Endangered ecosystem


by MM. Abdul Matin


The end of the ocean came, it ran even more rapidly than the biologists had apprehended. There had been signs for more than decades ever since the discovery in 1968 that DDT slows down photosynthesis in marine plant life. To ecologists it smacked a doomsday. Most people are of unanimous opinion that all life in the sea depends on photosynthesis. All are led to believe that DDT and similar chlorinated hydrocarbons had polluted the entire surface of the earth, surely not excluding the sea.The imbalance of ecology leads to many unhappy impacts. The final gasp of the whaling industry in 1973 and the Peruvian anchovy fishery as long before in 1975 and later followed as sequel to these impacts. Indeed, a score of other fisheries had disappeared quietly from over-exploitation and various eco catastrophes. The entire ocean is changing. A few types of phytoplankton tend to be resistant to chlorinated hydrocarbons. Changes in the phytoplankton community led inevitably to the changes in the community of Zooplankton, the very tiny animals which eat up the phytoplankton. Most fishes that return to fresh water to breed, like the salmon, the Hilsha had become either extinct or too invisible.As back as in 1977 the annual yield of fish from the sea was down to 30 million metric tons, less than one half the per capita a decade earlier. This helped malnutrition to escalate sharply in a world where an estimated 50 million people per year were already dying of starvation. Apparently it was a combination of ecosystem destabilisation, sunlight reduction and a rapid escalation in chlorinated hydrocarbon pollution from massive thanodrin applications which triggered the ultimate catastrophe. Seventeen huge Soviet financed Thanodrin plants were operating in underdeveloped countries in the late seventies. They had been part of a massive Russian 'aid offensive' designed to fill the gap caused by the collapse of America's ballyhooed, Green Revolution The combination permitted bureaucrats, not unnecessarily those fond of criticising others to hide their corruption in tune with a few Bangladeshi bureaucrats, (all the 44 or so many Ministries/Divisions are important) elevated themselves as advisors.Formation of a committee with the Advisor for transfer and posting of offices impaired the spirit of personnel works in public administration. At least one member/advisor overacted that is not a very unknown matter. Induction of a couple of advisors from one NGO is surprising. But one of the same NGOs (who was not in government service) is above question. The other one of retirement was inducted as advisor has not been viewed in its proper implication. One of his juniors in the ministry where from he retired was favoured with 3 or 4 postings within a period not exceeding three/four months. Really a blessing ! But he enjoyed confidence of all but he has been belittled by a series of postings. Instances of eco-inefficiency' indeed ! The developed countries including USA continue in their objective planning and continuous monitoring in between to achieve desired net result. Unfortunately institutionalism is not allowed to grow in the way the party in power wants the same to nourish and bloom.Let me return back to the problem of jam in the road. It am hardly one hour and fifteen minutes to reach. from my ancestral home at Shinepuker to China-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge. But I do not know how long I shall have to take to reach either Gulshan/Uttara from the site of Bangladesh China Friendship Bridge because of jam. Contingent on peak hour or otherwise, all forms of power production requiring the parsing of foes be it in a generating plant or in a internal combustion engine seats 'air pollution' which is to say that they add substances to the atmosphere which were nor there previously. Sixty per cent of all pollutants added to the air alone in the United States come from internal combustion engine. The countries almost around the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, etc., have truly been termed to become a garbage Today the truth is, India is reversing the scene. Air pollution' has been placed in quotes because many different types of foreign matter are added to the air through combustion. Different sources contribute different amount of these substances and even the same power adds different amounts of the various materials at different places, depending on the season and the local weather conditions There are seven types of air pollution : lead, organic compounds, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate, sulphur oxides and carbon dioxides. All of these with the exception of carbon dioxide (in the amounts normally produced by engines) are hazardous to human health. Organic compounds and nitrogen oxides reacting chemical with atmospheric oxygen in sunlight are one of the major constituents of the brown photochemical smog typical of the Los Angeles basin, a place which I often frequent. Sulphur dioxides combine with water vapour in the atmosphere to and from sulphuric and other acids. This is the pollutant most responsible for pitching of certain metallic surfaces and discoloration of paints particulate--the jargon for airborne dirt.
 Source: The Independent, 12 January 2000
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