The World’s 6 most pressing environmental problems

At Inhabitat, every day is Earth Day. We do each and every day to give the latest news on the many interesting ways to inhabit the Earth in a smarter, greener, more sustainable method. So whilts Earth Day probably have a factor of business as usual, it is a great time to take stock of the world’s most crucial environmental issues as well. Studies currently cite the dark future the planet will face as we do not alter our our habits and activities on every imaginable stage.

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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development mentioned to the environmental outlook of the planet as, quite easy, “grim.” So this Earth Day, we are considering the most crucial environmental problems, and a few of the steps we can take to operate a healthier future for ourselves, our communities and of course, the Earth.

For the water

Water; we cannot live without it, and thankfully much of the Earth is made up of it. But we face key problems where the life-sustaining liquid is concerned. Whilst there is technically enough freshwater possible for all 6.8 billion of us, one-fifth of the world’s population live in areas of physical water scarcity. Vast development in infrastructure are required in order bring freshwater to areas which remain without, but also to make sure continued access in the face of widespread pollution, wastage and drought.

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The degradation of water quality not only poses supply issue for our population, but also has a vast, inevitable effect on marine life. If it is through storm water runoff from cities or farms, dumping from industry, or ill-regulated attempts to drill for yet more oil (more on that later), we are increasingly filling our rivers, seas and oceans with toxic pollutants. From animals to coral, life in our seas is suffering tremendously. The Pacific Ocean is pretty home to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, whilst the Gulf of Mexico has a sizable patch of nothing at all — a dead zone resulting from the travels of farmland fertilizers down the Mississippi River. So what occurs at sea does not stay at sea. With pollutants entering oceanic ecosystems, they invariably pollute our food.

For deforestation

Deforestation has long posed a threat to our Earth. Forests cover 30% of the planet’s land, and bring vital protection from sandstorms and flooding as well as the great natural habitat for wildlife. They are one of our biggest resources for offsetting some of our outrageous carbon emissions and with no canopy we leave areas vulnerable to intense heat, further driving climate alteration. But every single year we lose an area the level of Panama.

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We have all heard it before, but absolutely, we need to stop destroying and begin replanting. There are incredible example of ambitious attempts to replant our woodland areas, from a man in India, Jadaa Payeng, who single-handedly planted a 1,360 squares forest, to the South Korean founder of Future Forest, Kwon Byang Hyon, who has led desert tree-planting attempts via Mongolia and China. With forests always cleared to make efforts for farmland, and all over the world consumption of food expected to raise sharply by 2050, both sides of that common coin desperately need to be addressed, which leads us to…