Environmental Security: Global Warming and Pollution

Introduction

Although climate changes, natural or caused by human activities, occur relatively slowly, they cover huge regions and therefore can be a serious problem for humanity. Significant changes are fraught with a shift in climatic zones, which may force people to rebuild their economic activities completely or partially. The issue of global warming is increasingly discussed in the media and causes a great public outcry since new threatening facts are regularly discovered. In addition to climate changes, pollution is another global human problem. The contamination of natural resources inevitably leads to the fact that the state of the environment is deteriorating, which has a negative impact on people’s health. Moreover, an unfavorable ecological situation is the cause of many other problems, for instance, the extinction of different species of fauna. Activities aimed at preventing and eliminating the consequences of climate change and global pollution are one of the priorities today, and human security largely depends on what measures will be taken to avoid a severe environmental crisis.

Evidence of the Existing Problem

Global warming and pollution have different impacts on the environment. The annual increase in temperature adversely affects the condition of the Earth and its resources, while pollution is detrimental to humans. The physiological effect of air pollutants on the human body is different. Carbon monoxide is firmly connected with blood hemoglobin, which harms the normal supply of organs and tissues with oxygen and, as a result, weakens the processes of mental activity, slows reflexes, and causes drowsiness (Baer & Singer, 2016). Those harmful elements that are contained in the products of the disintegration of chemical waste inevitably settle in the human body. A number of diseases can be caused by such dangerous compounds, and the state of health may worsen on the whole. However, the effect may be even more severe.

Particles smaller than five microns can penetrate into lymph nodes, linger in the alveoli of the lungs, and clog mucous membranes (Baer & Singer, 2016). Insignificant volumes of such emissions as benzpyrene, lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, cobalt, phosphorus, and some others can have an extended impact (Baer & Singer, 2016). The consequences of such infection can be serious. Children are born with poor immunity and chronic diseases of the nervous system, which, in turn, negatively affects fertility rates. Moreover, nature also suffers since harmful substances penetrate into the soil, polluting it, settle in the water, and rise into the atmosphere. All these facts confirm that the issue of environmental protection is urgent and requires taking active measures to secure people.

Prevention Activities and Their Importance

The importance of prevention activities lies not only in protecting nature and its resources but also in stopping a harmful impact on humanity. The destruction of the ozone layer caused by global warming adversely affects the air that people breathe and, as a consequence, becomes one of the reasons for various diseases. The pollution of water and soil inherently leads to the consumption of harmful products, which also cannot have a positive effect on health. Today, people are aware of these problems and the need for effective interventions. According to Goldenberg (2014), “the warning signs about climate change and extreme weather events have been accumulating over time” (para. 11). Nevertheless, too many efforts need to be applied to achieve significant results.

One of the primary activities aimed at preventing the effects of global warming is the introduction of new conditions for the operation of enterprises. The work of industrial ventures is the cause of the accumulation of harmful emissions in the atmosphere, and it is their high concentration that is fraught with danger to the climate of the Earth. As Galeazzo, Furlan, and Vinelli (2014) remark, transferring enterprises to a new mode of operation using safer raw materials, as well as controlling the number of emissions into the atmosphere, can help achieve improvements. In case industrialists look for more environmentally friendly fuels and pay attention to waste products, it can have a significant positive impact on the state of the Earth’s climate.

When discussing protective measures against environmental pollution, it is possible to resort to theoretical approaches. According to Galeazzo et al. (2014), “there are two types of environmental practices: pollution prevention technologies and pollution control technologies” (p. 192). Both of these methods can allow a positive effect on the state of air, water, and soil if effective measures are taken to track potentially hazardous activities and eliminate the most powerful foci of pollution. The importance of this work lies in the fact that through constant monitoring, it is possible to achieve a reduction in the harmful impact of humans on the environment and thereby exclude the anthropogenic factor from the category of a real threat to nature. Therefore, the sooner effective measures are taken, the higher the chances are that contamination will not do much harm to people, and natural resources will be preserved despite the damage caused to them earlier. Otherwise, the problem will become more urgent and insoluble eventually.

Connection Between Global Environmental Changes and Human Security

Those changes that have taken place in nature along with the technological progress of humanity cannot be called completely reversible. A significant part of the planet’s resources has been exhausted, and regular industrial activities not only negatively affect the state of the climate but also contribute to destructing of the user that is left on the Earth. However, even when discussing not the importance of protecting nature but the impact on people, it can be noted that global environmental changes continue to pose a great danger to human security. As Dalby (2017) remarks, “humanity is now a geological actor, not just a biological one” (p. 233). It means that anthropogenic activities should be considered to be one of the fundamental factors of pollution and those dangerous changes that are occurring with the climate at present.

In addition to the detrimental effect on health, there are other weighty reasons for thinking about the need to take emergency measures. According to Goldstein (2016), “a changing climate will affect how and where military forces operate” (p. 95). Finding useful resources, protecting a potentially vulnerable territory, and other activities are necessary, which, in turn, has a negative impact on people’s safety. Also, Goldstein (2016) argues that an armed conflict may be one of the consequences of climate change. The search for new resources can lead to countries waging wars for such natural resources as water, forests, and others. In order to avoid it, it is extremely important to seek effective measures to protect the environment and preserve people from potential catastrophes.

Recommendations

In order to combat the effects of environmental pollution effectively and achieve positive results in activities aimed at eliminating the causes of global warming, it is essential to develop a sound strategy. It is essential for not only public authorities to be interested in taking measures but also the population. For this purpose, Feola (2015) proposes to test different methods of struggle to make a verdict on the possible complementarities of these techniques based on the analysis of the work done. In other words, a set of measures need to be implemented and tested to identify which of them are the most effective to take advantage of and use.

As successful methods of intervention, academic literature can be studied in order to have an idea of the real problems and factors that affect them. Also, an active call of all who want to participate in environmental protection programs can help. If people begin to be more attentive to nature and the consequences of their activities, it is likely that the detrimental effect will become less powerful. Therefore, information should be disseminated to as many stakeholders as possible to be involved.

Conclusion

The struggle against climate changes and various types of pollution is one of the main directions of public activity today since not only the state of nature but also human security is under threat. The importance of preventive measures is caused by the growing environmental crisis caused by the depletion of natural resources and anthropogenic activities. Control over the work of industrial enterprises can be one of the measures to correct the current situation. Also, involving participants in programs to combat pollution and global warming can be an effective way to eliminate the consequences of the crisis.

References

Baer, H., & Singer, M. (2016). Global warming and the political ecology of health: Emerging crises and systemic solutions. New York, NY: Routledge.

Dalby, S. (2017). Anthropocene formations: Environmental security, geopolitics and disaster. Theory, Culture & Society, 34(2-3), 233-252. Web.

Feola, G. (2015). Societal transformation in response to global environmental change: A review of emerging concepts. Ambio, 44(5), 376-390. Web.

Galeazzo, A., Furlan, A., & Vinelli, A. (2014). Lean and green in action: Interdependencies and performance of pollution prevention projects. Journal of Cleaner Production, 85, 191-200. Web.

Goldenberg, S. (2014). Climate change a threat to security, food and humankind – IPCC report. The Guardian. Web.

Goldstein, J. S. (2016). Climate change as a global security issue. Journal of Global Security Studies, 1(1), 95-98. Web.