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5.The 3 Main Environmental Problems

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5.The 3 Main Environmental Problems

The President's Green Column

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5.The 3 Main Environmental Problems

"Insufficiency of resources, water and food",
"Rapid Global Warming"&"Usage & Disposal of radioactive materials"

In my previous entry, I plotted various environmental problems against the size of area affected and the duration of damages. From which I have pinpointed the followings as severe problems that requires global attention and long-term plans. They are namely Insufficiency of Resources, Water and Food , Rapid Global Warming & Usage & Disposal of Radioactive Products.

These are not independent problems but are closely co-related.

For example, Rapid Global Warming accelerates the insufficiency of water and food. When we try to control the insufficiency of water and food by using nuclear power, we aggravate the problem of Usage of Radioactive Products . Usage of Biofuel to solve problems such as insufficient resources and rapid global warming deteriorates the condition of insufficient food. When coal is used in replacement of oil due to limitation in supply, global warming is being worsened as coal releases more CO2 than oil and natural gases. There is just no single perfect solution.

The level of urgency also differs between these problems.

Natural resources, water and food are essential to the survival of human beings. Especially when we run out of water and food supply or when extreme inflation hits, it is most likely that human beings will be incapable of surviving. Inflation of such resources is already a reality and in regions where there are many poor people, it has become an issue between life and death. Dispute amongst people for these rare resources puts them in aggravating danger each day.

Rapid Global Warming」is a severe issue. However, it requires us to use decades or even more centuries to deal with it. It is unlikely that we will be able to prevent global warming as a result of some strategy that we draw now. For the past few decades, people have continuously been working against the escalation of global warming. Despite so, it is a fact that we have to live with our earth that is going through global warming for the next few decades or even the next few centuries.

Radioactive products have in the past created many tragedies during the Hiroshima & Nagasaki Nuclear bombing and Chernobyl Incident. However, it seems to me that people are putting aside these incidents and actually trying to adapt to the usage of nuclear power. This may be due to recognition of nuclear power's value as a short-term strategy to shortage of resources and global warming. Nevertheless, extreme damages of nuclear weapons and the aftereffects of radioactive materials that last for thousands to billion of years makes it a very challenging problem to handle.

These 3 problems are co-related to each another and have varying severity. It is inevitable to sacrifice one problem in the short run in order to tackle with another. Nevertheless, it is essential to proceed in a direction that all 3 problems are to be eliminated in the long run.

From my next entry, I would like to present data and facts on the current situation of these 3 problems.

The 3 Main Environmental Problems

30 Aug 2008 Hironobu Matsui

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