BP#11: Vast and Pristine, Russia’s Lake Baikal Is Invaded by Toxic Algae

Lake Baikal is known to be the largest freshwater lake in the world. It holds 20% of the world’s unfrozen freshwater and until recently was known to be the world’s cleanest lake. That has changed however as a result of algae blooms destroying the lake and the life in it. This is a problem that negatively effects lakes all around the world and the main cause of this problem is from untreated sewage from humans as a result of an inadequate wastewater treatment system for our waste. As a result these deadly algae blooms essentially suffocate plants and animals in the water by absorbing all of the oxygen. Changes need to be made in order to help solve this crisis but unfortunately, those in power are not doing what it takes to see that these changes take place. Scientists studying the issue insist that pollution is to blame for the problem, but the Russia’s government’s leading officials assume other causes are to blame, such as climate change, or that it’s a lie altogether.

Reading about this issue really infuriated me because of the lack of action that is taking place in order to fix this problem and restore the world’s largest freshwater lake to it’s clean state. Obviously having plenty of freshwater for human use is becoming more and more of an issue and the fact that the Russian government is not coming together to fix this issue saddens me. Looking at the situation from an ethical point of view, clearly their lack of action is not justifiable. Their lack of action shows a negligent obedience as their role as a government. They should be taking due care and acting this best that they can in order to see that one of their largest natural resources is not destroyed due to their country’s actions. In addition to this, if we look at this issue from a Utilitarianism point of view, we want choose the action with the greatest good to bad consequences in order to find the best action in a give situation. Clearly the best action here would be to put politics aside and to do what is best for all of the citizens of Russia and it’s surrounding countries and to fix their pollution problem in order to save this massive lake. However, this is simply not being done, and hopefully, as the article states, this lake does not suffer the same fate that many other lakes around the world have do to a lack of action.

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