Pollution causes blindness

Air pollution is a global malice. It destabilzes the climate, punishes our lungs and now according to a new study could possibly affect our eye sight or might make you blind.

The research was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, it analysed 115,000 participants over 14 years. At the start of the study in 2006, these people have no eye problems but in the latest medical examination , 1,286 of them reported A.M.D (Age related Macular Degeneration). It is the leading cause of blindness among the people aged 50+ in rich nations. There are 200 million people living with this condition.

There appears to be a link between A.M.D and air pollution. People exposed to fine particulate matter are more vulnerable to A.M.D, nearly 8% vulnerable and this isn’t from industry level exposure. Even relatively low level of air pollution could be triggering A.M.D.

Effect on eye sight

The eyes have particularly high flow of blood. This leaves them vulnerable fine particles that flow through the body. It’s important to note that this study is observational. It cannot categorically establish a link between air pollution and A.M.D. However there has been similar study elsewhere with the same results. And the link between smoking and A.M.D has always been known.

The threat from air pollution has always been clear, but new studies are revealing more dimensions of this threat.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air pollution contributes to 7 Million deaths annually. This leaves us with another cause of concern, toxic air could leave you blind.

Climate Change

Climate change refers to the changing global environment. Climate change has become a global concern in the last few decades. Besides, these climate changes are affecting life on earth in a variety of ways. These climate changes have various impacts on the ecosystem and the environment. As a result of this change, many species of plants and animals have become extinct.

When Did It Start?
The climate began to change long ago due to human activities but we finally learned about it a century ago. During the last century, we began to see climate change and its effect on human life. We started researching climate change and finally realized that global temperatures are rising due to the so-called greenhouse effect. Global warming is causing more ozone depletion, affecting agriculture, water supply, transportation, and a host of other problems.

The Reason for Climate Change
Although there are hundreds of reasons for climate change we will discuss natural and man-made (human) causes.

Natural Causes
These include volcanic eruptions, sunlight, tectonic plate movements, orbital diversity. As a result of these activities, the environment becomes very dangerous to life for survival. Also, these activities increase global warming to a great extent causing inequality in the environment.

Personal Reasons
Man because of his need and selfishness has done many works that harm not only the environment but also himself. Many species of plants and animals are disappearing as a result of human activity. Harmful human activities include deforestation, the use of fuel, industrial waste, various forms of pollution, and more. All of these factors adversely affect the climate and the environment. And many species of animals and birds became extinct or almost extinct as a result of hunting.

The Effects of Climate Change
These climate changes are having a devastating effect on the environment. Sea level rises, glaciers melt, CO2 emissions increase, forest and wildlife declines, and water quality is also disrupted by climate change. Besides, it is calculated that if these changes continue, many species of plants and animals will die out. And there will be significant environmental losses.

What will the future hold?
If we do nothing and things continue to go on right now then the day will come when people will be wiped off the face of the earth. But instead of ignoring these problems we start working so we can save the world and our future.

Although human error has caused much damage to the climate and the environment. However, it is not too late to start over and try to fix what we have done so far to harm the environment. And if everyone begins to contribute to the environment then we can be confident of our future existence.

Conclusion

Climate change poses a major and growing challenge in the Arctic and around the world. While these emerging concerns are important now, their effects are particularly significant for future generations who will inherit current actions or inefficiencies. Strong immediate action is needed to reduce pollution in order to change the future of human temperature. Action is needed to begin to adapt to the already warming and ongoing warmth. The findings of this preliminary study of the impact of climate on the Arctic provide a scientific basis on which decision makers can look at, make, and apply appropriate measures to respond to this important and broader challenge.

Pollution

Pollution is the system in which unwanted toxic contaminants contaminate our environment like air, water, soil, and so forth. It’s far growing unexpected changes within the atmosphere, that is immediately on circuitously leaving detrimental results at the lives of humans, animals, and plants. It creates an imbalance inside the natural machine. Many stuff that are making our lives easy are harmful to the environment. For example, cars leave gases that pollute the air. Industries and family garbage pollute each water and air.

Every residing being in the world depends on air and water. While those matters get polluted, all the lives on earth come at a chance. It’s far visible that urban areas get more polluted than in rural areas. Though rural areas also get polluted through harmful insecticides utilized in farming lands. Due to pollution, many new illnesses appear day by day, which might be extremely risky for the fitness of residing beings. It has now end up a critical hassle globally. Global warming is now the purpose of headaches for all humans international. It’s miles the pollutants this is indirectly affecting the trade inside the climate. This worldwide trouble wishes immediate action. Otherwise, it will likely be difficult to lead a wholesome way of life.



Forms of pollution

There are numerous types of pollution round us. Here, we can speak greater at the forms of pollution.

Air pollution: it’s far every so often visible like we can see polluted air left by using the cars on the street due to its unique colour. In maximum instances, it isn’t always visible. Polluted air especially influences the eyes and lungs of people as well as animals. It may even kill a residing creature within a few minutes. We recognize about many incidents in which dangerous gas leakage has killed humans. Even herbal failures could make the air toxic. Like volcanic eruptions produce harmful gases that affect human health and other natural assets as properly. Vehicles and factories produce dangerous gases that, in reaction to sunlight, creates thick fog. Air pollution additionally contributes to acid rain. It is able to ruin water existence, forests, etc.


Water pollution: identical like water, one sort of water pollutants is seen like muddy water, water with garbage, and so on. On the identical time, a few visibly smooth water can contain chemicals which are dangerous to our health. Drinking polluted water can motive serious health troubles. A number of human beings die global by means of ingesting infected water. It could additionally circuitously have an effect on humans and animals. Like if we consume a fish from a polluted river or sea, we additionally take in the ability pollution. Natural fuel and oil can also make a contribution to the pollution of water. Liquid wastes from factories additionally pollute the water. Strong wastes disturb the drainage gadget. Sewages, agricultural waste, acid rain are important causes of water pollution.


Soil pollution: stable wastes from factories and families pollute the land. Harmful chemical compounds blend inside the soil thru the insecticides used in agriculture. Pollutants from landfills blend inside the ground and pollute it. While we eat flowers that have grown within the polluted land, we not directly eat contaminants harmful to our health.



Noise pollution: whilst the sound turns into illiberal and reason of disturbance, it’s miles noise pollutants. The sounds of cars, mike, loud song, or equipment motive noise pollution. It causes critical fitness problems like migraine, depression, hypertension, aggressive behavior, and so forth. To humans. It additionally immediately impacts the fitness of animals. It every so often becomes the reason for his or her loss of life.

Conclusion

Many people and animals are dropping their lives or experiencing intense fitness troubles due to the extended level of pollutants. This vital problem wishes instantaneous attention. Most of the causes of pollutants are human activities. So, we have to control such sports that contribute to pollutants. It can at the least decrease the severity of its results.

WHAT IF THERE WAS NO POLLUTION….

Lets assume that humans never caused pollution.

Pollution is the leading cause by which the human is slowing destroying themselves including other living organisms. Because of these different types of pollutions, we are causing damage to all our nearby ones, including ourselves, birds, animals, fishes, and all other living beings. Carbon dioxide is increasing daily, which means the surface temperatures will also grow simultaneously due to excessive use of Refrigerators, TVs, Air Conditioners, Smart Devices, etc. E-Waste is also increasing due to toxic metals like Mercury, Potassium, Sulphur, Lead, and other hazardous chemicals.

Suppose humans created an eco-friendly, biodegradable solution for each polluting product, then there will be plenty of benefits for both environment and humans. The services will be:

  • 1. All our domestic cattle animals, such as cows, buffaloes, bulls, etc., will get safer, and there will be a hazardous item they can consume.
  • 2. All other vehicles, planes, trucks, trains, bikes, boats, etc. We, Will, shift towards the different fuels such as hydrogen, electricity, aluminum fuel cells, etc., which will reduce 1/3 of the pollution then and there itself.
  • 3. All the energy production facilities will only use renewable energy and other respective non-polluting energy sources. This will reduce the number of radioactive particles in the air, and the air quality will be much cleaner.
  • 4. The temperature of the atmosphere will be drastically reduced or will normalize, by this nature will start to heal itself, all the ozone holes will be closed, all the melting icebergs will again begin to freeze, and this will stop increasing sea levels in result the cities located near sea coast will be much safer to live.
  • 5. the essential aspect of this change will be climate change; all the weathers will be stabilized, which will result in reduced deadly storms, no untimely rain, fewer chances of drought, etc.
  • 6. Aquatic life will enhance itself rapidly, there will be less danger to coral riffs present in and out of the seashore, all the fishes will be saved from getting extinct. The remaining things will be stabilized and, in return, will get clean air with no pollutant to inhale.

So what do you think what can happen apart from this……..

Pollution- The biggest threat to india

Pollution is a cause of grave concern for the whole humankind. The last century has seen the rise of this menace to gigantic proportions, so much so, that it has spread its tentacles to envelope the entire nature and the world.

 

Pollution is popularly categorised as air pollution, water pollution and noise pollution respectively.

Air pollution is that form of pollution which refers to the contamination of air, irrespective of indoors or outdoors. It occurs when harmful gases, dust and smoke enter into the atmosphere and make it unhealthy for humans, animals and plants as the air becomes dirty. Air pollution is a by-product of the unprecedented industrial growth that we have seen in the last few decades.

The establishment of large scale factories belching out smoke, fumes and chemically hazardous waste, has now started having a telling effect on the environment. This coupled with the unprecedented growth of automobiles and the ever-increasing human population, are some of the factors that are making air pollution a cause for concern.

The effects of air pollution are all-pervasive. The immediate consequence is the reduction in oxygen content in the air, the release of potentially harmful gases causing asthma and even lung cancer. They also damage plants and crop yields. Global warming and ozone depletion are other fallouts of the same.

Similarly, water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (example lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). Water pollution occurs when chemical wastes and plastics are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove the harmful compounds. It has led to dwindling aquatic life in rivers and oceans. This also adversely affects the soil where river water is used for irrigation.

Causes and effects of water pollution

 The third category which is noise pollution is the presence of excessive noise that may harm the activity or balance of human or animal life. The source of most outdoor noise worldwide is mainly machines and transportation system-motor vehicles, aircraft and trains.

 Noise pollution can cause hypertension, high-stress levels, hearing loss, sleep disturbances and other harmful effects.

 The threat from all the three kinds of pollution looms large before the Earth putting at risk the healthy existence of life.

 It is essential to control all three forms of pollution. To control air pollution, environmentalists suggest emission norms for vehicles and industries. Also, extending and preserving the green cover is one of the measures to combat air pollution as trees inhale carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air.

Population also plays a big role in this, as the increase in population leads to more usage of resources and hence, more pollution.

 Besides, the Indian government has also set emission caps for industries. To control water pollution, the government has set-up enforcement and monitoring agencies to oversee that industrial waste is discharged into water bodies only after proper treatment. The government has also taken steps to curb the noise generated by industries through licensing etc. and discouraging honking, late-night loud music etc.

While the government is doing its bit to combat all kinds of pollution, it is also our responsibility to lend a helping hand in this monumental task.

 It is common to cuss nature when it comes to devastation due to its unpredictability but this is something we owe to ourselves and to our future generations, for this evil if not kept under check can obliterate life on Earth.

EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING

Global warming is expected to have far-reaching, long-lasting and, in many cases, devastating consequences for planet Earth.

Global warming, the gradual heating of Earth’s surface, oceans and atmosphere, is caused by human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels that pump carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and other green house into the atmosphere.

Despite political controversy about climate change, a major report released Sept. 27, 2013, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that scientist are more than concern of the link between human activities and global warming. More than 197 countries agree that global warming is real and has been caused by human action.

Already, global warming is having a measurable effect on the planet.

“We can observe this happening in real time in many places. Ice is melting in both polar ice caps and mountain glaciers. Lakes around the world, including Lake Superior, are warming rapidly — in some cases faster than the surrounding environment. Animals are changing migration patterns and plants are changing the dates of activity,” such as trees budding their leaves earlier in the spring and dropping them later in the fall, Josef Werne, a professor of geology and environmental science at the University of Pittsburgh, told Live Science.

Here is an in-depth look at the changes wrought by global warming.

Increase in average temperatures and temperature extremes

One of the most immediate and obvious effects of global warming is the increase in temperatures around the world. The average global temperature has increased by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) over the past 100 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Since record keeping began in 1895, the hottest year on record worldwide was 2016, according to NOA AND NASA. That year Earth’s surface temperature was 1.78 degrees F (0.99 degrees C) warmer than the average across the entire 20th century. Before 2016, 2015 was the warmest year on record, globally. And before 2015? Yep, 2014. In fact, 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have happened since 2001, according to NASA.

Ozone Depletion-A Path to Destruction

The bad state of environment is not often taken seriously due to the ignorance of the people of the world. It is high time that everybody should start working on improving environmental conditions or else nature would start showing us it’s fury which would ultimately lead to our destruction. The main reason for this shape of environment is us, the human race. Activities that are profitable to human beings are sometimes harmful to the environment. Though nature gives us so much we do not give back anything. But is our duty to protect nature because there will be no men when there is no nature. Everybody must understand the seriousness and should initiate possible ways to improve the environment before it gets too late.

Ozone depletion is one of the serious environmental issues that need immediate attention.

“The ozone layer is a region in the earth’s stratosphere that contains high concentration of ozone or trioxygen and protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet radiations of the sun”.

Earth has various layers of atmosphere. They are troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. Stratosphere contains the ozone layer. Ozone absorbs about 97%-99% of the UV rays and thereby protecting lives on earth. Due to combined human activities and environmental pollution, holes are created in the ozone layer and because of which harmful UV rays enter the earth.

REASONS FOR DEPLETION

  • Chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs are the main reasons for the depletion of ozone layer. These CFCs can be generally found in aerosols, refrigerators and air coolants etc.
  • According to researchers, unregulated launching of rockets can do more harm to the ozone layer than the CFCs.
  • Volcanic eruptions are also a cause for ozone depletion.
  • Nitrogen compounds such as NO2, N2O and NO mostly used in industries, agricultural fertilizers etc. also affect ozone.

EFFECTS OF OZONE DEPLETION

  • Human beings are directly exposed to the ultraviolet rays due to ozone depletion and it leads to serious health issues such as cancer, skin diseases, cataract, quick ageing and weakened immune system.
  • UV rays can also cause cancer in animals.
  • Ozone depletion also affects the environment because strong ultraviolet rays leads to minimal growth and photosynthesis of plants. It also severely affects forests.
  • Ultraviolet rays has been found to cause damage in the early development stages of fishes and amphibians. Another effect on marine organisms is decreasing their ability to reproduce.

OZONE AND COVID 19

As the coronavirus started spreading rapidly around the earth, the whole was shut down due to the pandemic and all the commercial and industrial activities came to a standstill. This was a decision to actually stop the spread of the disease. It was a “Blessing in disguise” because it indirectly gave ample time for the environment to heal itself. Some studies have also shown good improvements in the quality of air, clear sky and decrease in pollution. It was also found that the ozone layer stopped depleting and started healing itself during the shutdown.

CONCLUSION

From our part, we can express gratitude to nature by controlling pollution, using eco-friendly products, limiting vehicle use and finally planting more and more trees.

HAPPY WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY!

GO GREEN, SAVE GREEN!!

Relevant links: https://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/good-news-largest-ozone-layer-072150152.html https://in.news.yahoo.com/global-efforts-ozone-help-reverse-160002811.html

Marine Plastic Pollution

Plastic is a synthetic organic polymer made from petroleum, and has wide uses in packaging, building, construction and household materials. If you look around, you will easily be able to spot a plastic item, be it sports equipment or electrical devices.  Yes, plastic is used everywhere and is very important because of its lightweight structure and malleable properties.  But here is the flipside to it.

Nearly 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year, with half of it being used to make single-use items such as shopping bags, toothbrush and straws. Even a bag of chips is made of plastic and is discarded as soon as the chips are consumed. Now get this. About 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year. Water plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris.

Plastic can be present in surface waters as well as deep sea sediments. If you thought deep sea trenches could escape plastic, you are in for a surprise. A plastic bag, one that you give away in a grocery store, was found in the Mariana Trench at depths of 10,975 meters (36,000 feet).

Plastic poses a threat to marine life. Hundreds of marine species ingest the plastic debris which can cause lacerations and injuries. Entanglement and suffocation of fishes and other organisms are a major cause of death.  Plastic, when incinerated leads to emissions of carbon dioxide, which increases the temperature of the atmosphere. This leads to global warming, a threat prevalent in all parts of the world, especially the Polar Regions, which are witnessing rapid melting of glaciers and increase in the water level in oceans.  Plastic waste threatens food quality and health, and also affects coastal tourism.

In these times, governments of several different countries are taking steps to tackle this threat of marine plastic pollution. Equipped with research, technology and innovation, one can slowly but surely reduce the overall plastic consumption.

One interesting project which occurred recently was introduced by the World Bank. They invited youth all across India to take a deep dive into the problems of mismanaged plastic waste and come up with innovative ideas to counter the tide. Well, the response was overwhelming. Every team came up with brilliant ideas that were very realistic and could be implemented on a larger scale. Read ahead to find out about a few of the interesting projects.

Ecopod- a solution proposed by Team Iota, which won first place, talked about the use of plastic for packaging of personal toiletries and how much plastic waste it amounted to. The team presented a single use, plastic free shampoo, conditioner and body wash solution via disposable pellets.  Ensuring a 37.5 percent reduction in bottled personal shampoos and toiletries and an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions, bottled toiletries might well be water under the bridge if Ecopods were to take off.

Second place winners-team INACTUS, developed a project about building sustainable toilets with plastic bottles stuffed with waste. Both these projects also focused on providing employment to women in rural areas, hence employing the women workforce towards a global cause.

This is a global problem, which can only be solved if all the countries come together, and address these issues. When companies, industries work towards minimum plastic usage as an achievable goal and people voice their opinions on this pressing issue. When people understand the importance of the oceans and reducing plastic consumption, only then will we be able to see a measurable outcome.

 

POLLUTION

ABOUT POLLUTION:

Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment. These harmful materials are called pollutants. These harmful materials are called pollutants. Pollutants can be natural, such as volcanic ash. They can also be created by human activity, such as trash or runoff produced by factories. Pollutants damage the quality of air, water, and land. These pollutants can be natural or can be man-made like, human wastes, ashes, trashes, or wastes runoff from the factories. This is mainly caused by human activities that harm the environment in ways more than one. Pollution is an issue that has been affecting our earth. Pollution is the stuff that pollutes the environment.  It also affects the ordinary living of the living things on this planet by disturbing the natural life cycle. There are several ways in which our environment can get polluted. Some of them being the use of chemicals, excessive noise, garbage disposal, etc. Pollution causes imbalances in the environment. This imbalance threatened the very survival of all forms of life. We should control pollution for our safe survival. Certain species have been exterminated, and humanity is under a great threat of environmental pollution.

TYPES OF POLLUTION:

There are different kinds of pollutions. Some of the major types of pollution are,

  • AIR POLLUTION:

Air pollution refers to any physical, chemical, or biological change in the air. It is the contamination of air by harmful gases, dust, and smoke that affects plants, animals, and humans drastically. The population’s heavy production of waste is the main reason that air pollution is increasing rapidly. The rapidly increasing human activities like the burning of fossil fuel, deforestation is the major cause of air pollution. There are some other air pollutants like industrial waste, agricultural waste, power plants, thermal nuclear plants, etc.

  • WATER POLLUTION:

Water pollution occurs when harmful substances, often chemicals or microorganisms that contaminate a stream, river, lake, ocean, aquifer, or other body of water, degrading water quality and rendering it toxic to humans or the environment. Water pollution is now a major environmental threat to the existence of humans.

  • LAND POLLUTION:

Land pollution is the cause of many different factors that ultimately pollute the land. These factors include solid waste, deforestation, chemical, and agricultural activities. Land pollution is a result of dumping garbage, waste, and other toxins making the land contaminated or polluted. Some soil or land pollutants are chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers, mining activity, use of plastic, deforestation, growing urbanization, and industrial waste.

WAYS TO CONTROL POLLUTION:

Some of the ways to control pollution are,

  • Avoid excessive idling of your automobile.
  • Avoid burning leaves, trash, and other materials.
  • Conserve energy – at home, at work, everywhere.
  • Encourage industries to avoid pollutant formation at the very source by use of cleaner fuels, the adoption of less polluting materials, and technology in manufacture.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Do not throw waste in water bodies, remain waste of industries should not pour their waste in water bodies.
  • Plant trees.
  • Use fewer chemicals in home gardens and general agriculture.
  • Maintain our vehicles.
  • Conserve electricity.

EIA 2020

The EIA draft 2020 have been doing the rounds on various online and social media platforms for a while now. People are doing everything in their hands to educate the rest and to put a stop to this draft from being implemented, which the national and most local medias have shut a blind eye towards.

This clearly depicts where their priorities are at, more on mainstream politics and other topics, putting the people who depend on such mediums in the dark. Unaware.

The very idea of people having to take to social media to get the word about such a devious plan is a clear depiction that we’re in the endgame now. It’s going to be every man for himself from now.

The EIA draft of 2020 is something we as the citizens of this great nation can’t afford to be a part in. It’s for a greater cause, for a better future. If neglected, the consequences coming generations will have to face will be a plenty. It’s now or never.

From elementary schools we are taught about the importance of conservation of mother nature and the dangers of pollution. We’re taught that the earth is our only home, yet and that we should do everything in our hands to protect it from such acts of fellow less concerned beings. 

Several movies and campaigns instituted by conservative environmentalists are more often that not given the spotlight to inform the masses of what we’re in store for. I for one, believe that an educated nation will be a better functioning nation.

The destructions of the Bhopal Gas tragedy needs no introduction. A grave tragedy. Post the Gas tragedy of ‘86, the Government of India brought into action the Environment Protection Act with a concern for the safety of the Public and the Nature.

The EIA under the aforementioned Act of 1986, constitutes a process which prevents the industrial and Infrastructural projects by Individuals and body corporates from being approved without proper oversight. It basically consists of a tool of environmental management forming a part of project approval and decision making.

It ensured that every project would go through the process for obtaining proper environmental clearance certificates , for a better, safer tomorrow.

The point of contention in the draft of  Environment Impact Assessment is post-facto clearance and less public participation of the affected communities. Making the voices of the already barely heard voices, totally mute.

The EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) draft 2020 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under the Government of India has a counter regressive approach towards protecting the nature of the Largest democracy in the World. 

The EIA covers numerous projects like mining of various minerals, infrastructure development, industrial projects, thermal nuclear and hydropower projects. The projects for which clearance was sought was allotted clearance by a panel of experts based on its potential impact on the environment.

It involves prospective changes suggested against the EIA notification of 2006. By embodying norms to weaken environmental norms and outright silencing the affected communities. 

This draft basically allows the various Infrastructural and Industrial bodies to go ahead with various projects and seek the approval later ( post facto clearance), which would certify the starting of various projects without proper clearance certificates, afterwards when the destruction would’ve been already done.

The point of emphasis is that the principles embodied in the draft is against the various principles that shouldn’t exist in such a democratic nation. It not only possess a grave threat to the environment but also takes away the fundamental rights of citizens to raise their voices and deliver criticism regarding such concerns.

Rather than strengthening the norms under the Act and allowing the people to participate and raise their concerns, this draft focuses on restricting the Public’s voice over such environmentally degrading projects.

It also curtails the right of the communities by legalising projects that has already caused a great deal of harm and the ones which are already existing without proper approvals under the EIA. Making potential threats of mass destruction legal.

However, the Government has commented that the proposed draft would further bring transparency and expedite the process of development. Experts in the field have commented that the only process expedited by such a drastic change would be dragging the country to the ground and crippling the powers of the common man versus huge industrial organisations.

Foreseeable accidents of Vizag Gas leak and the Baghjan Oil fire are grave examples of the gravity of destruction that can be caused by projects that are not run under proper EIA guidelines.

Sighting the present troubles already upon the citizens, the drafts brought to life should be of those which corporates building a greener and more sustainable future where the nature would be the heart of all operations.

CARBON TAX AND CARBON CREDIT

A carbon tax is a tax levied on the carbon content of fuels. It is a carbon pricing. Carbon is present in every hydrocarbon fuel such as coal, petroleum and natural gas and is released as carbon dioxide CO2 when they are burnt.

Carbon taxes offers a costeffective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Products produced through dirty processes will became more expensive thereby making it possible for other products produced through cleaner processes to compete on price. By raising the cost of using fossil fuels, a carbon tax would tend to increase the cost of producing goods and services especially things such as electricity or transportation that involve relatively large amounts of CO2 emissions.

Carbon credit is a permit representing the right to emit one tonnes of carbon dioxide or the mass of another green house gas with a carbon dioxide equivalent. One carbon credit is equal to one metric otonne of carbon dioxide.

Carbon market can be divided into two

1)The voluntary market.

2) Regulatory or compliance market. In the compliance market carbon credits are generated by projects that operate under one of the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) approved mechanism such as the clean development mechanism (CDM). Credits generated under this mechanism are known as certified emissions reductions (CERs)

In voluntary market carbon credits are generated by projects that are accredited to independent International Standards.

This week Canada ‘s Federal Govt took the latest step when it extended its carbon pricing program Nation wide. More than 40 Govts world wide have now adopted some sort of price on carbon. Economists suggests this is a way to curb emissions.

Now the COVID 19 pandemic has so far slashed global carbon emissions by more than 8 %. But this is only temporary

How Is COVID-19 Impacting The Environment?

A BRIEF ON COVID-19:

The coronavirus disease- COVID-19 is a highly transmittable and pathogenic viral infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2, which emerged in Wuhan, China and spread around the world. Analysis revealed that SARS-CoV-2 is phylogenetically related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-like bat viruses, therefore bats could be the possible primary reservoir. The intermediate source of origin and transfer to humans is not known, however, the rapid human to human transfer has been confirmed widely. There is no clinically approved antiviral drug or vaccine available to be used against COVID-19. However, few broad-spectrum antiviral drugs have been evaluated against COVID-19 in clinical trials, resulted in clinical recovery.

ORIGIN:

The first human infections were reported at the end of December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province in China when a cluster of 41 pneumonia cases was identified. Deeper analysis showed that it was a novel coronavirus. A third – 66% of the cases – had direct exposure to the Huanan Seafood market. Fish, shellfish, wildlife, snakes, birds and several different types of meat and carcasses were sold at this market. The market was closed immediately, and it has not reopened since. (source: ScienceDirect.com, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673620301835?via%3Dihub)

The strongest speculation of the origin has been that the virus is somehow linked to the market given two thirds of the first batch of people infected had had ties with it. But even this hasn’t been proved yet. Nevertheless, Bats, in particular, have been studied closely because they are considered to be the natural host of coronaviruses.

this is not my image, credit to the artist

EFFECT of covid-19 on the environment:

The objective of this article is to analyse the positive and the negative environmental impact of this abhorrent pandemic, Covid-19.

The Positives-

  • Improved Air Quality: 

The coronavirus has temporarily slashed air pollution levels around the world (source: European Space Agency). Readings from ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite also show that over the past six weeks, the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe were markedly lower than in the same period last year. Nitrogen dioxide is produced from car engines, power plants and other industrial processes and is thought to exacerbate respiratory illnesses such as asthma. While not a greenhouse gas itself, the pollutant originates from the same activities and industrial sectors that are responsible for a large share of the world’s carbon emissions and that drive global heating. Take transport, for example, which makes up 23% of global carbon emissions. Driving and aviation are key contributors to emissions from transport, contributing 72% and 11% of the transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions respectively. (Source: http://www.ipcc.ch)

If we consider the case of Delhi, on 6th April, for the third week Delhi continued to breathe clean. The weekend before this saw the best air quality in the national capital region (NCR) in 2020, with an average AQI of 46. The weekend before that, it was at 159.  There was a remarked improvement in air quality in the NCR, as the harmful PM10 and PM2.5 levels were down by 35-40% in Delhi (source: The Economic Times).

The visible positive impacts whether through improved air quality or reduced greenhouse gas emissions – are but temporary. This is because they come on the back of an economic slowdown and human distress. During the pandemic, these emissions will stay lowered. But what will happen when the safety measures are eventually lifted?  The people will be back to regular.

  • Some Cut Downs on Wastage:

During the coronavirus outbreak, the habits that are coincidentally good for the climate might be travelling less, like cutting down on food waste as we experience shortages due to stockpiling.

  • Rethinking how we use energy:

A benefit of no travel and a lockdown is we will spend some time rethinking how we use energy.

The Negatives-

  • Increase In Use Of Single-Use Plastics:

With as many as 12,82,931 cases recorded in 211 countries ( as of 8 April 2020, 05:30 GMT, Source: WHO), the United Nations’ World Health Organization has recently declared the fast-spreading COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. It is natural then that citizens around the globe are hastening to take every possible measure to safeguard their health against the virus. The most widespread of these precautions is the extensive use of surgical face masks.

These masks are mainly made of non-woven fabric such as polypropylene, polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene or polyester. While they keep out bacteria effectively, the masks are plastic-based, liquid-resistant products that have a long afterlife after they are discarded, ending up in landfill or oceans.  

Given that surgical masks are supposed to be worn for no longer than one day, their disposal- along with that of empty hand sanitizer bottles and soiled tissue papers- is leading to a massive trail of clinical waste in the environment.

Take the case of Wuhan, for example. The Chinese city which has been at the epicentre of the pandemic and which is home to over 11 million people, is reported to have generated 200 tons of clinical trash on a single day (24 February 2020), four times the amount the city’s only dedicated facility can incinerate per day. (source: scmp.com)

  • Mountain Of Waste:

With consumers stuck at home, there’s been a surge in the amount of household garbage as people increasingly shop online and order meals to be delivered, which come with a lot of packaging. (source: time.com)

Meanwhile, China is drowning under medical waste produced by hospitals including face masks and single-use tissues. If the waste is not handled properly, the garbage collectors are likely to catch and spread the infection

  • More Hand Wash, More Use Of Water:

Today, the only defence against the pandemic is that we wash our hands frequently — 20 seconds each time. The fact is, clean water remains the most important preventive health measure in the world.

A proper hand wash involves lathering soap and scrubbing hands on both sides for at least 20 seconds, according to WHO guidelines. A 30 to 40 second hand wash would use up around four litres of water if the tap is on, or two litres with the tap closed, while scrubbing with soap. Around 20 to 40 litres of water is used up every day, with the assumption that every person cleans her hands at least 10 times a day, instead of a usual average of five times a day.

A family of five members would thus need 100 to 200 litres of water per day only to wash hands. This would result in the generation of around 200 litres of wastewater per day, a 20 to 25 per cent increase in water demand and generation of wastewater from human settlements. (source: downtoearth.org.in)

It is also important to note that a large numbers of people in India and vast parts of the still emerging world do not have access to water, forget its portability. 

  • Climate Issues Take a Backseat:

Before the coronavirus, momentum seemed to be building behind governments and businesses taking steps to address climate change. As 2020 began, wildfires were destroying vast swaths of Australia; and the climate activist Greta Thunberg had become a household name. But the spread of the coronavirus has thrown an even more urgent crisis at governments and business: how to save the lives of millions of people, prevent health care systems from collapsing, and shore up economies that must now enter something comparable to an induced coma. 

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion, the coronavirus crisis has been having short term positive environmental effects but long term negative effects on the environment. Production has decreased, there’s less pressure on energy resources, less fuel burnt in transportation, fewer carbon emissions, and less air pollution. However, all of this is temporary and in the long term, the environmental impacts of the coronavirus such as water shortage, increase in plastic production and waste and issues relating to correct waste disposable, to name a few, will pose as a greater problem.