Have a look around – what do you see? There’s a haze in the sky, some dusty rubbish clogs a drain, trees are curling and dropping their leaves, a constant hum fills the air. It rises and falls with the flow of traffic. A sea bird is yanking at a piece of discarded fishing line that’s wrapped around its neck. A beetle hitches a ride on a piece of rubbish that drifts across the harbour. What a mess! It’s all ours and it’s called POLLUTION.
The responsibility for pollution rests with us all. As individuals we are responsible. The faceless multinational corporations who pollute Australia every day are responsible. Our government who allow them to set up their polluting factories, smelters and power stations with the promise of cheap water and cheap power are responsible. We are all responsible.
– Air pollution is a nasty little beast. It’s almost impossible to see, it moves on the wind and can travel great distances. It knows no borders and respects no countries. It settles on the land and water, causing massive problems for our environment and us. Some types of air pollution get more attention than others. And so they should. Carbon Dioxide and Methane are two seriously nasty pollutants that are directly attributing to global warming and climate change.
– Our water is also in a bit of strife. Activities that we do on land can affect the quality of our water. Our waste often gets washed into our waterways and coasts without any treatment. This waste might be the big bits that you can see like plastic bags, dead animals and ciggie butts. But it’s also the tiny, microscopic nasties that we can’t see. They build up and pollute our water to such an extent that waterways become unliveable for native plants, fish and animals. Not only are we running low on water we somehow reckon it’s a good idea to pollute the good stuff we have.
– As for our land, well the story doesn’t improve much. By 1991, 30% of Victoria’s agricultural land was considered ‘severely degraded.’ Rising salinity (due to over irrigation and loss of native vegetation) costs Victoria $50 million in lost agricultural production every year and the direct costs of salinity are expected to reach $77–166 million by 2050.
The bad news is that just about everything we do can cause pollution. The good news is that in most cases, there are easy ways to reduce or even stop the pollution.
We send more and more rubbish ‘away’ to landfill every year. There is no away, everything ends up somewhere and we are all responsible.