Nowadays the air, water and soil pollution have become a really big problem. Humanity thinks too little about natural resources and future of our descendants, as well as the world face, the disappearance of rainforests and global warming.
The rapidly developing industry has polluted the air and the water. People, animals and plants are closely connected to each other. The usual order being broken, the nature starts to clean itself in a way that is harmful to the man himself.
The number of cars in the world is increasing every day. They exhaust a lot of gas, and the result of this is smog. More people are being killed by pollution from cars, trucks and other sources than by traffic crashes. The researchers said that cutting greenhouse gases in just four major cities – London, Honk-Kong, Brazil, Mexico City, Chile and New York City – could save 64,000 lives over the next 20 years. Greenhouse gases, principally carbon dioxide or ozone, are those pollutants thhhat tend to trap the sun’s heat in the atmosphere or to affect solar radiation. Carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the burning fuels are causing people, particularly in cities, to die prematurely from asthma, breathing disorders and heart disease. Alllso huge pollution comes from industrial objects. Factories are using different chemicals and plastics and the waste of them is often burned. It is the main cause of global warming and acid rain. What’s more, making electricity causes more air pollution than any other industry in the world.
Water and soil
The air pollution is closely connected with water and soil, because chemicals with acid rain reach soil and water. Also the big damage for the environment makes using of different pesticides. They are designed to kill insects, weeds and other pests. Pesticides absorbed into the fruits or vegetables can become the reason of serious diseases. Pesticides are often designed to withstand rain, which means they are not always water-solute, and thhherefore they may persist in the environment for long periods of time.
The widespread use of agricultural fertilizers and household detergents has added large amounts of plant. Factories sometimes turn waterways into open sewers by dumping oils, toxic chemicals, and other harmful industrial wastes into them. In mining and oil-drilling operations, corrosive acid wastes are poured into the water. In recent years, waste treatment plants have been built to fight against water pollution. Some towns, however, still pollute rivers by pooouring raw sewage into them. Farm fertilizers in some regions fill groundwater with nitrates, making the water unfit to drink.
Environmental problems in Lithuania
Lithuania is a small country, but there are some protective places, reservations and forest reserves. Lithuanian government take care of these places. But unfortunately there are some bad public “traditions” leading to polluted environment. Littering in the forest or in other nice and clean places is becoming more and more common. If someone leaves garbage somewhere in the forest, soon a heap of garbage appears there. This example shows that some people are really narrow-minded, because they don’t pay any attention to consequences of such behaviour.
During the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, the Soviets located many polluting industries, such as chemical, cement, and pesticide plant, in Lithuania. Industrial production was run at 100 percent capacity, but only 15 percent of the products were used in Lithuania. The rest of the products were exported to the other Soviet republics.
Defoliation occurred, human health was affected, and 70 percent of Lithuanian’s waterways became polluted. Municipal wastewater and other solid and toxic waste were dumped into the country’s rivers, which then flowed into the Baltic Sea.
Water pollution is one of Lithuania’s most serious problems. Biochemical oxygen demand, organic and nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus) substances are the characteristic surface water pollutants. Lithuanian surface waters are slightly polluted with heavy metals and oil products.
Out of approximately 500 vertebrates, 25,000 invertebrates and more than 1,500 plant and fungi species known in Lithuania today, the state of only a small part has been investigated. Due to overall environment contamination and changes in natural ecosystems, the situation for many plants and animals has become quite critical. About 500 species are threatened.
To preserve biodiversity and to protect other components of landscape, a system of protected territories is being created. It will consist of 4 nature reserves, 5 national as well as 30 regional parks and 295 strict nature reserves covering 11% of Lithuania’s territory.
Atmospheric pollution in Lithuania has declined in recent years. However, as is the case in most European countries, problems such as acid rain, ozone layer depletion and climate change are characteristic of Lithuania. Transport, energy and industry are the major causes of air pollution in the country.
How to preserve nature from extinction?
We are losing Earth’s greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries. Experts estimate that we are losing 137 plants, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year. As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. While 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists. The Amazon Rainforest has been described as the “Lungs of our Planet” because it provides the essential environmental world service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen. More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest.
The problem and the solution of the destruction of the rainforest are both economic. Governments need money to service their debts, squatters and settlers need money to feed their families, and companies need to make profits. The simple fact is that the rainforest is being destroyed for the income and profits it yields – however fleeting. Money still makes the world go around. even in South America and even in the rainforest.
Formerly agriculture used to adapt to nature. However, nowadays it interferes in the balance of nature. Pesticides and fertilizers are used to increase crops but it means the destruction of soil structure. Chemical sprayings for pests do a great harm to nature. Ecological agriculture is another way to protect the environment.
Fight against environmental problems
The future depends on everybody who lives in this planet and his point of view towards environmental problems. The future of the world depends on what a person buys, what he does, how he spends his time. If he is narrow-minded, the results will be awful. So, in order to make environmental improvements we need the assistance and support of all public. Without, the support, the right environmental change will be impossible. Environmental education can help to raise awareness and understanding of environmental issues.
Civilization has brought a lot of good things, but it also has caused much harm to the environment, people, animals and plants. Nature is our home and if we want to take something from it, we must fill up its resources, but not only consume it.