Acid rain causes several environmental problems. Acidic gases are produced when fossil fuels, like coal and oil are burned in power stations, factories and in our own homes. These gases are blown in the sky, and mixed with droplets in the atmosphere creating weak solutions of nitric and sulphuric acids. When precipitation occurs these solutions fall as acid rain. Acid rain poisons fish in lakes, it damages the leaves of trees, stopping them photosynthesising. Ancient statues or buildings that contain calcium carbonate and are renowned for their architectural beauty, all show signs of corrosion. We can prevent acid rain by conserving energy. The less electricity we use in our homes, the fewer chemicals, power plants emit. Vehicles are also major fossil fuel users so we can walk, ride a bike or use public transportation. Reducing pollution and controlling emissions can help to fight acid rain for a better environment!
A dominant feature of the Verdala Retrenchment, on Margherita Hill in Cospicua, built during British times is a unique spire on top of the hall. The hall dates back to the years 1871 – 1874. The spire by HB Evans is the only Victorian spire found in Malta. The premises were restored recently. However the metal cover of the spire needs special treatment to avoid corrosion by rusting. If rain, manages to penetrate, being acidic it will rot the wood causing chemical weathering as we learnt during our geography lessons. We interviewed persons working on site. They have made several attempts to create awareness about this unique spire. They suggested that the metal cover of the spire should be given constant professional maintenance and then light it up at night. If lit up, the spire will be a focal point for it can be seen from the Upper Barakka Gardens.
The Naxxar quarry limits of Mosta is very close to the habitat, about half a kilometre away from homes. According to people living in the vicinity, the quarry blast explosions are causing vibrations to buildings, quite like earthquakes. Apart from this, these explosives used in hard stone quarrying are threatening the stability of valley slopes and damaging the archaeological cart ruts found in the area. These quarry operations are producing air pollution, and dust contamination. After interviewing some local people, I’ve discovered that lots of reports were made to the police and to the Naxxar and Mosta Local Councils but people living in the area said that no actions have been taken by now. Does anyone measure vibrations within the area of the quarry? Does anyone care about the effects caused to the people living close by? Immediate action is needed.
Ma nafx … imma fil-fond ta' qalbi nista’ naħseb kemm tkun miġugħa persuna meta fit-tfulija taghħa tmur tiġri u tilgħab fil- kampanja u l-għelieqi tal-madwar, imbagħad jgħaddi perjodu ta’ żmien u x' ħin terġa tkun hemm ma tara xejn ħlief vilel jew djar, flatsijiet jew xi lukandi. Blokka ħdejn blokka qishom djar tal-pupi. Qed nitilfu ż-żoni rurali minn minuta għall-oħra, minkejja l-fatt li sfortunatament ħafna djar li huma diġa` mibnija huma abbandunati. X’ egoiżmu! Fejn marru dawk il-postijiet naturali li fihom kienu jirrikreaw ruħhom il-ġenerazzjonijiet ta’ qabilna? L-iżvilupp urban qed jillimita kif u fejn aħna nistgħu ngawdu l-ambjent naturali. Mhux ta’ b’xejn li jien u ħafna żgħażagħ bħali qegħdin nqattgħu ħafna aktar ħin fuq mezzi oħra ta’ teknoloġija!
We think that this picture shows the stupidity of some people. This scrap yard should be removed and instead, it can either be used as a field for the farmers, a playground for children or a football ground. It shouldn’t be wasted on a scrapyard as it is surrounded by a lot of green areas. So, it would be an excellent place for a playground as it is surrounded by greenery which give out fresh air and prevent from certain illnesses. Also a problem for neighbouring places is the amount of junk that there is at the scrap yard nowadays that takes up a lot of space. This can be easily reduced with use of more efficient machinery to work faster. Also the scrapyard emanates a lot of sound pollution. One also should not forget the first impressions that a tourist might get if he sees this polluted environment.
Fort St. Angelo. The site has been host to a military site of some sort of another since Arab times (9th century AD), the current structure dating back to the rule of the Knights of St. John (16th century AD). It has survived the Ottoman Empire and two world wars, but it seems as though it won’t survive the neglect that has befallen it. September 2009 saw the site’s closure due to cracks in its structure which were deemed hazardous to the public. Restoration efforts are still underway, and the site remains closed to the public. This is not the only archaeological site in the Maltese Islands which is falling apart before our eyes. Fort St. Elmo made it onto the list of the world’s 100 most endangered sites in 2008, and it seems that restoration efforts are too little, too late. Will all of our architectural heritage be lost to vandalism, neglect and indifference?
An opportunity to save Fort Ricasoli was lost when it was not included in Smart City’s master plan. Therefore we hope that when restoration works start the authorities will still be on time. Ricasoli is a fort on the island of Malta, built by the knights of Malta between 1670 and 1693. We went to the fort and interviewed some tourists and they remarked that it should be restored immediately. We should not let our historic fortifications and forts fall down as thanks to them that Malta is famous. A day will come when it will be too late to restore and recover what we have inherited. A man at Ricasoli told us that some form of specially designed artificial reef could have been built using the limestone excavated to make way for smart city to protect the Fort from sea storms. We must act now before it’s too late.
Cars have become widely used but are we aware of their negative contribution to the environment? Do people think of these effects before starting their private car? Amongst other things cars produce carbon dioxide gas. This gas is a greenhouse gas which means that it contributes to the greenhouse effect. Recently greener cars are being manufactured and sold on the market. Amongst other things these manufacturers are trying to decrease the amounts of carbon dioxide produced but are these cars affordable for the public? On the other hand trees uses up the carbon dioxide produced by the cars in the photosynthesis reaction to produce oxygen. This is a vital reaction for these trees to survive and important for us due to the release of oxygen which is needed for us to respire. If the tree could talk it would say, “I’m saving you. Think twice before chopping me off!” But is there anything we could do? I think that first; every one of us needs to respect more the environment around us. If this could be achieved we will live in a healthier environment. The environment around us is vitally important so let us not destroy it ourselves.
The situation is much worse than we thought! Is this the product of all the effort invested in educating youths? Do our youths really know what the word RESPECT means? Is this how our future adult citizens are enjoying the gift of life? Can this be the result of bad examples given by some parents to their children? Are these environmental sacrileges shoved under the carpet so no one will have to change the sinners’ act? We need to react NOW! In our opinion people should be made more aware that the environment belongs to all of us and we should take care of it. Local Councils could organise campaigns in which the environment is not only cleaned up but the causes of such behaviour are targeted. Children should be helped by schools, family and the community to acquire the necessary values to safeguard their environment and refrain from such behaviour.
The first thing that one would say about this picture is that there is nothing wrong in it and it is one of the most amazing beaches in the island. But only some would notice that the street on the right of the picture is destroying the natural habitat and the beach. If you would ask a person of an elderly age you would find that the street wasn’t always there but the water would keep going in to where we now find the natural reserve. By building this street we destroyed the sand dunes and now when ever you pass on a windy day you could see that this is true since the sand would create small dunes on the street. Are we really heading towards a sustainable world? I think the answer is no. WE shouldn’t continue on building these kinds of streets if we are aiming to get a sustainable world.