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Ladies and Gentlemen, today I am here to talk to you about something which is becoming a huge issue in our world. Air Pollution is a major problem facing our government today. It is harmful to every living creature on the planet. Just imagine one day having to walk outside wearing a mask; or not being able to open the windows of your house on a hot summer’s day. Or even worse, imagine looking out of your window and not seeing any form of life. All vegetation has died due to acid rain and other chemicals such as sulfur poisoning.

Some of these ideas can become a reality if something is not done bout this problem, which, in my opinion, is far greater, a problem than the wars that are going on the world at this moment. There are two main air pollutants; one is natural causes for example windblown dust, pollen, fog etc. And the other is that which we call people pollution. This is the most serious form Of air pollution. One Of the worst air pollutants which are affecting Our environment today is carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas caused by the incomplete burning of gasoline, oil, and wood.

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Low concentrations can cause dizziness, fatigue and headaches, while high concentrations can be total. Other pollutants such as Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen and Lead have contributed to the deteriorating environment. We are all guilty of the overuse of same and, consequently, we all contribute to the pollution levels from which we suffer. In the days before the proliferation of large cities and industry, nature’s own systems kept the air fairly clean. Wind mixed and dispersed the gases, rain washed the dust and other easily dissolved substances to the ground and plants absorbed carbon dioxide and replaced it with oxygen.

With increasing arbitration and industrialization, humans darted to release more wastes into the atmosphere than nature could cope with. More pollution has been added to the air by industrial, commercial and domestic sources. A study conducted by the World Bank in 1 995 revealed that 40,000 people in India die prematurely due to polluted air in cities. India has witnessed alarming environmental degradation in the last two decades. It is the sixth largest and the second fastest producer of greenhouse gases.

When people say “I’m going out for a breath of fresh air” this is no longer possible in most cities. The air they inhale is a lungful of chemicals and toxins which are armful to the human body and which may cause people to be more susceptible to respiratory’ problems, lung infections, cancer and even death in the long term. Air pollution is also the cause of global warming which is rapidly changing the world’s climate due to a thinning in the ozone layer which protects the earth from dangerous ultra violet rays.

But what can we do about this increasing problem? Well, first and foremost, we have to step up to the plate and agree that this is a major issue in the world and that something needs to be done about it…. Now! Not in twenty or thirty years’ time when it will be too late to change. Secondly, we have to let the entire population of the earth know about the effects of air pollution on the planet, and what they can do to help both themselves and their planet.

Besides that, we need to put restrictions in place on the use of certain chemicals and toxins which are causing untold harm to our environment. We need to make sacrifices to make this work but we will experience the benefits both in long and in the short term. As Winston Churchill once said “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction”. As individuals we also need to make changes in our domestic environment in order to reduce air pollution.

We need to reduce, reuse and recycle, we need to judicious in the use of fossil fuels, and, we need to make drastic changes in our transport policies. For all of the above to succeed, we need education, co-operation, research and the proper funding in order to initiate policies which will lead to real change in our habits. Nowadays, many people in Malaysia are not willing to sacrifice time and money to go “green. ” We need to be doing something! Just like David Orr said, “When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves. ” And we will be successful. For we will have a world saved. Thank You.

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