money, causing them to leave the city (Frontline World, n.d ).
The second is to develop which I would affect by introducing electric trains and buses, encouraging the use of bicycles and walking as a way of exercising and finally banning the entry of private vehicles in the city; this would cut off the greenhouse gas emissions, promote people’s well being and reduce traffic in the city (Braff, D. 2020).
The final step is to create a dependable clean water supply by building a large sewage treatment plant to a sense of recycling in the general public. Once more, I would safeguard all water catchment areas and ensure that all plans for tree planting in city spaces and public areas include as many trees as possible. To conclude, I would emphasize the importance of raising awareness and educating people about the importance of environmental conservation through mass media and other platforms to impact environmental knowledge and teach people how to behave responsibly, especially when dealing with environmental concerns (United Nations, 2014).
Doršner, K. (2020). Essentials of environmental science (2nd edition). Download the pdf. Available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. (CC BY-NC 3.0).
United Nations. (2014, October 23). Water for life decade: water quality. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/quality.shtml
Frontline World. (n.d.). Frontline/WORLD fellows. Brazil – Curitiba’s urban experiment. Master plan: History | PBS. PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved August 8, 2020, from https://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/fellows/brazil1203/master-plan.html
Braff, D. (2020, March 6). Recycling and education in Curitiba. Green City Times. Retrieved August 8, 2020, from https://www.greencitytimes.com/recycling-in-curitiba/