Q.5:- How do the following factors contribute to the environmental crisis in India? What problem do they pose for the government?
(i) Rising population
(ii) Air pollution
(iii) Water contamination
(iv) Affluent consumption standards
(viii) Reduction of forest coverage
(x) Global warming.
(i) Rising Population With population explosion the growing needs of the expanding population, have to be met and due to this the demand for resources for both production and consumption have gone beyond the fats of regeneration of the resources. The pressure on the absorptive capacity of the environment has increased and sustainable development is not seeming possible.
(ii) Air Pollution Air pollution is widespread in urban areas of India where vehicles are the major contributors and in few oilier areas which have a high concentration of Industries and thermal power plants. Smoke omissions are of particular concern since these are having the maximum impact on the general population. The carbon emissions into air are causing global warming and respiratory diseases are increasing among the population.
(iii) Water Contamination Water bodies (e.g., lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater) are contaminated when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. Water contamination affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water. The effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also lo the natural biological communities.
(iv) Affluent Consumption Standards The recent influence of the West and a rise in purchasing power of the middle class has led to affluent consumption standards and unnecessary luxuries with a lifestyle of conspicuous consumption have increased. This has resulted into pressure on resources like petroleum, electricity etc, needed to fulfil the demand for such lifestyle. Equipments such as air conditioners are contributing to global warming due to the carbon emissions from them.
(v) Illiteracy It is a social problem leading to the lack of awareness about environment and the harmful effects of various practices or products on the environment. An illiterate person does not understand the importance of conservation of natural resources and is not aware of the practices which may save the environment from degrading.
(vi) Industrialisation With rapid induslrialisalion for meeting the growing needs of population, the resources being used as inputs in the induslrialisalion process are depleting at a fast pace. Many of those resources are exhaustible and cannot be replenished easily.
(vii) Urbanisation Rural population has started migrating to urban areas in search of jobs and even in rural areas urban lifestyle is being copied by the younger generation. This has led to rise in power consumption, vehicle traffic, etc. This in turn has resulted into taster depletion of resources and air pollution.
(viii) Reduction of Forest Coverage Deforest 9tion due to growing population needs for housing and industrialization has led to a reduction in forest cover frees in the forest help in binding soil and holding water level. Rainfall is also affected due to reduction in forest cover along with lesser absorption of carbon dioxide which has resulted in global warming.
(ix) Poaching Poaching is the Illegal taking of wild plants or animals. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations arc known as poaching. Poaching is generally done of wild species which are endangered leading lo the danger of them becoming extinct Thus, poaching is harmful for the bio diversity of the planet.
(x) Global Warming Global warming is a gradual increase in the average temperature of the earth’s lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases. It is caused by increases in emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels and due to deforestation. The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane have increased by 31% and 149% respectively since 1750 and as a result, during the past century, the atmospheric temperature has risen by 0.6°C and sea level has risen several inches. In the long term global warming can cause melting of polar ice with a resulting rise in sea level and coastal flooding, disruption of drinking water supplies dependent on snow melts, extinction of spades as ecological niches disappear; more frequent tropical storms; and an increased incidence of tropical diseases.