Degrading Environment of Progressing World

Dear Readers,
                      On the Occasion of World Environment Day, we are presenting you an article that can show you the reality of our environment and how we are making it impossible to live in. UN has assigned a day for this, but we believe it should be our responsibility to make it clean. We should be generous enough not only for one day, but for the lifetime so that our future generation can live a healthier life. What is the need that we wait for a court’s order, or lawmaker to force it on us. It is really something that we need to introspect. Hope you all like the Article.

You all might have came across this term “World Environment Day”
in recent days. This is because 5th June is designated as world
environment day by UN and it is celebrated every year. World Environment Day
(WED) is the United Nations principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide
awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a
broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by
stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for
doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions
into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the
planet.
The WED theme this year is
“Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” The well-being
of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately
depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. And
yet, evidence is building that people are consuming far more natural resources
than what the planet can sustainably provide.
Many of the Earth’s ecosystems
are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed
by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current
consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising
population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain
our ways of living and consumption.
Consuming with care means living
within planetary boundaries to ensure a healthy future where our dreams can be
realized. Human prosperity need not cost the earth. Living sustainably is about
doing more and better with less. It is about knowing that rising rates of
natural resource use and the environmental impacts that occur are not a
necessary by-product of economic growth.
“Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of
global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common
purpose, we can make a tremendous difference.”
-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
Through decades of WED
celebrations, hundreds of thousands of people from countries all over the world
and from all sectors of society have participated in individual and organized
environmental action. WED 2014 received a total of 6,437 pledges and over 3,000
activities were registered online, resulting in a total of about 9,700 which is
triple to the previous two years.
Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.
The well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning
of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the
planet’s natural resources. Evidence is building that people are consuming far
more natural resources than what the planet can sustainably provide.
Many of the Earth’s ecosystems
are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed
by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current
consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population
expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways
of living and consumption.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” 
– Mahatma Gandhi
The WED theme this year is
therefore “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.”
Living within planetary boundaries is the most promising strategy for ensuring
a healthy future. Human prosperity need not cost the earth. Living sustainably
is about doing more and better with less. It is about knowing that rising rates
of natural resource use and the environmental impacts that occur are not a
necessary by-product of economic growth.

“Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left.”
– Aldo Leopold

Water
Well, you just might. It sounds so simple. H20 – two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. This substance also known as water, is one of the most essential elements to health.Even though households are relatively low consumers of water, population growth and expanded water use have outweighed the effect of water saving technology and behavior.
  • Less than 3% of the world’s water is fresh (drinkable), of which 2.5% is frozen in the Antarctica, Arctic and glaciers. Humanity must therefore rely on 0.5% for all of man’s ecosystem’s and fresh water needs.
  • Man is polluting water faster than nature can recycle and purify water in rivers and lakes.
  • More than 1 billion people still do not have access to fresh water.
  • Excessive use of water contributes to the global water stress.
  • Water is free from nature but the infrastructure needed to deliver it is expensive.

Energy
Despite technological advances that have promoted energy efficiency gains, energy use in OECD countries will continue to grow another 35% by 2020. Commercial and residential energy use is the second most rapidly growing area of global energy use after transport.
In 2002 the motor vehicle stock in OECD countries was 550 million vehicles (75% of which were personal cars). A 32% increase in vehicle ownership is expected by 2020. At the same time, motor vehicle kilometres are projected to increase by 40% and global air travel is projected to triple in the same period.
  • We can shift our consumption patterns towards goods and services with lower energy and material intensity without compromising quality of life.
  • Households consume 29% of global energy and consequently contribute to 21% of resultant CO2 emissions.The cost of renewable energy is increasingly competitive with that derived from fossil fuels. One-fifth of the world’s final energy consumption in 2013 was from renewables.
  • Globally, energy consumption grew most quickly in the transport and service sectors, driven by rising passenger travel and freight transport, and a rapid expansion in the service economy.

Food
While substantial environmental impacts from food occur in the production phase (agriculture, food processing), households influence these impacts through their dietary choices and habits. This consequently affects the environment through food-related energy consumption and waste generation.
  • 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year while almost 1 billion people go undernourished and another 1 billion hungry.
  • Overconsumption of food is detrimental to our health and the environment.
  • 1.5 billion people globally are overweight or obese.
  • Land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, overfishing and marine environment degradation are all lessening the ability of the natural resource base to supply food.
  • The food sector accounts for around 30% of the world’s total energy consumption and accounts for around 22% of total Greenhouse Gas emissions.
  • Increased consumption adversely affects food security.
  • Increase in food prices.
  • Upsurge in production methods that use more resource-intensive food products.
  • Resource-intensive foods deplete the agro-ecological resource base, affecting its ability to produce plentiful food.

-Source, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Official Website