POLLUTION
!0}Why is this happening?!1} I say to my mind, !0}Why is the air so hot and so hard to breathe?!1}, !0}Why are trees being cut down when they are a source of life?!1}, !0}Why some species of animals are disappearing?!1} There is only one answer to this question and maybe the most unpleasant for us to hear: man, whose main preoccupation should be the protection of his home, destroys the planet through his harmful actions.

Man has interfered too much in the normal course of nature. His actions, premeditated or accidental have caused a lot of damage to the environment. The result of all man!/}s harmful doings is represented by the most dangerous enemy of this entire Earth, which is pollution.

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According to the Thesaurus Dictionary pollution is !0}an undesirable state of the natural environment, being contaminated with harmful substances as a consequence of human activities!1} (The Free Dictionary by Farlex, Thesaurus). To this definition it can also be added that the environmental pollution is !0}the addition of any substance or form of energy (e.g., heat, sound, and radioactivity) to the environment at a rate faster than the environment can accommodate it by dispersion, breakdown, recycling, or storage in some harmless form!1} (Encyclopedia Britannica).

The natural components of the environment have begun to suffer more and more recently a change in their quality and thus, they became more and more polluted. The main role in all these changes has been played by no one else than man. He has built homes, roads and for this he had to cut down woods, he destroyed the grass. He polluted the waters and especially the air, primarily through his industrial activity.

Humanity continues to develop and technically advance in such a fast way that every day more pollutants are released into the ground, water and atmosphere; man!/}s careless actions are thus menacing the planet!/}s very survival. For a better understanding of the negative effects that man imposes on nature one should mention only some facts that do not need any further explanation, as they speak from themselves.

Here are just three examples that might surprise us: !0}If just 25% of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save over 2.5 BILLION bags a year; Americans use 50 million tons of paper annually — consuming more than 850 million trees; every day 50 to 100 species of plants and animals become extinct as their habitat and human influences destroy them!1} (http://library.thinkquest.org/11353/facts.htm).

But the most astonishing statement is maybe the following one: !0}The Earth has been around for 4.6 billion years. Scaling this time down to 46 years we have been around for 4 hours and our Industrial Revolution began just 1 minute ago. During this short time period we have ransacked the planet for ways to get fuels and raw materials, have been the cause of extinction of an unthinkable amount of plants and animals, and have multiplied our population to that of a plague!1}(http://library.thinkquest.org).

The examples of man!/}s destructive actions can continue, as they are numerous. Recent estimates show that the forests around the world continue to disappear day by day. The cause of this phenomenon is represented by fires, the clearing of the land for agricultural purposes, etc. In many regions of the world the green land becomes a desert. Tropical rain forests are also endangered, as well as the tropical and temperate dry forests. Scientists state that !1}At present rates, some critical forest types will be gone in a few years and most of the tropical rain forest will be gone before the end of the next century. With them will go large numbers of plant and animal species!1} (Union of Concerned Scientists).

Another important issue directly related to pollution is the Global Warming. Being the main result of pollution the Global Warming is in consequence, the result of man!/}s destructive activities. Scientists and researchers agree that the major cause of Global Warming is the pollution of Earth!/}s atmosphere with gases such as carbon dioxide. The consequence of the high temperatures is the melting of glaciers and polar ice, which at its turn alters the Arctic and Antarctic habitats and endangers species like the polar bear, walrus, whales, coral reefs, migrating birds, nearly all forms of life.

If man does not act to reduce the emissions of gases in the atmosphere, it is predicted that global temperature could rise from 2!c} to 6!c} F in the next 100 years, which can mean a major climate change.

In the same article it is concluded that: !0}Our massive tampering with the world’s interdependent web of life — coupled with the environmental damage inflicted by deforestation, species loss, and climate change — could trigger widespread adverse effects, including unpredictable collapses of critical biological systems whose interactions and dynamics we only imperfectly understand.!1}
The important thing to keep in mind remains the fact that much of the damaged caused by man is irreversible on a scale of hundred of years or permanent and that man should take urgent measures against pollution.

Further on, there are given five solutions by the same group of scientists, which should be taken into consideration when it comes to the severe matter represented by global pollution. These solutions are:!1}environmentally damaging activities must be brought under control in order to restore and protect the integrity of the earth’s systems, the resources crucial for humanity should be managed more effectively, and population should be stabilized!1}(Union of Concerned Scientists). In addition poverty must be reduced and eventually eliminated.

There should be more interest from us all in the effort to make the world that we live in a healthier and safer one. The only certain thing left by the time man decides to take serious measures in order to protect his world is unfortunately this one: Earth is dieing and man takes part to its death in the role of its biggest enemy.