Understanding Environmental Problem
Maisnam Susmina and Rajendra Kshetri
Contd from previous issue
In bygone days, Manipur enjoyed a pleasant temperature with moderate humidity; however, there has been a dramatic change in the temperature and uncertainty in rainfall, leading to scarcity of water in the state. We can witness a longer season of summer in comparison to the cold season. Winter is becoming less cold, and temperatures are not as freezing cold as before. The humidity of the state is increasing. With the rise in humidity and increase in temperature, there has been a favorable place for disease-carrying insects like Mosquitoes. On March 13th,2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus pandemic. Even before the worst cases of Covid 19 were reported, we were already grappling with the severe issues of climate change and environmental degradation. The pandemic (like the Covid) is not the only crisis the world faces. If the present trends of ecological devastation continue, things will not improve. Whatever the planet’s temperature has reached that point, it will or has become the "New Normal ." Climate Change is a slow pandemic in itself, and in years to come, it will cost our life.
Manipur, known for its wealthy ethnic groups, living together, rich flora and fauna are at the menace of air pollution, particularly in the valley Imphal, a flower on the lofty height has witnessed air pollution, crowds and congestion even unregulated jam of traffic in the recent years. Most vehicular vehicles are found in the urban area mainly due to urbanization and lifestyle changes. In Manipur, there is an increasing trend for every family member to own two-wheelers vehicles. People are usually reluctant to take public transport. The level of growth in private transportation compared to public transport is a significant contributory factor to Urban air pollution. Although generally, two-wheelers are more fuel-efficient than passengers' cars, they typically emit more pollutants per kilometer, contributing more carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions. The inflow of second-hand vehicles is also one of the severe problems in Manipur. Even though used cars are pocket friendly and easy to buy, they leave bad imprints on the environment in one way or the other.
Pollution is an expanding problem worldwide, with individuals and nations emitting enormous volumes of harmful pollutants. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 defined air pollution as "Any solid, liquid or gaseous substance that may be injurious and harmful to the environment, humans, other living creatures, plants and even property." World Health Organization of the United Nations explains that the air is polluted when several pollutants are present in the atmosphere at such an accumulation and for so long that they are harmful to men, animals, plants, and material property or reduce wellbeing. They are dangerous to the health and wellbeing of people and animals, but they are also a significant threat to the climatic changes across the globe. Climate Change could be gee-whizz. It can go beyond the depletion of the Ozone layer, air, soil, and water pollution, loss of forest and biodiversity, extinction of plant and animal species, loss of marine life, and the extreme rise in temperature, which results in the melting of polar ice caps, thereby leading to rising ocean levels destroying lives in the coastal areas.
The ecosystem is drastically altered with new resource extraction methods, production, consumption, and transportation. Industrial Revolution in the west has an adverse impact on the earth's ecosystem as a whole. There is an organic relationship between Industrialization, Imperial expansion, and environmental degradation. Thus, there is a systematic and holistic nature of the ecological problem which means that environmental factors and the problems are interrelated. Fifteen Years ago, most experts thought that the general air pollution levels in North America and Western Europe would rarely have any health impact at all. However, recent epidemiological studies on the health effects of air pollution and new ways of measuring personal exposure have given further information on air pollution. Nowadays, the same experts consider that particulate air pollution, excellent particles, cause several hundred thousand excess deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases every year in Europe and beyond and shorten the life expectancy of these populations by months and years (WHO 1995a). Thus, Environmental degradation and its problems are a global dilemma. Beck (1992) opines that unlike the factory-related or occupational hazards of the 19th and first half of the 20th century, these can no longer be limited to certain localities or groups but rather exhibit a tendency to globalization.
Thus, before engaging with environmental issues, it's crucial to understand how we define values and expect action on the environmental problem. There are two ways of understanding an extension of the ethics of nature.
To be contd