Air Pollution

Air pollution affects millions of people every day. Not only is poor air quality harmful to humans, but it has serious effects to the environment and all of Mother Nature’s creatures. Smog and pollutants are fairly new to the history of the world. Airborne pollution was almost non-existent before modern man. Up until the industrial revolution, smog was not a major issue like it is today.

When discussing air pollution, the primary issue being discussed is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is emitted naturally by animals breathe, humans included. The carbon dioxide that animals release into the air is more or less cleaned when plants and trees use that carbon dioxide as energy and produce oxygen. Over the past 150 years however, that has changed.
air pollutionEver since humans started to burn fossil fuels, such as oil and gas, for energy, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has skyrocketed. When these fossil fuels are burned, they release carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air. This, coupled with deforestation in parts of the world, has led to an increase in pollutants and smog.
The world’s most industrialized countries have been the biggest contributors to pollution. The United States, Russia, China, and India are considered world leaders in regards to how much pollution they are responsible for. Some countries have taken steps to reduce pollution into the air. However, developing countries tend to disagree with some measures as they feel it hurts their potential for growth.
There are always ongoing discussions and debates when various governments are on the issue of air quality and control. Some folks find this to be frustrating. Instead of waiting for the government to act, they often take measures on their own or in their community to affect change.
Many individuals have looked for ways to cut back on their use of fossil fuels. Some ideas include carpooling or buying a more fuel polluted airefficient vehicle, cutting back on lawn mowing and leaf blowing, and switching to more energy efficient products.
Some folks have taken this a step farther. They team together with like-minded people to identify products and companies that contribute to smog and refuse to do business with those companies. Some groups of people have even pressed local governments and businesses into not doing business with these companies and governments.
Air pollution affects millions of people around the world and will continue to do so until government s agree to make significant changes. Until then, it is up to individuals to reduce their carbon footprint. Whether it is through switching to energy efficient products, boycotting certain polluters, or planting a tree, there are many ways that individuals can affect change and reduce pollutants in the atmosphere. This will ensure future generations can enjoy clear, blue skies.

Category: Sustainability

Comments (2)

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  1. Kale Harmon says:

    Like you say, individual people can only help so much. One hundred people deciding to use a rake instead of a leaf blower isn’t going to do much for the environment, and yet people do it and pat themselves on the back for being environmentally conscious. Your call to identify polluting companies and boycott their products is more effective.

  2. MPeterson says:

    On the news the other day they showed pictures of a city in China where the smog and air pollution was so thick you could hardly see down the street. Most people were walking around with filtration masks on. I know the US is doing more to curb emissions and pollutants these days, and that countries like China think it’s not fair that they have to as well since they’re still building their technology and industrial base, but they really have to think beyond their wallets.

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