Earth Science | Vol. 12, Issue 72, May-June 2012

Preserving the Perishing Paradises

Earth - the only habitable planet known to mankind so far, has been sustaining all life on it through a ‘free ecosystem facility’, fulfilling our need for air, water, natural food, fibre and shelter, selflessly. Comprised of diverse ecosystems that demonstrate a delicate balance between each component viz: atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere – the earth systems are delicately balanced on each other. ‘Man’ on the other hand has played havoc - indiscriminately burning fossil fuels, cutting forests, polluting water sources, excavating for mining and emitting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other poisonous gases into atmosphere accelerating the process of warming and creating holes in the safety curtain provided by nature in the atmosphere. While appreciating the need for development, it is argued by environmentalists that the Earth has physical and biological limits and it is of utmost importance that these limits are honoured. The Earth’s environment is required to be shielded from hazardous anthropogenic interference, maintaining a balance between utilisation of natural resources and preservation of the earth system. From the onset of industrialisation there has been an exacerbating pressure on the land and resources of the earth. The continued pace of development, keeping in mind the aspirations and needs of developing states, has left very few areas in the world free of human interference. The Polar Regions - Arctic and the Antarctic are two such...

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