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Environmental issues (except water and air pollution) in Ontario

Info: 1919 words (8 pages) Essay
Published: 11th May 2021 in Environmental Studies

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Ontario is the second-largest province in Canada, which covers more than one million square kilometers; also, it has approximately 14 million population. Given that, the abundant natural resources and labor forces help Ontario become a part of the North American manufacturing heartland that Ontario is not only a large province geographically but also a province with strong economic status. However, developing a province’s economy can be a double-edged sword because it is also hurting the environment by overusing natural resources and there are some environmental problems already existed such as poor waste management, deforestation, and climate change.

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First of all, Ontario is now facing a problem of wasting management that the province's landfills took 8 million tonnes of waste in 2017, in which the number of waste is increasing every year. Also, 8 tonnes of waste are not all the total waste that Ontarian produces. There are another 3.5 million tonnes of waste that exports to the United States each year, which is nearly 45% extra wastes. Given that, the fact is being shown, the province of Ontario has not enough landfills to dispose of all the waste that is produced such as liquid waste, solid rubbish, organic waste, recyclable rubbish, and hazardous waste even though the government of Ontario is doing something ahead of many other countries that published a law for waste management many years ago that people should separate their own different kind of garbage into three different bins, which makes easier for government to collect and dispose of. However, it is not really shoving the waste problem by only separating garbage into recyclable bin, organic bin, and garbage bin. Currently, the limited landfills that are existed in Ontario will run out of capacity within 14 years or even less, which means Ontario is losing the ability of disposing province’s waste. Also, many developing countries such as China and Philippines are no longer accepting oversea garbage from developed countries such as Canada and the United States because more and more developing countries are realizing that they are not really making money from disposing of oversea garbage because these countries' own environment is also damaged by disposing of extra wastes and it would cost more money for them to shove environmental problems later. On another hand, this new policy is putting more pressure on Ontario's own landfills where have limited space. In addition, it currently takes at least 10 years to through the approvals process required to develop a new landfill; therefore, the environment and millions of Ontarians’ health would be threatened if Ontario’s current landfills are running out. Given that, Ontario is facing a serious environmental issue of waste management.

Additionally, Ontario’s environmental problem of deforestation is also damaging the environment and the province's economy. Deforestation is the permanent removal of trees that including cutting trees for producing fuel, building houses, and running factories. In the last 30 years, Ontario has lost an expanse of productive forest, which equivalents to the 10 times the City of Toronto, which also lost 16.5 million tonnes of carbon storage capacity. Given that, it is only the tip of the iceberg of Ontario's deforestation. Ontario has a total of 71 million hectares of forest, which occupied 2% of the world's forest and Ontario’s forest is a key component of the provincial economy, which is a money tree industry. The industry provides approximately 150,000 direct and indirect jobs and generates over $12 billion to Ontario. Therefore, it is impossible for the government to shut down the forest industry in order to shove deforestation. Meanwhile, the hot industry is speeding up the deforestation that approximately 21,700 hectares are deforested each year in the boreal forest of Ontario. As a result, there are some effects of deforestation that are biodiversity, soil erosion, and climate change. The biodiversity means the variety of life in the ecosystem, which includes animals, plants, and human beings and it is very important to Ontario’s environment because it ensures Ontarian’s health and helps fight disease. Given that, plants produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide by photosynthesizing that can help people breathe fresh air. Also, in the animal world, there is a relationship between each specie, which called the food chain. The food chain system keeps different species under the perfect amounts so that animals, plants, and human beings can live together for a long time. However, Ontarian is currently living closer and closer with animals even though many cities are urbanized because of the deforestation that many animals’ original living areas are destroyed; additionally, it is not a great idea that Ontario citizens get too close to animals because there are many infectious diseases originate from animals and some emerging infectious diseases originate from wildlife such as the COVID-19. Moreover, many Ontario farmers have to face another effect of deforestation that is soil erosion, which is the enemy of Ontario’s farmer that is causing the problem of food security because farmers are losing lands to grow crops and it indirectly affecting climate change because there are fewer lands to grow plants that can take in climate-warming carbon dioxide. 

Moreover, the province of Ontario is also facing the environmental issue of climate change. Ontario is now the second biggest carbon polluter that the environmental issue of climate change becomes a serious topic for the provincial government and every Ontarian because climate change is causing the weather more unpredictable. Given that, it is affecting Ontario’s farmers directly due to many crops' growth cycle are not matching with the new weather patterns, which also affect the province's economy. Meanwhile, the temperature changing is leading the level of Ontario’s forest fire risk is also increasing that Ontario’s fire management area is expected to increase by 15% by 2040 and 50% by the end of the century. Additionally, a drier forest floor is the main factor that causing Ontario's forest fire, which the government has to spend more money on preventing forest fires such as building more fire stations that are close to the major forest. According to that, the forest fire will destroy the current area’s ecological balance and it takes years and years to recover; so, Ontario’s climate change issue is mainly caused by human activities. Given that, there are 8.7 million registered road vehicles and more than 14 million people in Ontario, which means each Ontarian family at least owned 1 road vehicle and some families may own more than 2 vehicles. Most vehicles are using gasoline as the energy that produces a lot of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide; these greenhouse gases are making Ontario’s climate change issue worse and worse and the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions are increasing every year because more and more Ontarian have financial ability to purchase their own vehicle. Also, as a citizen, many people do not consider that they have responsibilities to the province’s climate change because the consequences are currently not affecting their daily life. Therefore, the environmental issue of climate change is challenging Ontario’s ecosystem and the provincial government.

To sum up, the Ontario province is the most important province in Canada economically and geographically, which has almost half of the country’s total population and provides millions of job opportunities for people who choose to live here. Also, the abundance of resources is making Ontario become one of the biggest manufacturing markets in North America. However, the fast-growing economy puts Ontario’s environment in a bad situation that the province is currently facing environmental issues of waste management, deforestation, and climate change that are affecting Ontario citizens’ health and cities’ sustainable development. It is time for the government of Ontario to find better solutions to shove these environmental issues in order to save the beautiful land for the next generations; all the citizens of Ontario should take their own responsibilities for Ontario's environment as well.

References

  1. Sun, S. (2019, November 05). CHOPOWICK: Ontario needs new landfills. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-ontario-needs-new-landfills
  1. Rossi, R. (2019, March 14). Ontario must face up to its looming waste crisis. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2019/03/14/ontario-must-face-up-to-its-looming-waste-crisis.html
  1. Forum, W. (2020, May 22). 1. Biodiversity Ensures Health and Food Security. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from https://www.ecowatch.com/why-biodiversity-matters-2646065739.html?rebelltitem=2
  1. What Is Deforestation? Definition, Causes, Effects, and Solutions to Stop it. (n.d.). Retrieved July 22, 2020, from https://youmatter.world/en/definition/definitions-what-is-definition-deforestation-causes-effects/
  1. 52. (2019, December 11). Ontario Has Lost 650,000 Hectares of Forest. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from https://theenergymix.com/2019/12/11/logging-costs-ontario-650000-hectares-of-forest-16-5-mt-of-carbon-storage-over-30-years/
  1. Sulaeman, D., & Westhoff, T. (2020, February 07). The Causes and Effects of Soil Erosion, and How to Prevent It. Retrieved July 22, 2020, from https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/01/causes-effects-how-to-prevent-soil-erosion
  1.  Connolly, A. (2019, September 27). Here's how climate change will impact the region where you live. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from https://globalnews.ca/news/5918981/climate-change-impact-across-canada/
  1. South-East Asian countries are banning imports of waste for recycling. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/asia/2019/06/15/south-east-asian-countries-are-banning-imports-of-waste-for-recycling
  1. Wotton, B., Logan, K., & McAlpine, R. (2020, July 22). Canadian Forest Service Publications. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from https://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/publications?id=34351

 

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