|Environmental degradation is indeed worrying as it has shown no sign of abating amidst humanity’s economic expansion.||is a major threat||Since the start of the Industrial Revolution in 1750s, global annual mean CO2concentration has increased steadily. For the last 800,000 years, studies of ice cores show that CO2 concentrations stayed between 180 and 290 ppm. As the global economy keeps growing, the CO2 level is now at a new high of above 400pm, the highest in several million years. Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are already experiencing prolonged draughts; swathes of arable lands have now become infertile, resulting in many climate change refugees.|
|Consider our obsession with cheap fuel which has pushed companies to explore all sources of fuel. One of the sources include hydraulic fracturing where water and chemicals are injected into oil and gas wells at incredibly high pressures to fracture rocks and shale to extract fossil fuel. This has led to changes in geologic faults and been linked to increased seismic activities such as the two major earthquakes in Italy in 2012 which killed 27 people. Such instances. Likewise, consumption of fossil fuel threatens to exacerbate climate change.|
|Perhaps the strongest argument is that environmental problems are a threat to humanity as it gravely threatens our survival.||is a major threat||The falling populations of tuna and sea turtles (from overfishing and destruction of marine habitat) that prey on jellyfish have led to increase in jellyfish populations in the oceans. As jellyfish consume fish eggs and compete for food with fish that we eat, the world is gradually running out of supply of fish.|
|Global warming and rising sea levels may wipe out island countries and affect coastal or low-lying cities. About 30 per cent of Singapore land is less than 5m above the mean sea level. According to the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), sea levels will rise by 0.25m to 0.76m by the end of the century. Parts of Singapore may disappear under water if climate change shows no sign of abating.|
|n 2017, Somalia faced one of its worst draughts, leaving 6million Somalians with food shortages. Somalia’s Prime Minister announced that over 100 people had died from hunger in a short span of 48 hours. Thousands more died from Cholera, a disease that affect mainly malnourished children.|
|However, there are signs that the trends of environmental degradation are reversing.||Rebuttal. Is not the biggest threat||In 2016, almost all governments ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to keep global temperature below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
|China, commonly viewed as the biggest polluter due to its rapid economic expansion, has shown great willingness to tackle an array of environmental problems. The Chinese government is taking the lead in the Paris Climate Deal.
|In its latest Five-Year Plan, China has also indicated that the government will limit factory emissions of tiny harmful particulate matter (PM2.5) – a deadly air pollutant – down by 25%.
|Despite the multi-faceted threat of environmental destruction, there still remain other equally pressing issues that one should not ignore. The foremost among them is perhaps man’s ability – and alias, eagerness – to harm one another.||There are other serious threats||Countries are increasingly trigger happy. The battle that broke out between India and Pakistan in 2019 almost turned into a full-fledge war. The ongoing Yemeni war between Houthi forces and the Yemeni government started in 2015 and there is no end in sight.|
|The 2019 mosque shooting in Christchurch resulted in the deaths of 49 mosque goers. The perpetrator, a white supremacist, even shot women and children.
|In addition, some underdeveloped parts of the world are still beset by abject poverty.||There are other serious threats||Every day, 22,000 children in developing countries die from poverty-related diseases. While this is nothing new, our inability to eradicate such crises is disheartening.
|Even a country like Venezuela is not spared from problems like famine. 10% of Venezuelans have fled the country because of famine, lack of medicine and power outage. Poor governance has arrested the country to a total standstill. The economy is so crippled that people use banknotes to weave handicrafts. Deaths of children have been reported owing to food shortage.|
Updated 9Apr 2019
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