Global Environmental Issue in the 21st Century

The 21st century has clocked in when the world is facing many challenges. Currently the world is faced by challenges taking all dimensions from abject poverty, environmental issues, human right issues, livelihood inequalities, to other matters concerning the advancement of technology and the problem it poses to human existence. It is predicted that life on planet earth is endangered by these challenges in nothing is done to address them in the near future.

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I agree that the environmental issue is perhaps the greatest to these challenges and will still remain a challenge even in the 21st century. This is due to the challenges that this problem has posed to the world since the begging of the last century. Among the problem that comprises environmental challenges include destabilization of the ecosystem, increasing pollution, climatic changes, and many others.

The issue of climatic change is seen as the end result of continued pollution of the environment over a long period. The explosion of the population has also been another problem facing the environment. The ever growing population has exerted a lot of pressure on the environment. The growth of the population has not matched the dwindling resources. This has resulted to constant conflicts and wars for resources. Among the recorded wars in the world has been the conflict in Sudan over oil resources. This war further leads to environmental pollution. (West, 2008)

Why environmental issue will remain a challenge for this century is an obvious answer to all of us. This is evidenced by the practical examples of the effects that we can see in the above examples and many others that are bound to happen in the course of the century. We all acknowledge that we are the one who have caused this problem and yet we have not yet found a lasting solution to this problem, although we have a conscious knowledge that we are the root cause of the problem. It is still a challenge because it poses a great danger to us. It is a problem that we cannot dismiss.

The problem of climate change had been traced to air pollution caused directly by our activities. The green house effect has been identified as the leading factor that is causing climatic changes. The green house effect is caused by formation of a thin layer of gases that reflects sun rays causing the rise of global temperature or global warming. This has an effect on many climatic changes that are taking place. Carbon dioxide gas has been identified as the leading polluter of the environment which leads to the green house effect. This is what is presenting environmental issues as a challenge to us in this century. Still we rely on carbon fuels as a source of energy. We need energy to drive our economy and our life and solve this problem we must find an alternative energies which are friendlier to the environment.

Although we have made efforts, our efforts are constantly undermined by world powers. It is an issue of collective responsibilities which we have not seen. In the early 1990s, the world forums including the United Nations started making efforts to address the issue of climate change. In 1997, the world came to an agreement and drafted the Kyoto Protocol which was seen as a hope in reaching agreement on the amount of carbon dioxide that each country should emit based on their level of growth. This protocol provided guidelines to be followed to help reduce the amount of carbon gas emitted in the environment. But why has not achieved its intended purpose? (Wolfensohn, 2004)

But this protocol did not meet its expectations. Big emitters of carbon dioxide gas like the United States withdrew from the protocol citing the negative effects it would have on their economy. This has been viewed as a betrayal to the world efforts to reduce environmental pollution. To this date, little has been achieved to reduce gas emission but progress is being recorded European countries.

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This brings us to the effort that we as individuals have to play in this fight. Individuals have a role to play in fighting the environment issue. It is time we woke up to the realization that we as individuals directly contribute to the pollution of the environment. People like Beckham are recorded as having the highest personal pollution to the environment due to their lavish spending. The number of air trips we make, the time we spend burning fossil fuel in our cars, how we dump, and others all lead to pollution. These are ways in which we can adjust our life and save the environment.

It is viewed that individual persons has a big role to play in ensuring that the environment is well preserved. Individual activity can play a big part in preserving our environment. Although the bulk of environment lies with the industries, individual person has been making a contribution. The use and disposal of plastic bags can be taken as an example. If people use and dispose off plastic bags responsibly, it can play a big part in reducing environmental pollution. The micro-activities by individual person can be a good measure of our efforts to reverse environmental pollution.

With the failure of world powers to act on environmental pollution, it is time for each and every one of us to ask ourselves what role do we play polluting the environment and device the necessary measure that we can take to reverse the trend.


West, L. (2008). Environmental issues: How Global Population Growth is Creating Serious Environmental Problems. Environmental Issues Newsletter.

Wolfensohn, J. D. (2004). Securing the 21st Century. 2004 Annual Meeting Address. The World Bank Group. Washington DC.

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