Development and greediness of humanity have telling effects on the present and future generations. Encroachment on the forests and agricultural lands for putting up high-rise concrete jungles, commercialization and politicization of the resources, selfishness replacing the morality, etc., are the common causes for the ecological imbalance and climatic changes. Population growth and the craze for making of fast bucks aggravate this situation. Communalism and fanaticism gain prominence over conscience and rectitude. The effects of man’s progress so far on the three spheres of the Earth are narrated here below.
Ocean: Population of marine organisms and animals is reported to have dipped by 50% in the last four decades, thanks to the overfishing and the global warming. Many coral reefs and underwater plant species have become history. They remain as exhibits in the museums and serve as specimens of laboratories. Dumping the spent fuels from nuclear facilities, the wastes from the human habitations, and the oil spills from the marine vessels have aggravated the situation of dwindling marine biodiversity.
Land: The impact of the ever-increasing population is badly felt in many ways. The endless demand for housing stocks and structures like roads, bridges, and towers has made the humans to encroach the forests and marshlands that were once the home of a variety of flora and fauna. The excessive suction of ground water led to the seepage of seawater rendering the inland water unfit for cultivation and drinking. An Intensive farming with the chemicals and machines for quicker and bumper harvests has spoilt the nature and fertility of the soil, and it affected the human health through the poisonous elements ingested from the food. The techniques of tissue culture, cloning, stem-cell and gene splicing aim at bypassing Nature. The effluents discharged from the tanneries, and the dye manufacturing factories pollute the surface and ground water sources.
Scientists reported that burning all fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) would raise the sea level by 200 feet as the entire ice of Antartica would melt due to the rise in temperature and submerge the lands in the coastal areas. Half of such melting could occur in a millennium. The Mahseer, a gigantic golden and game fish for anglers across, is fast disappearing due to the global warming, and rampant mining. The Sparrow earlier sighted in the neighborhood has become a rarity after the microwave towers sprang up for cellular networks. The vast and open grounds that were once the playgrounds gave way to the shopping mall and residential complex. The kids of the next generation end up playing games in their houses on electronic gadgets such as PlayStation and mobiles.
Air: Ultraviolet radiation harms life on Earth when the ozone layer in the atmosphere gets depleted by the gases emerging from the electrical and electronic devices, and heavy industries. Poisonous gas leaks from chemical industries and the radiation and pollution from atomic power plants killed millions of people and incapacitated many others including the foetuses. Atomic bombs and chemical weapons used during the wars devastated many nations.
So, Development comes at the cost of the lives of the present and future generations. Sustainable growth is ideal for organic life. Anything that violates Nature does not last long.
(Author is a Ex-Banker and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org)