Earth Day 2015 – How The Environment Is Still Under Threat

There are now fewer mountain gorillas in the wild than footballers in the Premier League of UK soccer.

Earth Day celebrated its 45th anniversary and has been a trending topic across the globe and more than one billion people take part each year. Although it is credited with launching the current green movement, many experts around the world say we still face many problems.

Here are some of the top reasons people are campaigning for environmental issues in 2015.

Deforestation:
Rainforest that has been chopped down
Image captionThis aerial photograph show a deforested area of the Amazon in Brazil
We chop down 13 million hectares of forests a year – that’s 36 football fields a minute. One in five people around the world relies on forests in some way for essentials such as food and fresh water.

These people include the poorest on Earth.

Animal Farming:
Dairy cows

Meat and dairy farming creates almost a fifth of the gases that lead to climate change. This is more than the emissions from all the world’s planes, cars and lorries put together.

Extinction Rates:
Dippy the diplodocus skeleton
Rates of extinction not seen since the dinosaurs are currently taking place.

Scientist blame factors such as logging, pollution, industrial agriculture and over-fishing on current rapid extinction rates of the plants and animals. There are now fewer mountain gorillas in the wild than footballers in the Premier League of UK soccer.

Coral Reefs:
Fish swimming in coral

The Great Barrier Reef is under threat from Australia’s coal boom and have already suffered because of things like oceans becoming more acidic and increasing in temperature. Around half the coral has been destroyed in the last few decades.

Arctic Warming:
Polar bear on lumps of ice
A recent study showed that Arctic sea ice had thinned by 65% between 1975 and 2012.

The gradual disappearance of ice at the poles is having profound consequences for people, animals and plants in the polar regions, as well as around the world, through sea level rise.

Water Pollution:
People getting water from a communal tap
About one billion people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water.

Industrial waste and poor sanitation are making this scarce resource even more difficult to find and the UN has warned that the world will be plunged into a water crisis that could be crippling for hot, dry countries.

Waste Management:
Child standing on a landfill site

Half of the world’s population, about 3.5 billion people, do not have access to proper waste management facilities, which can lead to significant environmental hazards.

Open dumping, the most prevalent waste disposal method in many countries, can lead to acute health impacts for those living closest to dumping sites, most often the urban poor.

Follow @EnviroEnergetic on Twitter.

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