Pollution makes a resource unfit for consumption. According to the classical approach, pollution is the introduction of undesirable impurities to a resource, limiting its ability to satisfy the need it is meant for. Water pollution occurs due to the introduction of pollutants, such as oil spills or toxic chemicals from ground water sources, as well as effluents from industries. Chemical, biological and physical processes that affect living organisms in the environment are described as pollutants (Victoria 1990, p.61).
Air pollution has been the one aspect that is very much pronounced in Australia, a country that has been ranked as the leading emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. This is a developed country which has a high demand for energy, thus leading to its reliance on coal for generation of electricity. This is the reason why the country emits the largest amount of greenhouse gasses among the developed countries. Due to the high levels of emission, the public in Australia, as well as elsewhere in the world, are getting concerned because of the potential that these gasses have to contribute to the present high rates of global warming. Global warming has been on the rise of late. In fact, Australian rain forests stand a chance of being affected if nothing is done to reverse the disturbing trend of increase in greenhouse gas production. Apart from the production of greenhouse gases, there has been a loud public outcry over the increase in the levels of particulate matter in the air, which has been the greatest contributor to the increase in some medical complications, viz. asthma, heart attacks and other causes of premature deaths in Australia. Up to date, the government has projected the continued use of coal for further development and production of electricity (Goudie & Viles 1997, p.11).
According to the government of Australia, reduction of air pollution cannot be effected solely by stopping the usage of coal for electric generation, but through introduction and use of better methods of converting coal into electric energy. Science is now providing means of preventing the escape of the pollutant gasses, as well as other particles, into the environment. Furthermore, science is providing a leeway to the release of gaseous, as well as particulate air pollutants. In this regard, power-producing plants are encouraged to use catalytic converters to convert these pollutants to less harmful products. Australia is also one of the many nations of the world that have embarked on cleaning their ocean-going vessels. In the past, these vessels were emitting a very large percentage of atmospheric pollutants; therefore, this step has been a great stride toward reducing atmospheric emissions. In Sydney, Australia, scientists are discouraging wood heating, as it has been a major source of pollutants, and calling for the use of alternative and cleaner energy sources. The government has come up with laws evaluating the legitimacy of any project to be carried out by either the public or private sector as to whether such could be environmentally harmful. Strict scientific analysis is fundamental for determining whether some activities are allowed, as well as various mitigating factors that should be put in place (Philander 2008, p. 29).
In industries such as mining, the government is working and enforcing laws to ensure that environmental impacts surveys are carried out and their findings are complied with. The debate in the public domain shows that the society understands the scientific implications of global warming. Some members of the public are taking an initiative at the personal level to reduce emissions, while some are opting to use more refined fuel to reduce emissions. The government identified areas and industries through which massive emissions to the atmosphere were occurring, the top priority being the energy sector. What followed next was enactment of legislation to regulate the sector players. In the transport sector the government encouraged the use of scientific expertise to determine the fuel that has the least potential pollutants in terms of exhaust fumes (DK Publishing Inc. 2006, p. 15).
Scientific methods of improving the efficiency of motor vehicles, especially the suggestion to have all of them conditioned, were used. The related government ministries and departments are bringing members of the public on board, e.g. members of the public are encouraged to follow proper laws of importing or exporting goods in order to protect the environment and regulate harmful emissions (Irvine 1992, p. 37).