Environmental degradation has been a byproduct of the progress and prosperity of human civilization. In recent times, the impact of human civilization on the environment has been so disastrous that it has become an issue of international concern. The U.N. organizes the annual Climate Summit to understand, discuss and implement effective environmental policies globally. However, environmental awareness at a social level is essential if we intend to protect our environment from further damage. The only way to do this is through a more far-reaching environmental education for everyone.
Environment protection facts and figures are included in the high school curriculum but how many of us remember them after a few years? They are buried under the many sheets which concern the more important things in life. After all, not many of us remember theories of calculus except engineers and mathematicians.
There should be environmental regulations and policies as binding and important as traffic rules and regulations. Every citizen is aware of the traffic rules, because they do not want to die in a terrible accident. Why are the environmental regulations not followed with the same amount of stringency when they ultimately lead to similar consequences? Only a concerned citizen leads a safe and happy life, in both cases.
Climate change and global warming are just the tip of the iceberg; human impact on the environment extends much further and can be difficult to quantify. Our environment protects us and provides us with all that is essential for living. Severe changes in our environment will affect all of our lives. From diminished air quality and degradation of food and water supplies to increasing levels of allergens and catastrophic weather events, we might experience a number of increasingly severe health threats during our lifetimes. At this point, if our biophysical environment is left degraded and unattended, there can be serious and harmful consequences for human civilization, which will probably lead to its complete obliteration.
There are numerous environmental protection campaigns like Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and International Earth Day. On Earth Day, we see the doodle on Google and wish our friends and family a happy Earth Day. However, we do not realize the purpose of having an Earth Day: to increase general awareness among the public and to motivate them to participate in the global environmental protection agenda.
There are many who still do not realize that environmental protection is a prime requirement right now. It is time to make each of us strictly concerned and aware of the critical condition of the situation. These national and international campaigns have definitely increased the environmental consciousness among people. However, there still exists plenty of work to be done to root the environment-friendly attitude into the minds of everyone. It is important to understand and distinguish our activities as environment-friendly and otherwise.
It is time we all realize that environmental education is the need of the hour. We have a massive responsibility toward our environment as well as toward ourselves and our future generations. This could be the stepping stone towards a greener, cleaner and safer earth.
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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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