Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment which leads to the physical change of the environment. Environmental pollution is the contamination of both biological and physical environments and the extent in which the normal environmental processes are affected. The environmental pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. The pollutants can be foreign substances or naturally occurring contaminants within the environment. There have been a lot of efforts in an attempt to ensure that the environment in which we are living is suitable for plants, animals and humans (Gnanamani). In the following paper, I will argue for the use of bioremediation to ensure the environment is free from pollutants and that both humans and non-human species live happily in a healthy environment.
Bioremediation is a new technology that can be used to ensure that the accumulation of waste materials can be avoided. The technology involves the use of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi to degrade waste materials both in water bodies and also in the soils (Gnanamani). The technology degrades the toxic materials to less toxic forms by using the enzymes within the organism’s body systems to breakdown the complex environment pollutants (Abatenh et al., 40). As such, it has been used in many places and studies have shown that it produces a significant positive impact on humans, animals and plants. There are various types of bioremediation which include phytoremediation, mycoremediation, bioventing, bioleaching, landfarming, bioreactor, composting, bioaugmentation, rhizofiltration, and biostimulation (Abatenh et al., 41).
The practical application of this technology in the environment is the clearing of oil spills, soil contamination, and inland water pollution, gasoline, sewages and pesticides (Gnanamani ). The technology is very important because there are no chemicals that will be released to the environment. Examples of microbes that are used in bioremediation technology include Pseudomonas putida, Dechloromonas aromatic, Deinococcus radiodurans, Methylibium petroleiphilum, Alcanivorax borkumensis, Phanerochaete chrysosporium (Gnanamani).
Despite having positive impacts, if the process of bioremediation is not controlled, it is possible that the organic contaminants may not be broken down fully resulting in toxic by-products that could be more mobile than the initial contamination (Gnanamani). Therefore, it is recommended that the users of this technology should take precautionary measures when trying to conserve the environment so that they bring positive impacts. They should not please themselves but also make sure that the technology is beneficial to them and others who may not be caring about it.
Many factors determine the effectiveness of bioremediation technology and it includes the following factors the chemical nature and concentration of pollutants, physicochemical characteristics of the environment, and their availability to microorganisms (Gnanamani). It is very difficult to control the conditions and scientists use the technology without factoring in some of these factors that affect the process. Therefore, despite providing a good clean up strategy for environmental pollution, bioremediation does not work for all. For instance, bioremediation is likely not to provide a viable strategy when it comes to sites with high concentrations of chemicals that are toxic to microorganisms such as lead.
The idea of utilitarianism was developed as a strategy to ensure that those people who are senior and in positions of power and control some of these environmental pollutants do not use their authority to suppress those who cannot speak for themselves (Mill 340). The ides is very significant in every environment because it gives the less fortunate an opportunity to take action and ensure that they create happiness for themselves (Blackstone 17). Bentham says, “I ought to do that act which will bring about the greatest happiness (pleasure) for the greatest number of persons (the community)” (Bentham). People may consider the use of bioremediation to be smaller and will not have any impact in the environment and the process they may not take care of or put into consideration any actions or ideas given.
When one takes the action of conserving the environment, he or she may not be having any intention of pleasing others who don’t care about the environment. The actions may have a great impact on the individual and those who are within the surrounding. When there is a positive impact, it tends to benefit all and not individuals. The people who don’t care are also included in the category of the beneficiaries. The right action is that which has the consequences which maximize the well-being or happiness of affected agents (Blackstone 17). As such, the best action is that which produces the greatest improvement in well-being.
In conclusion, Bentham’s idea is a point of consensus that “pleasure and pain govern not only how human beings act but also how human beings ought to act” (Bentham). As an environmentalist, we should take care of the environment not only for the greater good of human beings but also wildlife. Although bioremediation may not work for all sites it is a safe and less expensive method of removing pollutants in the environment.
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in Moral Philosophy, ed. Jonathan Wolff, New York: W.W. Norton & Company,
Blackstone, William T. “The Environment and Ethics.” The Hastings Center Report, vol. 7,
no. 6, 1977, pp. 16–18. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3560892
Gnanamani, Arumugam. “Bioremediation of Crude Oil Contamination Using Microbial Surface-Active Agents: Isolation, Production and Characterization.” Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation, vol. 01, no. 02, 2010
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