18th session of URI MENA Cultural Cafe (via Zoom)
Last Saturday, 15th of August 2020, URI Cultural Café session was on ‘Environmental Pollution’ by Dr. Taleb Al- Harithi, Ph.D. in Geo-Environmental Sciences from Germany. Dr. Harithi is the Coordinator of Palestinian Peace Society CC- Palestine.
We discussed the following topics:
• What are the types of pollution?
• Is there any relationship between pollution and diseases/pandemics, such as COVID-19?
Major takeaways include:
• Population growth is posing a major risk on the environment. Governments need to control population growth.
• God created balance in nature and the environment and “produced therein all kinds of things in due balance.” The divine natural balance offers conservation of biodiversity through time without facing dangers of extinction. However, humanity is affecting this balance by causing environmental pollution.
• Human impact on the environment will increase diseases and pandemics. About two-thirds of infectious diseases in humans have their origins in animals. Despite the fact that viruses are rarely able to mutate and adapt from animals to humans in the nature, humans’ irresponsible treatment of nature makes it more likely. We need to change or we will face more deadly pandemics such as COVID-19.
• Taking care of the Earth is no longer a recommendation, but an urgent obligation.
• The biggest source of pollution is household activities, then factories, agriculture, and finally, transport. Therefore, we need awareness campaigns to reduce the household activities that cause pollution.
• The largest source of deadly air pollution is farms (agricultural nitrogen emissions). People living near farms are at risk.