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Threats to the Global Environment


The environment is our surround, and its safety depends on how we treat it. There are several ways the environment has been damaged in the 21st century: climate change, biodiversity loss, water and air pollution, natural disasters including droughts and high temperatures, and the drain of natural resources. The world has noticed the changes and is taking measures to ensure the environment is protected, including planting trees, using less paper, and using renewable energy sources. In the united states project, the two projects that I will discuss are the use of fossil fuels as an energy source and globalization. Fossil fuels are made from decomposing animals and plants. These fuels are found in the earth’s crust and are made of hydrogen and carbon and can be turned into energy. When these fuels are burned, they release huge amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere leading to global warming. When introduced to the air, the nitrogen oxides lead to acid rain. The major sources of nitrogen oxide emissions are cars and trucks, ships and airplanes, large industrial operations, and coal-fired power plants. The best solutions for businesses that reduce the release of these gases into the air include managing and reducing emissions, buying renewable energy, and increasing energy efficiency. Individuals using cars and trucks should minimize miles and conserve energy (Johnsson et al., 2019).

Globalization is defined as the increase in the flow of goods, capital, services, and ideas across international boundaries. Globalization has brought a lot of change to the world and greatly affected the global environment. Some positive effects include less international aggression and increased international cooperation. To the environment, it has impacted and not in a positive way, including increased transportation of goods, economic specialization, decreased biodiversity, and increased awareness. In terms of increased transport of goods, the environment has been affected by increased emissions, invasive species, and the destruction of habitats. Also, overspecialization leads to environmental issues that involve habitat loss, overuse of resources, and deforestation. Globalization, according to research, cannot be stopped but can be improved. Between 200 and 2010, trade only accounted for 20% of net manufacturing losses in the United States. The world should provide better education, career training, and less rigid labor markets to avoid teh pressures of globalization (Chen et al., 2021). The paper’s main aim is to discuss the two issues chosen that affect the environment and identify the factors that make them serious risks. Then analyze ways in which humans have contributed to the aggravation of the two threats to the environment and suggest ways the global community can take to prevent worse effects of the threats to the environment.

Fossil Fuels

Factors that make fossil fuels a threat to the environment

When buried carbon-based organisms that died long ago decompose, they form fossil fuels. The carbon-rich deposits are extracted from the organisms and burned to produce energy. Fossil fuel is non-renewable energy that makes up 80% of the world’s energy. The types of fossil fuels are coal, gas, and oil. Burning of these fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, lead, and particulate matter. Airborne nitrogen pollution affects not only the air we breathe but also the water and land we walk on. Nitrogen is the most abundant component of air and is used by both animals and plants. Sources of power from human activities such as industrial wastes, agriculture, electric power generation, transportation, and upset the natural balance of nitrogen in the atmosphere. Nitrogen oxides, when released into the atmosphere, contribute to the formation of acid rain and smog. Research from the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) shows that emissions from these fuels are the main cause of global warming. Studies from 2018 show that 80% of global emissions of carbon dioxide came from fossil fuels. Coals, as fossil fuels, are the dirtiest of them all and are responsible for a 0.3C to 1C increase in global temperatures. Natural gas is referred to as the cleaner fossil fuel, but it accounts for 20% of global carbon emissions. Oil releases around a third of the world’s carbon emissions. In recent years, there have been spillages that affect the ocean ecosystem (Johnsson et al., 2019).

Fossil fuels cause air pollution, water pollution, and climate change. Climate is affected when carbon dioxide emitted during the burning of fuels causes global warming. The more CO2 released, the more heat is trapped on earth through the greenhouse effect. The increase in temperatures leads to deforestation, droughts, scarcity of food sources, and a rise in sea levels. Water pollution occurs when sulfur dioxide dissolves into water and creates sulfuric acid, which produces acid water leading to the acidification of freshwater bodies such as lakes and oceans, which are habitats for many water animals. Air pollution happens when carbon monoxide, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. The effects of these gases released into the air include cancer, respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disease. People prone to these effects are pregnant women, children, and the elderly (Ueckerdt et al., 2021).

How humans have contributed to aggravating the threat

Humans have also contributed to the effects of fossil fuels on the environment. When fossil fuels are retrieved from the ground, they leave the ground open, threatening human safety. The process also leaves open holes, which result in soil erosion and contamination of soil, surface water, and groundwater. Also, sometimes the extraction of fossil fuels happens in areas that had trees before. Humans are the ones who direct the whole process meaning that they promote deforestation so that the extraction can occur. During the burning of fossil fuels to release toxic gases, the process is directed by humans meaning that they directly contribute to the production of the gases that produce acid rain and affect the respiratory system of humans (Erickson et al., 2018).

Measures to mitigate worse effects of the threat

One way to mitigate the use of fossil fuels is adapting the use of renewable sources such as solar energy, hydroelectricity, and wind power. Transitioning to clean energy significantly reduces emissions that negatively affect the environment. Nuclear emissions and renewable energy do not produce s emissions and are recommended worldwide to slow the effects of climate change. Businesses are recommended to manage and reduce emissions by preparing annual greenhouse gas inventories and setting targets to reduce the emissions. Also, businesses are required to increase energy efficiency to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. They should develop and implement an effective corporate energy management program that allows them to manage the energy they use to manage other business aspects. Businesses are aloe recommended to buy renewable energy to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that impact the environment negatively (Wood & Roelich, 2019).

Individuals are required to minimize miles since driving cars produces large amounts of nitrogen oxide emissions. Drivers are advised to consolidate driving trips and take public transport when possible to help cut down air pollution. Through the conservation of energy methods, such as buying equipment that uses less electricity, such as heaters, refrigerators, and air conditioners, individuals are able to minimize airborne nutrient pollution. Another way to mitigate the use of fossil fuels is by taking part in carbon offsetting programs which are designed to reduce the carbon produced from activities such as burning fossil fuels. An example is when taking a flight to a place, one can buy the carbon offset credits that support projects that reduce the amount of carbon in the air (Erickson et al., 2018).


Factors that make globalization a threat to the environment

Globalization occurs when the flow of services, goods, people, capital, and ideas increases across international boundaries. Globalization causes negative effects on the environment through increased income inequality and substandard working conditions in underdeveloped countries that produce goods for developed countries. The factors that make globalization a threat to the environment are not often discussed. Globalization has led to increased transportation of goods, economic specialization, and decreased biodiversity. Globalization opens businesses to new markets where they sell their goods, raw material, labor, or components. This means that finished goods travel to far places that before when products were produced, sold, and consumed locally. Increased transportation has impacted the environment negatively through increased emissions and habitat destruction. Greater levels of greenhouse gases are produced when vehicle travel further to sell goods. The emissions lead to climate change through global warming, ocean acidification, and pollution, which significantly impacts biodiversity (SENTISHCHERA, 2021).

On habitat destruction, when goods are to be transported, they require roads and bridges. Developing the infrastructure leads to pollution and habitat destruction. According to the international transport forum report, 70% of the goods are transported by ship, meaning that there is a greater chance of oil spills that damage the marine environment, which is the habitat of many animals. When it comes to economic specialization, overspecialization leads to serious environmental issues in terms of deforestation and overuse of natural resources. An example is illegal deforestation in Brazil as a result of an increase in the country’s cattle ranching, which requires large grazing grounds. Also, overfishing in coastal areas such as Southeast Asia leads to reduced fish populations and ocean pollution, affecting the remaining fish in the ocean (Chen et al., 2021).

Some nations have specialized in producing natural gas, oil, and timber, and these nations depend on energy sales to fund their national budgets. When producing natural gas or oil, the main byproduct is greenhouse gases, which affect the environment negatively through global warming. The emission of these greenhouse gases, deforestation, climate change, and ocean acidification have led to decreasing in biodiversity. According to a report from the world wild wildlife Fund, population sizes have reduced by 68% since 1970, with Africa and Latin America having the larger losses (Chen et al., 2021).

How humans have contributed to aggravating the threat

Humans are the greatest contributors to globalization. For example, when people drive to transport the goods manufactured, they contribute to globalization. Humans carry out deforestation to build roads that help transport goods to other nations. Also, the extraction of raw materials such as oil and natural gas is directed by humans. After the process of extraction, the places are left agape, which, as said earlier, pollutes the environment. Humans throughout the world are consumers of fish, which leads to overfishing in the oceans as the demand for fish increases each day. Humans also contribute to the decrease in the biodiversity of species through deforestation, gas emissions when driving and during the burning of oils, and ocean acidification (Tausch & Heshmati, 2018).

Measures to mitigate worse effects of the threat

Globalization has led to great developments across the globe, but the negative effects of climate change are undeniable. Transportation and production of goods will have to be done in a sustainable way, and agreements on global trade are to be monitored. Globalization cannot be stopped, but it can be reduced. The climate-friendly technologies can be adapted by the global networks in the industry. Disseminating these green technologies will make it possible to monitor and report all types of climate change. Transparency between nations and collaboration between private and public parties will be required to enhance the transportation of products. The European emission trading system (EUETS) is a good example of how globalization can deal with climate solutions that are in line with market mechanisms. More bodies need to be created to s help fight the issue of climate change through globalization (Qin et al., 2021).

Both processes, burning fossil fuels and globalization, lead to global warming, so I have chosen to explain using a global warming graph. The graph below shows how the average global temperature has changed since 1860. As time progresses, the temperature increases. In the 21st century emission of gases into the atmosphere has greatly increased, meaning that the ozone layer keeps forming, increasing the temperature of the earth.

Average Global Temperature Rise


Fossil fuels are cheap and efficient, and they provide the largest percentage of global energy. The resource is not sustainable and releases emissions that are harmful to the environment when burned. The companies remain huge polluters by producing and selling fossil fuel products despite the scientists saying that there is a need for a mass switch to renewable energy. The paper summarizes the factors that make burning fossil fuels a threat to the environment, including releasing greenhouse gases. These gases are released to mix with rain in the atmosphere to create acid rain. Huge emissions of the s gases to the air create an ozone layer, which causes global warming and increases the s temperatures of the earth’s surface. Increased temperatures on the surface of the earth create droughts. Since the global environment is affected by burning these fuels, they should move forward to find ways to help prevent the effects of greenhouse gases released.

Globalization has created many benefits, including the reduced risk of global conflicts, increased trade, increased global cooperation, and lower prices of goods. However, globalization has created negative effects on the environment in three stated ways: increased transportation of goods, economic specialization, and decreased biodiversity. These factors have affected the environment through the emission of greenhouse gases by vehicles transporting the goods produced from one place to another. Also, most raw materials are transported through ships meaning that the emission of oils highly pollutes the oceans. The nations involved in these trades need to take action to reduce the effects of the waste released to the environment. One way to take action is to implement the use of renewable energy sources that do not emit poisonous gases, such as solar energy.


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Qin, L., Raheem, S., Murshed, M., Miao, X., Khan, Z., & Kirikkaleli, D. (2021). Does financial inclusion limit carbon dioxide emissions? Analyzing the role of globalization and renewable electricity output. Sustainable Development29(6), 1138-1154.

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Wood, N., & Roelich, K. (2019). Tensions, capabilities, and justice in climate change mitigation of fossil fuels. Energy Research & Social Science52, 114-122.


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