Myth Busters: Unraveling Environmental myths – Fiinovation

Earth Sciences comprises of many aspects that need in depth knowledge. Once it was believed that continents are so huge that they can’t move, which now we know is wrong notion. There is so much to know about the Universe, Earth and Environment that we need to keep researching about them to gather as much knowledge as possible. The mysteries about Earth and Environment have led to different perceptions. The mysteries surrounding climate change, global warming etc. has led to an increased inflow of remedial suggestions from experts, academicians and the general public. This has also led to an increasingly opinionated public perception about the state of current environment. Personal beliefs are being translated into strong comments and views. Are these perceptions correct? Not all of them. Let us find out if some of the major “well known-facts” are even facts or not.

Myth: There is a physical hole in the Ozone!!

Fact: The ambiguity surrounding this mysterious hole in the ozone layer has continued to baffle one and many. The earth’s atmosphere is surrounded by an Ozone layer and this layer protects the inhabitants of our planet from the harmful spectrum of UV rays. But when people say that there is a hole in that layer, they are not entirely correct. Ozone is an allotrope of Oxygen which is present in the triatomic form or as O3. The formation of O3 is a continuous process in the earth’s atmosphere and is affected by several factors including the incidence of UV rays. The “hole” in the layer which was observed over Antarctica represents lesser density of the Ozone layer due to excessive dissociation of the O3 atom. Hence the “hole” represents the depreciation in the formation rate of ozone near the poles rather than a physical visible hole.

Myth: Human Beings are responsible for Global Warming.

Fact: Despite the fact that it is popular belief, that this is an irrefutable fact, the actual stats convey a different story. It is observed that the anthropogenic contribution to green house gas emissions is just actually slightly lower than the natural causes. The burning of fossil fuels is responsible for just 3.27% of the carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere each year, while the biosphere and oceans account for 55.28% and 41.46%, respectively. This though does not mean that Human beings are not contributors in the Global Warming scenario. The contribution from the biosphere and the oceans was always there but the anthropogenic contribution is extra and does pose a threat in maintenance of equilibrium in the Global Carbon Cycle.

Myth: Environment Conservation= Planting Trees= Well done Human Beings.

Fact: This case is well accepted amongst people and is by and large believed to be the best way to conserve the environment. Environmental conservation is not only limited to planting trees. A common man can contribute to the conservation of environment by performing a simple act like switching off the electrical appliances for 10 minutes each day. Tree plantation drives attract many participants but wrongly conceptualized tree plantation drives can also lead to environmental degradation. Planting water intensive trees in areas experiencing ground water shortage will cause water stress and will ultimately lead to environmental degradation.

Myth:  Renewable Energy = Good Energy

Fact: This may be true in the case of energy crisis that the world is facing, but this is not true if we look at it from an environmental point of view. Renewable sources of energy are those sources which can be replenished at a faster rate than the non-renewable sources of energy. These sources include: Water, Air, biomass, solar and geothermal energy. It is a debate whether to include nuclear energy or not in this list. Though the usage of renewable sources mean replenishment of the sources, it does not guarantee production of clean energy, geothermal energy and hydropower generation cause huge environmental problems by way of air pollution and habitat loss respectively. The other cleaner sources like wind and solar remain too expensive to be introduced to the general public. So the question remains, is good energy necessarily good for the environment?

Climate change

 

By:

Vipin Vijayan

Program Manager

Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd.

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15 thoughts on “Myth Busters: Unraveling Environmental myths – Fiinovation

  1. Suhail Haque says:

    Well written. An environmental issue that the North East is facing and is expected to rise to affect thousand of lives is the construction of Dams in the upstream of Brahmaputra is China. Today there are more than 25,800 large dams in China, more than any other country in the world.
    China’s dams are notoriously controversial. The environmental impact to wetlands are well documented and include concerns over fish migration patterns, landslides caused by bank erosion, and the accumulation of industrial effluent in the resulting reservoirs.
    Thousands of people have been moved, often forcibly, to make way for the reservoirs. This trend is spreading across the Tibetan Plateau, the source of some of Asia’s mightiest rivers.

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  2. Rahul Choudhury says:

    What about the facts that are told to Scientists by the capitalistic governments like United States to be suppressed. When someone tries to unravel those they alleged of crippling the economy and making people jobless. United States is a cruel country where people who raise their voice against their way of work like Snowden have to take refuge in countries like Russia. Environment scientists who are involved in finding new things should take greater responsibility to disclose rightful facts in public domain.

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    • @Rahul: Science and discoveries have always found the least number of takers. In ancient Europe we know of the stories wherein the churches branded the innovators as Witches and Wizards. Anything that is not understood is generally not accepted by Governments, it has been this way for centuries.

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      • Rahul Choudhury says:

        How do you think we should tackle this? Do we need a World forum that have representatives from across the globe bringing out facts directly to the media? How will you make the group independent?

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      • Suhail Haque says:

        The Capitalists, Governments (Big Funders-Capitalists) have always used the lesser known facts, and the unknowns for their personal benefits. Many propaganda’s have been used in the past for the benefits of a few at the expense of the universe. This is nothing new and we all are payers in some way or the other.

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  3. gauravhrb says:

    The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. Once we are aware about our surroundings and understand the dynamics behind it we will be a liberated soul.

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  4. @Rahul: Censorship is a tool which often falls into the wrong hands. What emerges is the underground channels of information, which more often than not is not considered credible. With credible information facing “censorship”, I think we need to figure responsible ways of sharing information.

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    • Rahul Choudhury says:

      A facebook post can make you go to jail in India atleast? How do you think we will have responsible ways to come up with information sharing? Do you think we should incentivise the whole process? How make the back channels come in the forefront?

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      • Liberalization of Media. The only way for information to surface. True, that we will always have the “paid for” news, but there are credible sources of information who still haven’t lost their integrity. They will benefit from such a move.

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  5. Joyita Bhattacharya Pathak says:

    Myths about Environmental facts are due to dearth in seriousness towards Environmental education . It is extremely necessary to focus on EE as it is not a matter of choice anymore,it is the prime call of the hour.

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  6. Kaif Siddiqui says:

    we humans are the only responsible for climate change, global warming and pollution. So as we are responsible for it, we are also accountable for it and we have to think about it and need to come up with some good initiative to reduce those problems.

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  7. alex reid says:

    The climate changes observed today are undoubtedly not caused by the sun or any other natural factors says new research.

    The findings by a team of international scientists, led by Lawrence Livemore National Laboratory in the US, report further evidence of the human influence on climate change.

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  8. Anand Kumar says:

    Myth: Environment Conservation= Planting Trees= Well done Human Beings.

    Reality: Environment Conservation = Rapid deforestation,dumping of industrial waste,land degradation,emission of green house gases = well done human beings…!!

    Like

  9. Sreevidhya says:

    A truly charitable person should help those who are actually in need. One should possess a sympathetic heart towards others and should be able to help those in need starting with those close to him. It doesn’t make meaning for a person to leave his family in need and he helps others for that will be a show off of some kind

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