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Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, humans have been using raw materials to create consumer goods resulting in massive amounts of waste and pollution. Industrial activity jump-starts rural0-urban migration, which creates commerce and urban centres such as cities. Consequently, these cities consume large amounts of energy, food, and water, causing massive pollution to the environment. These issues have begun affecting the planet through global warming, forcing stakeholders to investigate viable methods of fighting against both pollution and global warming. Carbon dioxide management, unequal socioeconomic development, modern attitudes of consumerism, and hypothetical gaps pose significant challenges in the continuing fight against pollution.
Challenges to the Fight against Pollution
As human society fights against pollution and global warming, the complexity of managing carbon dioxide and other similar by-products of industrial activity and commerce becomes evident. Carbon dioxide, monoxide, and methane as some of the most harmful pollutants that contribute to current global warming and pollution (Padhy, & Mishra, 2017). However, reducing the amount of these pollutants released into the atmosphere is both complicated and expensive.
Many industrial processes depend on carbon dioxide while also releasing the same gas as a by-product. Additionally, transportation processes both on land and in the air release massive amounts of the pollutant. Reducing these pollutants in our environment involves innovating alternative transportation methods and improving scrubbing technology for industrial activities. Both strategies are time-consuming and highly expensive, making the fight against pollution on the planet slow and costly.
All countries in the world develop at their own pace, meaning industrial, economic, political, and social development rates vary widely worldwide. Consequently, strategies aimed at reducing waste material such as carbon dioxide and similar gases, plastics, sewerage effluent, and even medical waste cannot be implemented uniformly (Grant et al., 2018). While the advanced and wealthy countries in North America and Europe can afford such initiatives, struggling Africa, Latin American, and Asian countries have to contend with procrastination and less effective alternatives.
Carbon footprint management has proven difficult because European initiatives cannot work in Africa. Similarly, plastic and nuclear waste management processes vary between North American and Asia due to the inherent socioeconomic, political, and even geographical differences. It is tough to implement pollution reduction strategies when the countries involved vary in terms of their ability, capacity, and willpower.
Since the Industrial Revolution optimized migration and commerce in Europe a century ago, many people have developed a consumerist attitude. The attitude relates to buying merchandise, using it, and dumping any leftovers or waste material. Often, the waste disposal process is reckless because most people do not care about the effects of waste material on the planet (Lee et al., 2017). The waste material includes plastics, metals, clothing, fabrics, leather items, and even rubber products. Some of these products, such as rubber, organics fabrics, and food items, are biodegradable, but the rest accumulates in landfills or end up in the oceans and lakes.
Unfortunately, plastics from beverage packaging and food wrapping material has been found tens of thousands of miles away in the stomachs of whales and ocean turtles. Therefore, the skewed mentality of consumerism seems to globally undermine all efforts that various stakeholders invest in the pollution management process.
The theory surrounding the effects of pollution on the planet is mostly hypothetical as these effects are yet to occur. The hypothetical nature of the information supporting many of the bodies of knowledge linked to pollution undermines its management. Unfortunately, many people do not take warnings about how continued pollution might seriously threaten the life of the earth. Even when there is evidence linking pollution to a deterioration of global welfare such as rising sea levels and surface temperature, many people doubt these metrics.
The continued doubt for the relationship between pollution and declining planetary welfare characterized by ignorance towards public warnings undermines the continued efforts against pollution (Grant et al., 2018). Combined with the fact that most of the information suggests that these effects will occur after several decades, many people continue being sceptical or remain ignorant. Therefore, the hypothetical nature of the effects of continued pollution on the planet creates scepticism and ignorance in many people and undermines the continuing pollution control campaigns.
The Industrial Revolution created many benefits but also increased the rate of pollution tenfold, leading to severe problems such as global warming. Many governments and stakeholder groups are currently involved in pollution control initiatives with varying levels of success. The success rate of these initiatives has met several challenges that continue to undermine all efforts aimed at saving life on earth from the devastating effects of continued pollution.
These challenges undermining pollution control processes include consumerism attitudes, variance in socioeconomic and political development among countries, the difficulties of managing carbon gas emissions, and the hypothetical nature of these effects of pollution. However, the majority of stakeholders involved have realized the need for lobbying and social education to spearhead the efforts aimed at saving the planet from pollution. Using sanctions and other forceful methods, the global community is pushing ignorant and slow stakeholder groups towards compliance.
Grant, D., Jorgenson, A., & Longhofer, W. (2018). Pathways to carbon pollution: The interactive effects of global, political, and organizational factors on power plants’ CO2 emissions. Sociological Science, 5, 58-92. https://doi.org/10.15195/v5.a4
Lee, C. T., Hashim, H., Ho, C. S., Fan, Y. V., & Klemeš, J. J. (2017). Sustaining the low-carbon emission development in Asia and beyond: Sustainable energy, water, transportation and low-carbon emission technology. Journal of Cleaner Production, 146, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.11.144
Padhy, P. C., & Mishra, A. K. (2017). Green consumerism: Catalyst for environmental marketing. Asia Pacific Journal of Energy and Environment, 4(2), 49-52. https://doi.org/10.18034/apjee.v4i2.515