You think cars are good? I disagree
By Matthew Madonna
Think about your everyday life. You get on a bus every morning, go to school, and then you go on the bus again in the afternoon. Then, after school, your parent drives you to a baseball practice or singing lesson. And then your parent drives you back home after that. This isn't only your everyday life, it's mostly all of our lives. But have you ever thought about the gases that cars release and how it affects us and the environment? Did you know that every time you ride in car, you are contributing to global warming, you are causing air pollution, and you are causing health problems? I bet you didn't. Luckily, we can help prevent this.
Why is it a problem?
Now, some people don't think this is a problem, but it is. Think back to the story "Traffic" by William Sleator. It states, "In a dangerous and ugly future, traffic is causing killer pollution- but the only way to escape it is to stay inside your car." The air pollution makes it dangerous to even go outside! Also, "...wearing gloves in the blazing heat, he maneuvered his metal food cart, which would have been to hot to touch with bare hands...". It is so hot outside that the metal is dangerous to touch (global warming)! Finally, the "car people" are afraid to go outside because the air pollution could cause problems with their health. Could you imagine not being able to go outside? We do it every day! This clearly affects us and is without a doubt a problem.
- Cars give off carbon dioxide, the cause of the majority of global warming
- Cars are responsible for 60% of global warming emissions
- Cars release carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons: the three major air pollutants
- Air pollution causes eye irritation, asthma, heart disease, birth defects, cancer, and death
- Air pollution kills up to 2.4 million people a year all over the world
In the future...
Considering how many cars are on the streets and driving every day, the future will be a very dark one. The air will be so polluted that it will be dangerous to go outside, much like the situation in "Traffic". Also, global warming caused by cars will have caused the extinction of over 1 million species, according to the "Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming." This could mess up the food chain and some of those animals could be animals we eat. Finally, people will have health issues due to pollution. This will impact the world because nobody will be outside and people could get obese from lack of exercise. Also, the only way people will be able to communicate most of the time will be by way of technology. Our kids will grow up not knowing what it is like to go outside and have a catch with their friends or playing in a sports league. They will not have the fun we are lucky to have every day, and that is sad. Basically, life will be horrible.
We Can Help Prevent This
- If you're going to some type of practice, ride with a friend who also goes because that is one car driving rather than two (carpool)
- Tell your parents to get their car checked out so it runs well and pollutes less
- Ride a bike or walk instead of driving (it's good exercise, too!)
- Next time you are going to buy a car, make sure it is an electric or hybrid
- Take public transportation such as a bus or train
- Tell your friends and other family members about all the things you can do to help prevent the problems caused by gases in cars
The Clean Air Act
"The Clean Air Act is a law that helps reduce the amount of emissions from vehicles, factories, and other pollution sources" according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
- E21 Textbook Workshop 3 Earth Alert: "Traffic" by William Sleator
- E21 Textbook Workshop 3 Earth Alert: "Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming" by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon"
- E21 Textbook Workshop 3 Earth Alert: "Teens Tackle Pollution" by Sara Steindorf
- "Air Pollution is killing as many as 2.4 million people per year" by Gwynn Guilford http://qz.com/103612/air-pollution-is-killing-as-many-as-2-4-million-people-each-year/
- "How Does Car Pollution Affect the Environment and Ozone Layer?" by Jennifer King http://homeguides.sfgate.com/car-pollution-affect-environment-ozone-layer-79358.html
- "Motor Vehicles and the Clean Air Act" http://www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/11-vehs.pdf