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1.Global Warming is not our only environment problem!

TOP > Environmental Activities > The President's Green Column >
1.Global Warming is not our only environment problem!

The President's Green Column

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1.Global Warming is not our only environment problem!

Environment problem is a topic that we often hear about. However, what exactly are environmental problems? Mere acceptance of facts reported by the mass media tends to mislead us to think that the reported problems are our only concern.

Nowadays, there isn't a single day whereby we do not hear or read about global warming being reported by the media. In my opinion, audience and readers are being integrated with the idea that global warming is equivalent to environment problem.

Some time back during a meeting in my company, I asked what do one think are environmental problems. 80% answered rising sea level, typhoon & hurricane and global warming, all of which are global warming related problems. I realized that biased measures are the likely outcome when one is not incorporated with the bigger picture.

When I was still in elementary school, pollution is the main topic featured in the social studies curriculum. I still remember how air pollution and water pollution took up most of the time of my class. Back then when asked what one thinks is an environmental hazard, fumes and wastewater from factories, exhaust gases from cars are probably the common answers. Just a few years back, dioxin emission due to burning of waste materials surfaced as a problem in Japan. Dioxin is probably thought of as THE environmental hazard at that point of time. Then when the mass media feature stories of abuse of wild life animals, an image that wild life protection is THE environment problem we are facing is probably widespread. I cannot raise enough of such examples at times whereby the depletion of the ozone layer, acid rain, deforestation and etc became the hit topic.

Although all mentioned above are indeed environmental issues, not any single one is THE problem. It is essential for us to acknowledge that all in all are environmental problems.

There is no doubt that there is a trend even when it is environmental problems that we talking about. The mass media will always magnify problems that their audience wants to know about. What usually follows after sensationalized reports is the gradual graying out of such an incident.

Drawing measures according to trends is unlikely to lead to fruitful results. I believe that it is important to be not affected by the so-what trend but to examine the bigger picture. Priority and measures to tackle our environmental problems should be decided after putting into consideration the varying severity and criticality of various problems.

In my next entry, I would like to write about the definition of environmental problems.

15 Jun 2008 Hironobu Matsui

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