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Environmental Studies 2-Essay

Environmental Studies 2-Essay - September 2 2007...

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September 2, 2007 Environmental Studies 2 Prof. Keller/ TA: Kamal The Ecological and Social Consequences of an Oil-Based Society Throughout recent years, the topic of global warming along with other pollution problems such as depletion of the ozone layer have occurred and as a result of allowing this ongoing trend to continue, the overall worldwide temperature has increased and will continue to increase if no solutions are brought about to combat this issue. One of the leading causes of pollution are automobiles. Cars emit two hundred thirty million tons of carbon monoxide annually (Zabarenko). Of that amount, nearly forty-five percent of the total worldwide emissions is said to have come from the United States. The problem of high-emission automobiles is a problem that can be solved by methods of various alternative energy sources. In today’s society if one were asked to name something in their life they could never live without, there is little doubt that besides food and water, their car would be near the top of the list. After all, cars take us to our places of work, ambulances help save people in emergencies, and overall cars are thought of as necessary for our everyday existence. However when Henry Ford first marketed the Model-T, widely considered the first mass produced consumer car, even he would never have envisioned the environmental and health factors it later would place on contemporary societies worldwide. Automobiles in general are among the leading causes of global warming and other pollution problems.
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Even though not nearly enough action has been taken to try and minimize the impact our sources of transportation have on our surrounding environment, which we call our home, there are ways to solve the problem of cars emitting too many gases. Of the various ways that can help in the struggle against deadly greenhouse gases, people can carpool with others or take public transportation which in turn would lessen the number of vehicles on the road and would help the environment for the pure reason that a fewer number of cars would emit a lesser amount of toxic gases. Other options available include exploring alternative vehicles that may be electric or use cleaner burning fuels such as ethanol or even hydrogen-powered cars. Multiple solutions are being explored currently, however due to constraints oil companies place on political leaders, leaders are obliged to restrict the nation from turning to a completely non-oil based society. Of lately, much research has been put into measuring exactly how much harm is being placed upon the environment. It has been estimated that every solitary year, an average of two hundred thirty million tons of carbon monoxide is annually let into the ozone (Zabarenko). In addition, “Most ozone pollution is caused by motor vehicles, which account for 72% of nitrogen oxides and 52% of reactive hydrocarbons (principal components of smog)” (“Statistics About Pollution, Energy Use, and Danger”).
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