Lesson 5 of 5
In Progress

5. Pollution

Graham Soper 7 January 2021
  • First, some good news!  The Ozone Layer “Hole” which is 29 million square kilometres, is expected to be fully healed in the next 55 years. This is due to the worldwide banning of chlorofluorocarbon and hydro fluorocarbon. 
  • But the bad news is that in the last 170 years, we added 2.4 trillion tons of Carbon Dioxide into our atmosphere. Half of this was added in the last 35 to 50 years. 
  • Did you know that cows help to destroy the environment?  Each cow can release between 200 and 400 pounds (90-180 kilos) of methane gas through burps and farts each year. These levels are very high and are twenty-times more powerful than carbon dioxide gas.  A French company called Valorex SAS tried to convince farmers to feed their cows with alfalfa and flax seeds, which resulted in 25% less methane gas released through flatulence. 
  • Humans are responsible for the toxic air, water, and soil, among other levels of pollution. In turn, over nine million people die every year as a direct or indirect result of the pollution. The figures are three times the total deaths from AIDs, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. 
  • Fungi play a highly vital role in the environment and do almost everything in managing the environment. They digest minerals out of rocks formations, consume fossil fuel spills, and even de-radiate an environment, for instance, the de-radiation of the Chernobyl nuclear accident disaster. 
  • A Sperm whale’s poop is actually beneficial to the environment as it offsets carbon in the atmosphere. Each whale’s poop releases about 50 tonnes of iron annually that promote the growth of phytoplankton, which take in carbon dioxide. 
  • The most common greenhouse gases are methane, water vapor, and carbon dioxide. Too much of them contribute to global warming – resulting in the melting of the ice caps, and a subsequent rise in sea levels among other damaging effects such as desertification, droughts, floods, forest fires, and heatwaves. However, in adequate amounts, greenhouse gases trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere keeping it warm to support the survival of humans, animals, and plants. It means that without these gases, the planet would be too cold to support life. 
  • The USA burns 10,000 gallons of gasoline per second, equal to 220,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. If the world lived like an average American, we would need five planets to acquire all the resources needed. 
  • Beef is harmful to the environment. According to Gabriel (2020), red meat requires 28 times more land to yield as compared to pork or chicken. Cattle ranching contributes to deforestation and overgrazing turns one-fifth of all pastures and ranges into deserts. 
  • Cow manure and urine, produces ammonia into the air, causing acid rain in areas with many cows. Beef is the most widely produced type of meat, and producing it requires transportation by trucks which also contribute to the addition of carbon dioxide in the environment. 
  • Monte Kali and Kilimanjaro are actually named for a salt dumping tower over the town of Heringen, in Hesse, Germany. It is a salt dumping ground that has formed an actual mountain, poisoning the surrounding environment. The neighboring Werra River is saltier than the Baltic Sea. 
  • There are about 27 oil spills daily, somewhere in the world. The sad part about this is that about 5 million tons of all the oil produced every year, end up in the oceans, killing millions of marine animals. 
  • Mining is considered the world’s Number One Toxic Polluter. Steel production, for example, results in 80 tons of toxic wastewater for each ton of steel produced.