What is the importance of environmental protection
The origin of all environmental protection challenges is the rapidly increasing world population paired with the resource-intensive way of life of the industrialized countries. The world population has almost quadrupled in the past 100 years. And each of the currently more than 7 billion people basically has the same needs in terms of food, education and consumption.
Global consumption has therefore increased by leaps and bounds with steadily increasing prosperity and the growing world population. Cell phones, computers, automobiles, bicycles, all of which are more and more popular and produced. And the production of all these goods is at the expense of the environment.
Meat consumption is also increasing. Meat is no longer a luxury good in large parts of the world. Fish, chicken, pork, beef and lamb are increasingly found as fixed components of meals. Seas are fished empty for this. Factory farming with cruel living conditions for the animals is becoming more and more common all over the world. Animal husbandry and agriculture also consume large amounts of water and generate a large proportion of the world's greenhouse gases, which in turn promotes climate change.
The global energy demand is also increasing. Over 80% of the world's population now has access to electricity - and the trend is rising. This increases the energy demand, which is still mainly covered by burning fossil fuels. This creates huge amounts of CO2 that collect in the atmosphere.
So much for the causes of our environmental problems. What about the effects?
All the industries that supply us with food, consumer goods and energy generate huge amounts of greenhouse gases - primarily CO2, but also methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. These gases collect in the earth's atmosphere and form a kind of barrier.
Due to the large amount of gas in the atmosphere, the solar energy hitting the earth can no longer be reflected back into space unhindered. They are held back by the atmosphere and redirected back towards Earth. A gigantic amount of energy of 5 Hiroshima atomic bombs per second is stored on earth as a result. This is called the greenhouse effect.
It is true that CO2 is filtered out of the atmosphere by trees through photosynthesis. But the growth of the world's population is also leaving its mark on the world's forests. Large parts of the rainforest are being cut down to be used for agricultural purposes. The result: More CO2 gets into the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect is further promoted and even more energy is prevented from escaping back into space.
This extra energy trapped on earth slowly but steadily heats the earth - like in a greenhouse - hence the name. Water and air temperatures are rising worldwide, causing the polar ice caps to melt. This in turn releases CO2 that is stored in the so-called permafrost soils. This increases the greenhouse effect and the earth continues to heat up.
The warming of the world's oceans means that ever larger amounts of sea water are evaporating, which leads to increasingly frequent storms and natural disasters. Elsewhere, global warming creates droughts, which leads to rural exodus and occasionally even political conflicts and refugee crises.
Not only does all of this cause a multitude of problems. It also claims many lives. An estimated 400,000 people fall victim to the effects of climate change every year. In addition, around 50,000 animal species die out every year as a result of all these changes.
Does it all sound very questionable? It is. Here are some suggestions of what you can do about it.
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