Dhanraj Garwa, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Dwarka, Delhi)
“Environment” is a difficult word to define. Its normal meaning relates to surroundings, but obviously that is a concept which is relatable to whatever object it is which is surrounded. Einstein had once observed, “The environment is a polycentric and multifaceted problem affecting the human existence. Man is nature’s best promise and worst enemy. If for the progress and pollution go together, there can be no end to progress, and consequently, no escape from pollution. If industry is a necessary evil, pollution is the surest sufferance. “Pollution” is a noun derived from the transitive verb “pollute”, which means to make foul or unclean, dirty, to make impure or morally unclean. “Pollution” also means the direct or indirect discharge by man of substance or energy into the aquatic environment resulting in hazard to human health, harm to living resources and aquatic ecosystems, damage to amenities on interference with other legitimate uses of water.1
Man is engaged in conducting an enormous, unintended and globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a nuclear war. The "test tube" that man is using in this global experiment is the atmosphere. Into this "atmospheric test tube", man is spewing a variety of gases, such as carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, methane, chlorine, ozone, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and halons which are emitted from millions of industrial smokestacks, motor vehicles, waste dumps and other sources. These gaseous emissions result in global environmental problems like acid rain, global warming, and depletion of ozone layer, loss of biodiversity, deforestation and marine pollution. If uncontrolled, climatologists estimate, growing environmental pollution might wipe out the civilization in about 500 years. In the race between life and death, death shall prevail.