om pollution?Planet earth is dying: the ozone layer is depleting, global temperatures are rising, polar ice caps are melting, the air has become a dwelling for toxic vapours and the ground is being impregnated with tonnes of harmful waste. In mans attempt to dominate earth, he is slowly but painfully destroying this planet by a process termed- pollution. As a result, earth needs to be saved from the introduction of harmful chemicals and substances into the environment, by man. There are already some efforts to save planet earth from air, land and sea pollution; however lots more need to be done.


The first major pollution plaguing the earth today is air pollution. Air is the breath of life and now it has apparently become a breath of death. It is loaded with high levels of: carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxides, sulphur dioxide, CFC`s and carbon dioxide (all of which are harmful to the body and the environment).
One step that have already been undertaken to help curb air pollution is the introduction of catalytic converters in cars which alter the toxic vapours from the engine to less harmful gases. However, this process also produces carbon dioxide, which is a leading factor for global warming; therefore other processes within the converter itself should be created which would cut down the level of carbon dioxide produced. Additionally, there are laws in many countries (example- Clean Air Act of 1970 in USA) whereby drivers are charged if they have soot coming out of there exhaust but these laws are not enforced. Trinidad and Tobago is a clear example of this. In order to save the earth, this law ought to be enforced. Locally, the government of T&T has initiated a new project to save the air: the phasing out of leaded gasoline and introducing only the unleaded type. This is a good step in the right direction, and this should be a project which all countries worldwide should undertake.


Moreover, there are attempts to cease the use of CFC`s but that is not enough, there ought to be a total worldwide ban placed on the substance. There should also be a ban placed on cigarette smoking since this introduce arsenic and naphthalene into the air which is a poison used to kill rats and cockroaches.
Additionally, many factories that produce sulphur dioxide vapour have cut down its production by almost 90%by using a process called limestone scrubbing, however this process produces slag which has to be gotten rid off by dumping. Therefore chemical processes should also be created to get rid off or reuse this substance so it does not enter the environment.


Another way in which the levels of chemicals in the air can be controlled is by having governments and private organizations work together, such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, EPA of America and EMA of Trinidad. The governments should stand for the earths rights. The leaders of this globe should work together for its betterment and not fight against those who are trying to save it. An example of this was: the Greenpeace peacefully protesting against America for illegally logging in Brazil, and as a result of this, president George Bush is attempting for the first time ever to sue the Greenpeace.
Another type of pollution that is attacking this world is land pollution. This involves littering, improper garbage disposals, dumping of chemical and radioactive substances into the earth, which cause damage to the soil and contamination of the ground water. A major process that helps in curbing land pollution is recycling. The EPA of America has started recycling programs and has now accounted that a quarter of the 200million tonnes of waste is now being recycled, but what about the next 75%. Where will it go? There should be more programs to eliminate the rest of this solid waste. The public should get more involved and have strict recycling programs with the garbage disposal system.


Locally there is the EMA, which is the major anti pollution organization but they should try to enforce the $1000 litter fines (since no one has been charged yet). Recently however, there has been the introduction of the CEPEP program, which involves environment protection and beautification. This is a commendable action and there should be more like it not only in T&T but worldwide.


Additionally, there should be better funding for these organizations. The USA has an estimated 217 000 hazardous waste dumps which require immediate attention and would cost around $187 billion to clean. The EPA alone cannot afford such a large operation, however, the government could assist since this urgent clean-up action and it would not only benefit the country but the world at large.


The final major pollution that is destroying the earth is water pollution. This is due to oil spills (such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, which spilled 11million tones of oil in Alaska), industrial effluents, agricultural processes and even heat released by desalination plants (such as the one at Point Lisas in T&T). Some measures that are being put in place are in the form of legislation. These include the Clean Water Act of 1972 in America that seeks federal funding to set up water treatment plants. By 1990 it claims to have successfully clean three-quarter of all surface water in the country but this is only in USA and other nations such as India and Nigeria should also have treatment plants. In Trinidad there is the legislation: The Marine Area Preservation and Enhancement Act 1970 that has helped protect the Buccoo Reef and the Bon Accord Lagoon complex, but this is not adequate since it only protects certain regions. Laws should be nationwide and have no restrictions.


Furthermore, regulatory agencies now require that all chemicals be examined prior to marketing for any deleterious effects on the biological community. Developed countries such as USA, Europe, and Japan have now imposed stringent effluent discharge limits. This is a good practice, however other countries in the second and third world countries should follow these steps. If this is not possible financially, then the UN, other organizations or well-developed nations could render aid to these smaller countries. This sort of combined effort would help save the world from water pollution eventually.


Our planet earth is crying. She is crying to return to the days of blue skies, aquamarine oceans and evergreen forests. She is sick- because she has highly toxic chemicals in her stomach. She has a fever- raising the global temperatures and she is shedding tears- causing our sea levels to rise; but in spite of all this she still continues to provide for her greatest enemy man. For this, she is a hero and ought to be protected. So I hope that we take all these existing methods, enforce them, and also introduce those that were proposed so that we can save our beloved planet earth from pollution.


(6BS1)