Though we may have heard that manual scavenging is a thing of the past, the reality check is a shocker. In a small time span of just about a month, as many as 10 sanitation workers died. The only relief, though too late for the poor souls lost is that the government has responded with prompt action and focused on the implementation part of the law it had framed long ago.
Genetically modified organisms are living entities whose genetic material has been altered to selective add or eliminate characteristics to improve their performance. In 1973, Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen successfully created the first genetically engineered (GE) organism wherein they successfully transferred a gene coding for antibiotic resistance from one bacteria to another . This paved the way for scientists to try and find solutions to the world’s most pertinent questions by tailor made innovations involving alteration of genetic material. This may have led to an plethora of benefits but also has opened an ethical Pandora’s box. One such example is Bt cotton.
The word plastic comes from the Greek word “plastikos”, which means ‘able to be molded into different shapes’. Plastics are made up of linking of monomers together by chemical bonds. Polythene comprises of 64% of total plastic, which is a linear hydrocarbon polymers consisting of long chains of the ethylene monomers. General formula of polyethylene is CnH2n, where ‘n’ is the number of carbon atoms. The plastics we use today are made from inorganic and organic raw materials, such as carbon, silicon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and chloride. The basic materials used for making plastics are extracted from oil, coal and natural gas. Plastics include polythene, propylene, polystyrene, polyurethane, nylon etc. Polyethylene either LDPE (low density polyethylene) or HDPE (high density polyethylene) is a thermoplastic polymer made by monomers of ethylene, used mostly as thin films and packaging sheets.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which began on April 20, 2010, is the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. It is purported to be 8-31% larger than the previous largest spill, Ixtoc 1 oil spill. The US government estimated the overall discharge at 4.9 million barrels or 210 million US gallons.
The world we see today has come into existence through a journey of evolution for millions of years, leaving biodiversity as its trail. Biodiversity represents the variety of life on earth and the various forms of their associations. We are completely dependant upon this network of life, which we are an integral part of.
Rapid scale urbanization in a population of 1.34 billion Indians, growing exponentially at a growth rate of 1.2% has surmounted the issue of untreated sewage rapidly degrading the life cycle of flora and fauna. Untreated sewage surmounts to approximately 75% of the surface water contamination in the country. When sewage enters a lake or stream, microorganisms begin to decompose the organic materials. This impacts both the ecology and economy as well as imposes severe health risks. Sewage-contaminated water causes eutrophication, which is the increase in concentration of chemical elements required for life, thus decreasing the amount of dissolved oxygen necessary for aquatic life. Sewage pollution has been attributed to causing gastrointestinal disorders in humans like Giardiasis, Amoebic Dysentery and Cholera. Moreover debris associated with sewage hampers the aesthetic value of the environment.
World Environment Day 2017’s theme based on “Connecting with Nature” has a sole purpose of bringing people closer to our environment.
The need to offer quality feed and fuel has become a burning issue in the world as we know it. Climate change, pollution and energy crisis are few of the issues which are the major issues which the human race will have to deal in the upcoming years. Mankind has gradually infringed upon Nature’s reservoirs due to the ever increasing human population. Pollution of the world’s natural resources due to industrialization has already brought us on the verge of catastrophic consequences. Therefore, sustainable development is the key issue that global policy makers need to address . Finding innovative strategies to accommodate sustainable development along with safe disposal of generated waste is the need of the hour.