August 18, 2019

Current environmental issues

By Jessica Cantrell

Climate change is the great environmental challenge we face today. Although since the early 1980s it was already beginning to be mentioned as a serious threat to the planet, it has not been until recently that we have begun to be aware of its magnitude and the effects it could generate in the medium and long term. Do you know what effects we are talking about?

It is not only the progressive degradation of the ozone layer by greenhouse gases that is at issue. Nor is it the rise in temperatures or the disruption of the planet’s natural cycles. It is much more than that!

In fact, when we talk about climate change, we are referring both to its most direct symptoms and to the secondary or collateral effects that it can generate, sometimes much more harmful than the former. Today, in the next post, we propose to tell you about them in detail.

Climate change, poverty and inequality

In addition to the irreversible environmental damage, climate change also has a direct impact on the migratory movements that we are currently observing in various parts of the planet, as well as on food crises, territorial wars or increased inequality, to name but a few.

In fact, we could think of a category that encompasses new environmental issues that notoriously affect the well-being of thousands of people around the world. How about that? Let’s look at some of them:

Disappearance of water sources

The high temperatures have caused the drying up of rivers, lakes, lagoons and other water sources that for centuries were indispensable for the survival and development of entire peoples. Many of those that remain are contaminated, as are the oceans and coasts. This could also explain the gradual abandonment of some areas by millions of families, the expansion of deserts and the increasing migration to large urban centres. Water is a source of life and prosperity.


Neither the land, nor the air, nor the other resources are of the same quality as a few years ago. Greenhouse gases have deteriorated these resources and forced many people to abandon activities related to agriculture and food production in a natural way.


Every year thousands of miles of forest disappear around the world. It is estimated that, since 1990, more than half of the forests we see now have been destroyed. In addition, trees are dying at an accelerated rate due to air pollution, drying up of nearby water sources and sudden changes in temperature. In very few cases are there alternative programmes for planting, replanting and protecting arable land.

Over-exploitation of natural resources

Natural resources will soon be insufficient for the survival of the people who inhabit the Earth. Over-exploitation of resources, irresponsible consumption and the increase in the world’s population, which has tripled in the last 60 years and continues to grow at a rapid pace, are the main causes of this depletion.

The available water and energy will not be able to meet these needs. Furthermore, the exploitation of these resources continues to be in the hands of companies from developed countries that generate little profit where they are extracted, increasing inequality and forcing many people to leave their place of residence in search of areas more suitable for survival.

Use of chemical fertilizers and artificial cultivation methods

Droughts, hurricanes and other environmental phenomena prevent the production and cultivation of food under normal conditions. In order to remedy these effects and increase production, natural production methods have been replaced by artificial ones in which the use of chemicals predominates. These cultivation methods make food of poorer quality and adversely affect our health and that of the environment, as they pollute food, soil and air.

Are there solutions to today’s environmental problems?

As you may have noticed, all the causes and consequences of climate change are interrelated and affect our health and well-being to a greater or lesser extent. What is our role, then, as inhabitants of the planet?

It is difficult to speak of a single solution to curb the major environmental problems currently afflicting the Earth. However, we can talk about an essential first step to do so: the awareness that as inhabitants of the world we are entitled to.

Awareness of what? Basically of our relationship with the environment and nature, which is made manifest in the articles we buy, the trade networks we support and the initiatives that individually and socially come out ahead.

We talk, for example, about carrying out sustainable agriculture that conserves natural resources, responsible consumption based on real needs, care of ecosystems, reduction of waste and recycling, reuse of all those materials and products that we no longer use, among other options.

It is also important to avoid as much as possible the use of fuels that generate greenhouse gases, the use of chemicals or preservatives and, of course, to reinforce environmental education from an early age.