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In the middle of the XXth century man for the first time saw his planet as it looks from space. From space we see a small fragile ball. The ball is wrept in a thin atmosphere. There is no outlet. There is no inlet. It is a closed system.
Together and left alone land, air and water work well as an “ecosystem”. But man, since he first rose up on two legs, has been tampering with this system. Everything we do alters our environment: the ways we grow food and build houses, and create what we call “culture” and “civilization”.
Now entering the last decade of the XXth century, we face the shocking realization that we have gone too far, too fast and too carelessly. It is nobody’s fault and it is everybody’s fault. The real culprits are the three main currents of the XXth century – population, industrialization and urbanization. Together these and mightily currents of history have acted to pollute the air, the land and the waters- and three rapid to accelerate our mounting less of beauty and privacy, quiet and recreation.
The more we produce and consume, the more waste products we send into the air.
Now we throw out 150 million tons of pollution into the atmosphere and this is a course of the greenhouse effect or global warming. It is the most devastating environmental problem. Such gases as carbon dioxide (CO2) let in solar heat, but prevent it returning to space. Scientists predict raising of the temperature at the earth’s surface and as a result flooding the coastal cities of the world.
Another problem that we are facing to now is a problem of ozone layers. This layer of ozone gas encircles the planet prevent letting in the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. But now the ozone layer is thinning and ultraviolet radiation is increasing.
Many big industrial cities have a problem of smog. It is a mixture of smog and fog. The risks associated with town smog include asthma, allergic conditions, chronic bronchitis and lung diseases.
We need interactions, new technologies, new industrial models of operation and responsible policy. We need also environmental considerations at all levels by government, by business, by organizations, by you and me as individuals.
The most horrible ecological disaster befell Belarus and its people in the result of the Chernobyl tragedy. The Chernobyl catastrophe, which happened in April 1986, really shocked the whole world. About 18 per cent of the territory of Belarus was polluted with radioactive substances. A great damage has been done to the republic’s agriculture and forests and people’s health.