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The Burden of Pollution

Rehman Bokhari, Ashley Estrada, Elyzandra Freitas, Jessa Mae Mendiola

The societal issue we presented during our intervention at Student Center East was the burden of pollution and the increasing threat our environment faces due to non-environmentally friendly attitudes. To represent the significance of our intervention, and to disclose the attitudes of the large majority of people towards our earth, we crumpled up pieces of paper and spread them across the walkway. We purposely impeded the pathway people walk in order to make certain that the message was being communicated.

Burden of Pollution

Most people walked around the papers, making their trek more difficult, but still they refused to pick up the paper. Others kicked them to the side, completely ignoring them altogether. However, there were a few people who actually participated in clean-up efforts and not only did they pick up a piece of paper, but they also attempted to clean up the entire area. We observed this behavior prior to displaying the “Pick Me Up” poster. Once the poster was prominently visible, the rate of people picking up the trash had increased immensely. Also people would pick up trash when they saw others picking it up. This goes to show that we are more inclined to go out of our way and help make the world greener when we see others doing it as well. Surprisingly, we also noticed that those who did pick up the balls of paper were mostly middle and high school aged students. We think we had a higher count of younger people interacting with our intervention because, as we discussed in class, college aged students choose to ignore or not take part in social interventions due to either wanting to stay neutral and not getting involved, or, they rather focus all of their attention on their classes and obtaining their degrees.

Burden of Pollution

Despite clear warnings from scientists and researchers of the threats of pollution and global warming present, people still do not heed to the warning and continue on with their detrimental activities. It is projected that if the current use of non-renewable resources continues, sea levels will rise resulting in massive loss of coastal regions. With increasing populations, people will be forced inland leading to over-crowding and chaos, a perfect combination for diseases to thrive and result in massive loss of life. Not only will humans face the consequences, but our animals will also be in danger, both in land and in the oceans.

No country is unaffected by pollution. Human activities, including industrialization, urbanization, and globalization, are all drivers of pollution. We hope the commission findings will persuade leaders at the national, state, provincial and city levels to make pollution a priority. Current and future generations deserve a pollution-free world.

Dr. Richard Horton