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The environment of the world is constantly changing, so the need for awareness is increasing. The massive influx of natural disasters, weather patterns, cooling and warming period and much more, people across the world needs to be aware regarding such type of environmental problems which the planet is facing. Global warming has become an undisputed fact about livelihoods, as the planet is warming up and leading to enormous problems (Judge & Douglas, 2002). All over the world people are facing a new challenging environment which is changing the landscape and Ontario is one of them. Ontario is one of the territories of Canada and is located in East-Central Canada. It is considered as the most populous province and is second largest in total area. It is home to capital city Ottawa. As it is the largest and populous, so it also has many issues like political, social or environmental. However, environmental issues have become the wildest issue in the whole world especially due to globalization (Canada, 2016). This study will analyze the major environmental crisis which Ontario is currently facing. However, the study would provide a theoretical perspective regarding the environmental issues of the world and would recommend certain measures that how the governments and the associations can overcome such challenges.
2. Environmental Crisis in Ontario:
The planet is getting poised because of the several environmental crises. The current environmental issues have made Ontario to face vulnerable and disastrous tragedies. They are now in the state of planetary emergency because of the enormous environmental crisis which is piling them up high. It has now become necessarily important to address such issues which are prudently leading them to disaster. The major current environmental crises which require urgent attention are:
2.1. Air Pollution:
Air pollution is considered the most dangerous crisis in Ontario. They are not only affecting the health of Ontario people but their environment, structures, buildings and economy in general. The air pollution problems like acid rain, smog are resulting in various air pollutant released to the atmosphere through human activities and natural processes. Air pollution has also been increasing due to oil and gas production by the industries and other products like solvents and paints etc. The growing population of Ontario and their economy is leading to the increase in their demand for delivery of services and goods, housing and transportation. The energy is used to meet their demands of fossil fuels which are pressurizing the quality of air (Winfield, 2012).
2.1.1. Environmental impact:
- Air pollution is reducing the productivity and growth of crops and injures the shrubs and flowers which results in the decline of forest in some parts on Ontario.
- It is impacting the matter constituents taken by plants from the soil which are reducing the growth of plants.
- Hazardous pollutants and Emissions of mercury results in the harmful effects of acids deposition with Nitrogen oxide and Sulphur dioxide (Harold & Andrew, 2006).
2.2 Food Waste:
According to the report of Martin Gooch for the Value Chain Management Centre, released in last year, it has been estimated that wastage of food in Ontario is about $10.5 billion year. The report contains that consumers are the largest source of wastage of food which is impacting the environment (Artuso, 2012).
2.2.1. Environmental Impact:
- The greenhouse gasses are responsible for the production and transportation of food and their disposers and end up in landfills which resulted in the production of methane which is 20 times worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
- Food wastage results in great loss of freshwater and groundwater resources. The volume of water is three times than the volume of Lake Geneva which is used to produce food which cannot be eaten. It has been estimated that by throwing one 1kg of beef means wasting of 50,000-liter water which has been used to produce that meet (Dana, 2015).
2.3 Climate Change:
Climate change is another environmental crisis that has surfaced Ontario in last few decades. The climate change occurs due to the rise global warming which occurs due to the increase in temperature of the atmosphere by the release of harmful gasses by industries and burning of fossil fuel. It has numerous harmful impacts such as the melting of ice, the occurrence of new diseases, changes in seasons and the occurrence of floods, earthquakes and overall scenario of weather (Reevely, 2018).
2.3.1. Environmental Impact:
- Change in climate impacts the forests of Ontario which ultimately harms their environment. It impacts the sub-arctic boreal forest with tree lines and results in the rise of temperature. The Amazon, abundant biodiversity can cause a high level of extinction.
- Climate change is impacting the oceans of Ontario. Their Carbon sinks absorb a huge amount of carbon dioxide which prevent it from reaching the upper atmosphere and results in the increase in water temperatures which makes the ocean more acidic (Bruce, 2016).
2.4 Ozone Layer Depletion:
The ozone layer is an invisible protection layer around the planet which protects the earth from the harmful rays of the sun. The depletion of the ozone layer is attributed to the pollution which has been caused by Bromide and Chlorine found in Chloro-fluoro carbons. When they reach the upper atmosphere, they cause the hole in the ozone layer. Ontario like the whole world is impacted by such effective and harmful rays.
2.4.1. Environmental Impact:
- Ozone layer depletion causes non-melanoma skin cancers and plays a major role in their development. Moreover, they are linked to the development of cataracts impact on the eye.
- Such harmful radiations are impacting the physiological and developmental processes of plants. It reduces the ability to adapt to the growth of plants and results in plant diseases.
- These radiations impact the aquatic and terrestrial biogeochemical cycles which alert the sinks of greenhouse and chemicals and badly impacts the environment of Ontario and the world (Portmann, Daniel, & Ravishankara, 2012).
2.5 Urban Sprawls:
Urban sprawls mean the migration of people from the high density of urban areas to low-density rural areas which results in the spreading of more rural land. Urban sprawls leads to land degradation, increases environmental, health issues and traffics. In Ontario, urban sprawls greatly impact the environment and the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region in southern Ontario.
2.5.1. Environmental Impact:
- Urban Sprawls result in more water consumption in Ontario which creates water distribution problems. The urban community uses more water than a rural community. Landscaping is the primary culprit for the excessive use of water.
- Such rapids development negatively impact the wildlife by
- Building over its habitat, tearing down or potentially threatening survival. This is not only the problem of Ontario, but it’s a problem in all of Canada (Leonardo, 2018).
3.1 Social Cognitive theory of Environment:
Albert Bandura presents his theory of social cognitive in the 1960s. This theory explains the behavior is influenced by the individual factor in combination with the physical and social environment. He believes that a social-ecological perspective leads to the acknowledgement of multiple levels of determinants of behavior which includes interpersonal, community, organizations and individuals. Health decisions made on the basis of behavior in environmental contexts. Albert explains that there are different types of behavior that impact the environment like climate, physical or social. The environment can be strong behavioral determinants which can be directly shaped the environment. However, the theory explains that it’s a pro-human behavior that is creating such disastrous environmental issues like wastage of food, excessive use of material, urban sprawls and most importantly globalization. This theory further emphasizes that it’s a human who is making the world worst place to survive and causing dangerous impacts due to their non-social behavior (Dian, 2015).
3.2 Green Theory of Environment:
In the 1960s, the global environmental crisis started from the tragedy of commons which means that humans overuse the resources like land, fish, and fresh water etc. than in 1970s, UN conference was held and as a result green political parties emerged in the 1980s which results in the demand for green theory to explain the environmental, political issues. With the passage of time, this theory results in the phenomena that human actions are changing the global climate and presenting the security problems and ecological ones. The green theory basically explains the critical aspects that environmental issues are raising questions regarding the communities and their collective decisions. This theory explains that environmental issues have no boundaries, the issue of one state impact the environment of other neighbor state and as a result, the whole world is now under these dangerous circumstances. For this purpose, Green theorists suggest that state should combine found the solution of this global issue (Hugh, 2018).
4. Recommendation/ Suggestions:
Recently, the government of Ontario recognized the outstanding achievements in environmental protection by announcing the Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence in 2016. From 2011, the award has been rewarded to 40 organizations and the individuals for their efforts in supporting government action of “Protecting Environment and Fighting Climate Change”. Ontario resulted in phasing two largest coal plants which result in significant improvement in the quality of air which saved almost billions in health care costs. Ontario seems very serious about benefits and costs of environmental initiatives and examining the policies of the world performance and is taking corrective actions to reverse costly decisions of the past which have failed to give the desired results (Ross, 2017). Some of the recommendations to Ontario regarding their environmental crisis are:
- Ontario needs to conserve the energy by turning off the excessive lights and reduce the use of the electric appliance.
- Participate in local utility’s energy and conservation programs
- Keep automobiles well maintained
- Avoid excessive idling of automobiles.
- Use hand-powered or electric lawn care equipment.
- People of Ontario should buy food smartly and should avoid buying more food than you need.
- Food should be stored correctly like fruits; vegetables should never be refrigerated and should be kept at room temperature.
- People of Ontario should learn to preserve food. Pickling, drying and canning all are the methods of preserving foods for a long period.
- People of Ontario are in need to save the leftovers. They have to store the leftovers in clear glass containers rather than opaque containers which help to ensure the avoidance of throwing food away (Jillian, 2017).
- In Ontario, transportation accounts for 20% of climate-polluting emissions. They are in need to reduce the transportation emissions in order to reduce the harmful impact of climate change like, switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle, ride bikes or take public transports.
- They are in need to focus on simple pleasures like spend more on nature, provide more purpose for happiness than consuming or buying. Fixing, sharing and making are all good places to start.
- People of Ontario are in need to invest in renewable. Even if they install solar panels even than they can be a part of a clean-energy economy.
- They should invest in working places which do not includes fossils fuels by starting campaigns at universities or colleges etc. (Hannah, 2007).
The use of ozone layer should be reduced by using alternative substances:
- Substitute food containers like plastic film wrap and hydrocarbon brown polystyrene
- Use alternative insulating materials.
- Refrigeration and air conditioning plants operation on non-HCFC refrigerants.
- Alternative packaging materials like bubble bags etc. (European Commission, 2016).
- Urban Sprawls can be reduced by preserving natural resources like farmlands, open spaces, parks etc.
- Ontario should revitalize the older towns and cities instead of establishing new communities and townships are another way of reducing the issue of urban sprawls.
- They should make more investments in clean public transportation.
- Another way to reduce the issue of urban sprawls is built in neighborhoods instead of schools, buildings, parks in isolated areas (Habibia & Asadi, 2012).
Conclusively, the above description explains that environmental issues have now become the global issue of the world. The whole world is facing its dangerous and disastrous impacts. Ontario is a country having a huge population and is the main center of Canada which leads them to face several issues, and environmental crisis is one of them. Ontario is currently facing the challenges of air pollution, wastage of food, depletion of the ozone layer, climate change and urban sprawls. Different theoretical perspectives have been explained under the above analysis which explains that it’s human behavior which is leading to these divergent effects and harming the environment badly. The theorist is of believing that the major cause of the environmental crisis is globalization which is due to the pro-social behavior of human. Moreover, the study further provides certain suggestions and recommendations that how Ontario and the world can overcome this globalized issue. In short, environmental issues have no clear boundaries which have to connect the world for the resolution of this problem.
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