environmental issues

The Top 10 Environmental Issues of 2017 Should Make You Worry

As the year 2017 comes closer and closer, everyone gets excited for a new year and new changes. However, over the years, the environment has continuously been changing, and not for the better. Here are the top environmental issues you’ll hear about in 2017, and you should be concerned.

10. Public Health

The health and wellness of human beings is an important issue to watch. What people eat, drink and breathe in play a significant role in their wellness. Polluted air and water are a mounting crisis, and it will only grow worse in 2017.

Without water, humans won’t survive long. Polluted water poses threats through airborne water diseases and chemicals or toxins contaminating water. Without clean water, people’s health declines substantially.

One way to bring clean water to people is through digging wells. Another way is through water filters. There are people willing to take the initiative to bring clean water to those who need it.

9. Land Management & Urban Sprawl

Moving to a new location isn’t hard these days. Contractors keep building developments in record time, and undeveloped land is becoming scarce. With less natural land, the environment takes a hit.

More houses lead to more pollution. Buildings emit their gasses into the air, which affect the health of the environment. Take China for example: Would you want to wear a face mask every time you went outside because of air pollution?

It’s time to put habitats of the environment first. We need to preserve land, stop building, and start restoring.

8. Waste Disposal

It’s easy to throw something in a trash can and not think about its journey from there. Trash ends up in two places.  It’s in landfills or it ends up in environmental habitats and the ocean. Waste disposal poses a threat to not only the Earth and its environment but humans as well.

When waste is in the ocean, the ocean dwellers mistake it for food or get tangled up in it. When waste is disposed of via burning or nuclear, it emits hazardous toxins in the air, which people breathe in.

People can limit this crisis by reducing the amount of waste. By choosing to use products that can be recycled or placed in a compost pile, every household can reduce their waste.

7. Overpopulation

As the world’s population rises, the amount of resources available for survival decreases. In fact, the population has grown to an unsustainable level.

The more people there are on the planet, the more they release carbon dioxide and other gasses into the air. The growing population comes with the cost of greenhouse gasses and climate change. Until people realize that they have a direct impact on environmental issues, their behavior won’t change. Resources aren’t always sustainably sourced, but without those resources, the population won’t survive. Hopefully, we don’t realize this too little too late.

Fortunately, renewable energy sources are a great way to combat carbon emissions. By raising the amount of sustainable energy such as wind power and solar power, the resources needed can be sustainably sourced, reducing carbon emissions. You can’t change the population, but you can change what the population emits into the environment.

6. Loss of Biodiversity

Biodiversity is in critical condition due to various threats. The levels of biodiversity across the board have significantly lowered to a dangerous amount.

The lack of biodiversity puts the food chain, water sources and other resources at risk. Without enough biodiversity, ecosystems deteriorate until they no longer exist. The world just can’t afford the cost of biodiversity loss.

Education and protection are keys to combating biodiversity loss. Think with a sustainable mind. Make green choices. Spread the word.

5. Water Scarcity & Water Pollution

A major issue happening now is water scarcity. There is a difference between water and fresh, clean water. Saltwater, freshwater, groundwater and surface water are the essential sources of water. There are two ways water can be scarce: the lack of water and the lack of drinkable water.

Potable water can become contaminated with things such as airborne diseases, toxins, and hazardous chemicals. Like the Earth, your body is made up of a lot of water, too. Both land and your body need clean water to survive.

You can take action to reduce water scarcity. First people must admit this is a problem; then they have to do something about it. Start by turning the water off while brushing your teeth or while soaping up in the shower. You’re not just saving the fish — you’re saving the population.

4. Pollution

Pollution comes in many forms. Air, soil, and water all have the capability to be polluted. Pollution poses a current and future threats to people and the environment. Contaminated waters are undrinkable. Polluted air weakens the ozone layer and causes health problems. Contaminated soil destroys habitats and irrigation.

As a human, your body is majorly affected by pollution if it’s in the air you breathe or the water you drink. Pollution puts animals and the environment in critical condition that only humans can restore.

In order to see restored air, water, and soil, it’s essential to recover from pollution. By caring for the ecosystems, making sustainable choices and limiting the number of resources used, there is potential for recovery from pollution.

3. Deforestation

One of the primary reasons deforestation is an issue is due to humans cutting down trees. The percentage of forests is on a major decline, and it’s not okay. Deforestation has many side effects people don’t realize.

Species lose their habitat. Ecosystems die out. Climate change continues. There are fewer trees to produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. It’s all due to deforestation. Lumber and land are leading reasons people cut down forests, but no idea is good enough if it means someday there won’t be any forests left.

To preserve the remaining forests, humans should simply stop cutting down trees. Forests are in major need of preservation. For every tree that’s cut down, a new one needs to be planted in its place.

2. Ecosystems & Endangered Species

Due to all the environmental issues happening on this planet, both ecosystems and species are affected. The endangered species list continues to grow as ecosystems continue to decrease. Lost habitats mean losing the species that live there. While some may be able to migrate elsewhere, others are not so lucky.

With the rising temperatures of the Arctic, sea ice melts, which eliminates the habitat of polar bears. The list of endangered species includes other animals as well.

The best way to save species is to support organizations dedicated to fighting species extinction. By supporting the cause, you’re helping to combat the issue. You can also find laws and government acts available to sign that protect ecosystems and endangered species.

1. Climate Change

Unfortunately, the climate change debate continues despite decades of research on the subject. While the truth is plain to see, the inaction of deniers in power positions will only make matters worse. Not only does the Earth’s temperature continue to rise, but the sea levels are rising, too. Both the ocean and the Earth are growing warmer.

Greenhouse gasses are a leading cause of climate change, specifically those emitted from the human population. This has an impact on habitats, agriculture, the ocean and natural disasters.

The best way to reduce climate change is to build sustainably. Using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power will assist the fight against climate change. Limiting waste and pollution will help preserve the environment.

Don’t let 2017 be another year of environmental loss. These environmental issues are nothing to joke about. The consequences of environmental issues cannot go ignored. Give the planet a win by making sustainable choices and supporting the right causes.

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Category: Environment


  1. You CAN help to change the population by choosing to have smaller sized families. Access to contraceptives, education and acceptance of others’ life choices (eg. child free) on a global scale is where we should be headed.

  2. It never ceases to amaze me that the connection to all these issues and the animal agriculture industry is not made. Watch Cowspiracy. You CAN’T be an environmentalist without being a vegan. It’s the solution to the environment, human health, and the expansion of compassion.

    1. Where is Cowspiracy available to watch again? I know it’s on my list of documentaries. I can’t say I agree your last statement though. I think finding a sustainable balance between vegans, vegetarians and carnivores would be a better option. I don’t think we have the land mass available to sustain the entire planet on a strictly vegan diet.

  3. wow after reading this I realize how careless humans have been with the environment and this article makes me want to do something to stop this, thanks

    1. Hi Luka,

      That’s how I felt after writing this post. It still baffles me that we’ve been so careless. This year I tried to me more conscious about how I impact the environment. Even the little things, like swapping bottled water for reusable water bottles has made a huge difference.

      Thanks for reading my blog!

  4. It actually worries me even more. Now, I have to be extra careful on my family’s health and water usage. This is very helpful. Thanks a lot!

    1. As a member of that “Faith & Practice Revision Committee” who was not able to be present at the meeting, I was deeply touched by these words.If the materials that we prepared, and the process we set in place, led to such an experience . . . something is working right in this crazy woTdr.lhank you for this gift.


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Article by: Megan Ray Nichols

Megan Ray Nichols is a freelance science writer and science enthusiast. Her favorite subjects include astronomy and the environment. She encourages discussions in these fields. Megan is also a regular contributor to Datafloq, The Energy Collective, and David Renke's World of Space. When she isn't writing, Megan loves watching movies, hiking and stargazing.Love what you're reading on Schooled By Science? Don't forget to subscribe today.