The Arctic, the second largest island in the world by area, is known to humans as one of the most diverse regions on earth. Its bountiful resources, unique wildlife, and astounding scenery are not found in other parts of the planet. It contains such rich and distinct materials which people travel from far and wide to attain. Although the Arctic is recognized for its abundance in fisheries, oil, gas and minerals, it has also been facing drastic changes over the last few decades. Some of these modifications are beneficial to companies, as they are contributing to a better economy. However, a majority of them are ignoring the fact that the Arctic is in grave danger and is suffering from a considerable number of issues, such as pollution and the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples who reside in the Arctic.
Pollution is a result of harmful chemicals emitted into the environment, affecting organisms as a whole. As humans, our actions such as littering, emitting fossil fuels and air contamination as a result of our everyday transportation vehicles are contributing to pollution. Mercury is an example of a toxic chemical emitted by waste production and combustion of coal. It enters into the atmosphere and is made soluble through chemical breakdown. Once broken down, it falls as rain or snow into the water. Fish and other sea creatures intake this toxin and larger animals such as polar bears and seals consume them. The buildup of these chemicals within their systems can lead to death and a drastic decrease in population. Pollution is one of the main factors of the extinction of Arctic species. I believe that the future of the Arctic may be unfortunate if we do not act wisely. Factories all across the world are emitting hydrocarbons and other harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in order to be successful. They disregard the fact that they are affecting the environment as a result of production and labour of their products. The more air contaminants accumulated, the longer they sit in the layers of the atmosphere and continue to damage the environment. Another crucial problem in the Arctic is the mistreatment of its native people. The Arctic is home to many Inuits, who were the first to discover it in its natural state, thousands of years ago. For generations, they had been living in a peace and harmony, until the early 1900’s. Europeans who voyaged from afar, destroyed their homes, made false treaties and placed them in residential schools, stripping them from their culture. One of the main reasons why a lot of Inuit people suffer from depression and other mental illnesses is a result of this upsetting history. Since the change in the Arctic, businesses have invaded these innocent residents, and stolen resources to make profits for their own benefit. The Inuits have been relocated into other regions and their workplaces and homes have been tremendously affected by the governments hunger for fresh oil and raw materials. Since the appointment of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he has apologized for the harm that has been done to the Indigenous of the Arctic, which had been delayed for an extended period of time. However, the materials of the Arctic are still being extracted despite this apology. The future for these people may be better and safer places to live, as well as building schools for the children to have access to education. Some progress has been made over the years, but it is still quite slow and requires more attention.
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