Acid Rain

By: Chad Rossouw

Enviromental Effects

Acid rain is causing big problems in earth. Acid rain can destroy rainforests and poison clean water. Acid rain kills fish inside rivers, and can cause extinction of a species. The pollutants that are contained inside acid rain also are harmful to human health, as many scientific studies have identified a relationship between increased levels of fine particles and increased illness and premature death from heart and lung disorders, such as asthma and bronchitis. Acid rain is rainfall made so acidic by atmospheric pollution that it causes environmental harm, chiefly to forests and lakes. The main cause is the industrial burning of coal and other fossil fuels, the waste gases from which contain sulfur and nitrogen oxides which combine with atmospheric water to form acids.

Economic Effects

As acid rain kills many plants and animals, it can have a huge effect on income for jobs like being a fisherman, hunter, environmentalist, and many others. If all the animals are poisoned and uneatable, then nobody will want to buy the animals that fisherman and hunters bring in. This can cause many people to go bankrupt and make it hard for them to start up again.

Tourists will also not visit river areas. People who make a living out of guiding down rivers, such as the orange river in South Africa, will also struggle to make a living. Who would want to paddle down a poisoned river? As a huge part of the fun is swimming, fishing, racing, and having splashing competitions, it is not enjoyable if the river is poisoned.

Preventing Acid Rain

Production of clean electricity does not involve the release of any pollutants, therefore no dangerous chemicals will be sent into the atmosphere. Since acid rain is caused by chemicals released in the burning of fuel, if there are no chemicals then there will be no acid rain.

However a problem with this is that clean energy is very expensive, and therefore can take a long time to put into effect.

Another problem is that certain types of clean energy need a source, which is either not sustainable or is hard to find. An example is wind energy. Because the wind is not always blowing, the source unsustainable. Hydroelectricity needs a flowing water source to create power, and in some environments such as the desert this is hard to find. Solar energy depends on the sun, and often the sky is cloudy.

Another disadvantage with renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate the quantities of electricity that are as large as those produced by fossil fuel generators. This may mean that we need to reduce the amount of energy we use or simply build more energy facilities, which would be very expensive.