Environment the Humanity Has Experienced an Unprecedented Case Study

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The humanity has experienced an unprecedented level of scientific and technological progress in the last two hundred years. The progress, however, has been achieved with a heavy price. Human actions have significantly damaged the natural environment, leading to numerous problems such as pollution, climate change, diseases, and much more. Because of these developments, the subject of environmental management has become a critical one. Environmental managers therefore face certain challenges related to time pressure, uncertainly, and politics.

Time pressure is critical, as many environmental problems demand rapid decisions. This is especially the case when there is a natural disaster such as the nuclear accident in Chernobyl or numerous oil leaks from cargo ships in many parts of the world. The British Petroleum Gulf Oil spill in 2010, for instance, placed environmental managers at a critical position, demanding that they come up with the quickest solution. Sometimes, natural disasters may inflict irreversible damage to the environment or completely destroy a natural resource.

Environmental managers may be pressured to find quick solutions in numerous cases. One of the pressing problems in Canada today is the destruction of rare wildlife and habitat. There are hundreds of species of animals and plants in Canada that are at risk of disappearing. The risks for these wild species mostly stem from human contact. One the one hand, the growing population needs resources and modern human progress leads to environmental degradation. On the other hand, wild species need to be preserved. Environmental managers are at a difficult position, as they need to find solutions to these problems. The rising temperatures in the Arctic -- also partly caused by human actions -- are another problem that requires quick actions by environmental managers.
Another set of challenges deals with uncertainty that environmental managers have to struggle against. Although environmental management has existed for over a century now, it still lacks sufficient resources and knowledge to understand all environmental problems. Some problems are unpredictable, while others are non-linear. Environmental management is not "scientific," in the sense that it can predict the future or find solutions through exact mathematical calculations. Some problems can be adequately measured, but others cannot. In some cases, environmental managers simply complete knowledge or accurate data. To mention an example, although most scientists today agree that the climate has changed in the last decades, there is no consensus on how to curb it because managers are uncertain over the means of curbing climate change.

While uncertainty is certainly a problem in dealing with climate change, politics probably is the biggest challenge environmental managers have to face in this case and others. Corporate and business greed and corruption of politicians who circumvent the actions of environmental managers are pressing problems in Canada and around the world. The United States is the biggest polluter of the world and is also one of the biggest enemies of the Kyoto Protocol. American politicians openly state that they oppose the Protocol because it impedes America's business activities. Because of greed, business titans in America are ready to bribe their politicians to make sure that they maximize their profits at the expense of the environment. Attempts by the Canadian government officials to weaken environmental protection agencies are not unknown either. For example, the critics of the proposed Enbridge Pipeline are often dismissed, if not outright silenced. Politicians and special interest groups often decide….....

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