Honey, I’ve Shrunk the Earth!

The scenes in the movie 2012 horrify us as to, is it the truth? From scientists to astrologers are all trying to find out what exactly is going to happen but one thing we can’t deny, that for centuries and decades we are cutting the branch we are sitting on. From pollution to population explosion, from destruction in the rain forests to the melting glaciers in the Arctic, our environment is dying and we are dying with it. So far a few thousand seminars and international conferences have taken place to save Mother Earth. Today, I will bring up some few environmental issues that need immediate attention.

One of the biggest environment issues is the Ocean Dead Zones. These dead zones are characterised by excessively low oxygen count and more of nitrogen from sewage, factory emissions and farm fertilizers. The most famous dead ocean zone is the Gulf of Mexico, where excess toxic sludge has flown into the sea down the Mississippi river, turning it into a ‘hypoxic’ area. Since the 1960’s, the number of the dead ocean zones have doubled every ten years.

Another major environment hazard to strike us in about 2048 is the Collapse of Fish Stock. Overfishing round the world is leading to extinction of many species of fish and ocean mammals and this collapse will affect the world’s ecosystem in a major way.

Antarctica was recorded as the only continent on the planet whose climate was devoid of any adverse effect of humanity, but collapse of the Larsen B and Wilkins ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula prove how fast global warming is affecting the area. The ice is melting and the average temperature of the Arctic is rising twice as fast as any other region of the world. Global warming is getting accelerated by the contraction of the Arctic ice cap. Moreover, the spruce bark beetle is breeding at an alarming rate and it has chewed up almost 3 – 4 acres of Alaskan forest. Penguin conservation has become an immediate issue to take care of or else we will lose all the happy feet of the world.

One of the worst environment hazards is Ozone Depletion, the main cause being release of Chlorofluorocarbons. Antarctica has been the earliest and the worst victim of ozone destruction. The ‘ozone hole’ above Antarctica now threatens not only the continent, but other parts of the world that could be the victims of Antarctica’s melting icecaps. The use of plastic bags has been banned worldwide and every country is trying to conserve the ozone layer of our atmosphere.

Go Green is the new mantra of humanity because no mortal can alter it an inch when nature comes in its best or at its worst. But until the entire world understands the importance of nature, we can’t live. We say ‘Hug a Tree’ but if we do that by becoming ivy then what’s the use? We go to find traces of water on the moon but do we try to find those areas on our earth that don’t receive even a drop of rain for years? It’s high time we save Mother Earth, else if She dies, we will die in Her womb too.

Aryani Banerjee