Ocean Dumping Essay
The environment is a natural asset that the human race is charged with taking good care of for it is the source of the diversity that man is proud of. Biodiversity is supported by the environment and considering that this diversity is important to the survival of man it is of importance that man develops measures to maintain it. Man as a living creature in spite of the levels of development attained is far from being fully independent of the environment thus human activities being the key threat to the environment should not be the case.
Though there have been considerable effects by both government and non government organizations to address pollution as an issue of critical importance to the survival of man most of the strategies have generally been targeted at land pollution. This can be blamed on man’s propensity to act on issues that are more pronounced and poor strategic planning since the effects of ocean and land pollution all affect biodiversity and are therefore a threat to the existence of man (Motavalli and Deneen 14).
Understanding the manifestation of ocean pollution and the effects that it has on science, man and the environment is important in developing more awareness. If the economic development trends that are being witnessed in US and China which are both manufacturing and pollution giants are reflective of trends in development sought by other nations then man may as well be developing into extinction. Ocean Dumping There is no doubt that human activities contribute considerably to the high levels of pollution in the ocean.
Development in manufacturing and approaches to marine operations has played a considerable role in the high levels of pollution experienced in the oceans. It is important to note that the levels of comfort that the modern man has attained are results of a number of activities that in most cases are associated with waste products (Nadeau, 24). Management of waste as an area of study is least appreciated compared to the aspect of management and this folly has been central to the problems that man experiences in pollution.
In manufacturing industries, management of waste is associated with additional costs that few organizations are willing to incur despite the knowledge that untreated or poorly managed waste could be harmful to life. Research on management of highly potent wastes shows that organizations whose activities lead to the development of such waste product prefer to use the ocean as a dumps rather than land.
There are several reasons of this phenomenon one being a misplaced opinion that in the ocean there is a low risk they will affect mankind and the other is the low probability or risk of the waste being traced to a particular organization considering that ocean dumping has been outlawed my many nations. While the later is an issue that relates to legal approaches to proper management of ocean resources, the former reason is largely misplaced and is generally a manifestations of either ignorance or lack of appreciation of the effect that ocean dumping could have on humans.
Ocean dumping happens in various forms and in most cases the result is the dumping or proliferation of both organic and inorganic matter in the ocean floor. Garbage, demolition debris, sewage, waste materials, chemical matter and even dredge have become part of the sea environment (Motavalli and Deneen 27). The fact that these materials originally are not supposed to be within the sea environment imply that they cause and imbalance in the environment which in most cases results to negative effects on marine life. Due to man’s dependence on the ocean to meet his needs, he is inherently affected by his own actions.
Dumping whether controlled or uncontrolled affects balance of the marine ecology as is a key threat to marine life. Developments in nuclear science and the ever looming threats of an energy crisis are more than likely to take ocean dumping to a whole new level (Livingston 56). It is noteworthy; one of the key areas that critics to use of nuclear energy have attacked it is on the basis of complexity in dumping nuclear waste. The expected increase in exploration and actual use of nuclear energy if trends in dumping of dangerous wastes are considered is more that likely to lead to an increase in the levels of dumping within oceans.
An increase in awareness on the effects of pollution has led to the coming into place of legislations that seek to ensure that the oceans are protected. However, the manner in which the policies have been implemented lacks appreciation of the role played by the small players in the high levels of pollution. Tankers and boats that have not been well maintained and oils spills pose a major threat to the marine environment though most legal interventions that seek to address ocean disposal have not addressed these areas. Implication of Ocean Dumping
A recent wave of awareness on global warming as an issue and increase in efforts that seek to address environmental pollution mainly due to the effects of air pollution on the ozone are likely to develop more awareness on ocean disposal. While the threats posed by air pollution is more visible as it manifests in ways that are easy to comprehend for instance cancer, skin complication and an increase in prevalence of infections, the potency of the threat posed by ocean pollution is hidden from the view of the majority (Motavalli and Deneen 39).
This is due to the nature of ocean dumping which in most cases leads to a situation where wastes are dumped on the continental shelf where they are hidden from the view of others. This has played a considerable role in the low mention that ocean pollution gets though its manifestation is just as lethal as air or land pollution. a) Biology The main area that pollution affects is marine life. Pollution in land and air has had considerable effects on lives of individual and prevalence of pollution related diseases.
The manifestation of pollution in the ocean follows in the same trends and unless more stringent measures are developed to address this issue diversity of the sea may soon be gone. The fact that there is little known on the prevalence of ocean dumping due to its nature imply that the levels of pollutions that man is experiencing in his activities could be what is being experienced in the depths of the oceans. The imbalance that chemicals and toxins cause on the aquatic environment often lead to complications in sea life due to accumulation of dangerous chemicals within the aquatic food web (Nadeau 83).
Man being largely dependent on the ocean to meet his non transport need like food and water finds himself in a position where he is as gullible to toxins dumped in the ocean as aquatic life forms. Therefore, ocean dumping poses a threat to life both in the ocean and on earth and should therefore be treated as an issues that poses threats to extinction of not just humanity but a number of life forms. Thus, ocean dumping affected the core of biology which is life and like AIDS and other terminal disease it should be given as much weight in research to ensure proper measures are developed in management and disposal of waste. b) Society
Human existence and the quality of life that can be afforded by both those responsible for dumping into the oceans and those that are not even aware of the phenomenon depends largely on the strategies used in addressing the problem. The cost of health is on the increase and if dumping will be allowed in ocean then man will have to bear the pain of increased healthcare provision costs. No system can ever deal with the pain that one goes through when he is sick. Sickness is a form of human suffering that can be dealt with but the pain and inconveniences it causes cannot be addresses through biological or medical approaches.
Each and every society is defined by laws and ethics that define what is expected of the different members of the said society. Ethical and moral values are important in ensuring that the society is controlled by a clearly laid out set of principles (Gibson and Atkinson 71). One of the most important factors that affect the perception of members of a community or an entire society of the practices or operations of an organization is the ethical perspective of the practices.
It is upon each and every organization to develop its approach to operations in a manner that ensures ethical principles are upheld. Ethical practices require that organizations develop their operations which include waste management in a manner that reduces the harm to the people and the environment. In most cases organizations are in place to ensure that their operations address the welfare of the people and though poor waste management may be cheap it is ultimately costly (Gibson and Atkinson 88).
Ocean dumping can be eliminated if the business and government entities had the will to develop more awareness and measures to address the vice. c) Environment The environment is an asset for all and it is only for the betterment of biodiversity if the present generation preserves the environment. An increase in awareness on global warming should be translated to the entire environment and there is need for placement of more emphasis on marine pollution and the effects it could have on man.
Any imbalance in the nature of the environment has considerable effects on life forms and whether man is aware of the effects or not he is more than likely to be affected in more ways than one (Gibson and Atkinson 124). The legislations than have been passed to outlaw illegal disposal are lacking and fail in addressing issues like leaking speedboats and spillage into ocean than have ‘small amounts of toxins’ which ultimately affect sea life considering the levels of activity in terms of transportation within the oceans. Conclusion
Man has over the years been a victim of his own making and the challenges that he is currently faced with in addressing ocean disposal are a manifestation of the same. Failure by the government and environmental agencies in developing and implementing measures that are truly relevant to the nature of ocean disposal makes it the leading threat to the diversity man has for a long time enjoyed. Ocean disposal affect marine fauna and flora and in so doing it affects the sea birds and man who depends on the marine environment to meet his needs.
The nature of feeding habits is that all living things are connected in one large food web and the misplaced assumption that small concentration or the so called treated or legal wastes do not affect the marine ecosystems needs to be reviewed. Dumping as a human activity is the leading cause of marine pollution and it will therefore take human will and infrastructure which must incorporate the development of awareness on ocean pollution to address this threat to human existence.
Work Cited Gibson, Norman and Atkinson, James. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2005. Livingston, Hugh. Marine radioactivity. London: Elsevier, 2004. Nadeau, Robert. The Environmental Endgame: Mainstream Economics, Ecological Disaster, and Human Survival. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2006. Motavalli, Jim and Deneen, Sally. Feeling the heat: dispatches from the frontlines of climate change. London: Routledge, 2004.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 14 October 2016
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