There are only two things no human or any life form can go without, air and water. Woefully, there is a major crisis worldwide related to environmental pollution, the situation being critical in developing countries. Even if you are lucky enough to live in a country where pollution levels aren’t alarmingly high as there are enough resources and technologies to combat the issue, the fact that countries currently under economic and industrial growth are faced with worrying levels of environmental pollution still impacts you as the whole state of our planet is affected.
Impact of industrialisation, development and economic growth as a whole
At every level of development, the country in question must make a choice between two conflicting goals – ensuring that the target is reached through the cheapest and fastest means, and reducing environmental impact of the actions needed to sustain economic growth and poverty reduction. Alas, the latter is usually not taken into account as much as needed to prevent a pollution crisis as this would imply major costs for which there does not exist an actual budget.
• Industrialisation has a great impact as the means used to produce enough energy to sustain the country as a whole are the cheapest. In the desire to improve living standards for the inhabitants, third-world countries opt for energy access at a low price, relying on plants that pollute the air and water instead of turning to the more eco-friendly options of wind or solar energy.
• Exploitation of natural resources for foreign exchange and revenue is highly practiced in order to gain capital for further development. While the idea of relying on the natural riches of the land is quite ingenious, the methods used to process some of the resources directly pollute and degrade air and water supplies. There is the worrying issue of exaggerated exploitation as well, action which leads to the lack of sustainability of the country through this means or a complete loss of the specific resource, which, depending on the type of resource in discussion, can have a great impact on a global scale.
• In order to reach economic growth, a lot of developing countries rely on agriculture, producing food for their own consumption to lower living costs, and even exporting as much as possible for substantial economic gain. Agricultural practices are poor even in developed countries, the US being the perfect example when it comes to this. The situation is even worse as lesser developed countries do not have the necessary means to harvest and grow livestock in an Eco-friendly manner, which leads to an overall deprecation of environmental safety, which results in severe health implications on country inhabitants.
Attenuation on a mass scale and at home
The path to economic growth and proper development is crucial and must be followed, but it shouldn’t imply sacrificing environmental safety and our health. Attenuation on a mass scale is viable even for developing countries, as long as external support is provided from countries that are already at peak developmental stages. However, relying on the help of others is not the sole solution, leaders being able to fix issues on their own as long as they put the same amount of interest in the manner in which development occurs, not solely focusing on speed and costs.
• A considerable budget should go towards water treatment plants that tend to the purification of water sources before they reach people’s homes. As the water crisis is at an all-time high worldwide, this issue exists even in countries like the US, it’s all the more imperious for every country to try and fix the situation in its area. If the water supply is treated, sickness among people and animals will be reduced, plant life will thrive, and economic growth will ensue as a result as health deprecation causes a loss of manpower, which is needed in the development process.
• To take care of air pollution, countries which are currently under development should obviously pick wind or solar energy, even if initial costs are higher. The lengthy lifespan of these energy sources means that the money invested will be recuperated, and seeing how pollution will be reduced, life quality will increase as a whole, and proper conditions will be created for economic growth, so the initial investment is worth the sacrifice.
We mentioned attenuation at home for a good reason as there are methods for individuals to contribute and participate in solving the pollution issue. For households where economic funds allow it, air and water purification systems should be installed and used as not only will the health of the inhabitants directly improve, but a small impact will be had on the overall situation of the country as well if a considerable number of households are involved. For those who do not have the financial possibilities to solve air and water quality issues at home, a healthy mindset when it comes to the environment is an active way to help and participate in this battle. Education towards saving the environment implies proper household waste management, a more conscious consumption of water and food, and more.
While environmental pollution is inevitable in developing countries, the situation can be atoned at least if the right steps are followed by governments and people. A poor developmental situation on a country impacts the rest of the world as well, so it’s time we all take measures to help those in need for their sake, as well as ours.