Sample Article Review on Environmental Issues

Introduction

The need to conserve the environment has led to a rise in various actions to mitigate the adverse impacts of pollution. Most of the pollutants that cause harm to the environment are factors that can be controlled through technology and change in methods of production. Pollution occurs in various forms such as air, light, and water, thermal and radioactive pollution. In the modern world, the increase in demand for products has led to an increase in the rate of pollution due to increased production. Significant amounts of pollutants come from industries. The industrial processes are responsible for air, noise, and water pollution. Much of the pollution from these industries can be controlled through activities such as treating the effluents before releasing them into water bodies to reduce the impact of pollution. Pollution leads to adverse impacts such as health complications, global warming effects, and general harm to the natural resources.  One of the countries that have had adverse impacts of pollution is China. The mitigation strategies proposed by the ministry of environment in the country has not had positive results. The adverse impacts of the pollution makes the world an inhabitable place but this can be made better with the research and development initiatives on the environmental issues. One of the best ways to gain knowledge on the environmental issues is through reviewing literature and research from academic sources. The United States and China are two countries that have experienced the adverse impacts of air pollution and have adopted different strategies in dealing with the pollution. From the chapter on transportation and environment, it is clear that among other environmental issues, air pollution caused by transportation has received little attention (Hanson & Giuliano 361). It is therefore important to carry out more research on the same. This paper carries out a review if such literature to enhance the understanding on the impact of transport on the environment. The paper also examines the transportation system and environment in China.

The link between use of Automobile and Pollution

The transport sector is one of the major drivers of the economy through enhancing the mobility of goods and services to the required destinations. Research shows that about 42% of the carbon dioxide pollutants in the US results from the petroleum products used by the automobiles (Kotval 1). This is a very high percentage compared to coal and natural gas that contribute to 32% and 26% respectively. The automobiles do not only emit carbon dioxide but also methane and nitrous oxides (Kotval 11). One of the desirable aspects about the chapter is the way it has covered the issue of automobiles comprehensively. It cites that the use of automobiles is inevitable but it is possible to have a situation where the dependency reduces. It is important to achieve sustainable transport in the economy as a way of reducing pollution (Sharon and Darren 130). One of the best ways of reducing the pollution caused by the automobiles is through adoption of means of transport that do not use the motorized automobiles such as bicycles. There are other strategies such as encouraging people to use the public transport. The only issue with the chapter in relation to this aspect is that it does not highlight the adverse impacts of the non-motorized transport. One of such impacts is the wastage of time as they are not as fast as the motorized automobiles (Creutzig and Dongquan 130). The chapter is based on thorough research on the link between the automobiles and environmental pollution. In efforts to control pollution from the automobiles, most cities are using the public transport including New York and Chicago. As much as there is a need to contain the pollution, most of the non-motorized modes of transport have declined over the years. In China, the majority of people use the non-motorized means of transport mainly the electric bicycles. From my personal experience, using the non-motorized means of transport poses a threat to one’s health. Walking through the streets of Beijing China, one feels the impact of the air pollution. After staying in the city for a week, I developed breathing problems. The health complications I developed would have been less severe if I used the motorized means and this is one of the reasons that the people prefer motorized to non-motorized means. In 2000, the number of people in the United States using the non-motorized transport was only 3.3%, implying that majority of the people uses motorized means of transport (Hanson & Giuliano 356). However, this study does not indicate the reasons for the decline in the use of non-motorized automobiles. One would expect that due to the rise in the awareness of pollution, there would be an increase in the number of people using the non-motorized means. The situation in china is not different as majorities of people use the motorized automobiles in their transport (Akimoto 105). The country has well developed systems of air, water, and road transport making it one of the major contributors of transport-related pollution.

Impacts of Pollution

One of the best attributes about the chapter is the way it discusses the adverse impacts of transport. On the issue of health as an impact of pollution, the author acknowledges that it is important to discuss the health benefits associated with clean environment but it requires knowledge on epidemiology and medicine. This makes the reader understand the reason that the benefits are not discussed and makes them aware of the gap in the study so that they can research from other sources. The author has carried out through research on the health impacts caused by the automobiles. It is clear that the increase in diesel usage in the United States from 8.8% to 9.9% has led to an increase level of diesel particulates in the environment (Hanson & Giuliano 356). The particulates are dangerous as they cause the carcinogenic effects in human. This enhances the understanding of the reasons why the particulates are harmful. The chapter also discusses other impacts such as noise and aesthetics. The author cites that the design of roads and bridges does not always suit the aesthetic needs of people, especially in the rural areas. The discussion of the impacts is orderly as the author moves from the most serious impacts to the least serious, that is, from health to aesthetics. This is one of the factors that make the reading interesting as the impacts are arranged in a logic manner. In China, the urban population is growing by day, implying that more people are suffering from the adverse impacts of pollution. In a study carried out last year in the country, more than one billion people are exposed to unclean air, and most of this is caused by pollution from the automobiles. The rise in the number of cardiovascular diseases in the country is attributed to air pollution. In 2010, the cost of the country in outdoor air pollution accounted for US$ 1.4 trillion and this figure is set to rise in the near future as a result of the increase in automobiles as well as industrial productions (Akimoto 109). In the United States, cardiovascular diseases are the most common health conditions claiming about 610,000 lives annually. These complications are attributed to the air pollution in the country.

Mitigation of pollution caused by transportation

It is important to regulate pollution owing to its adverse impacts. The benefits of controlling the pollution are more than the cost of controlling it and many countries are committed to control the pollution. In china, there are policies put in place to ensure an improved quality of air. However, the implementation of these measures is not easy. In a report by the ministry of environmental protection, only 4.1% of the 74 cities that were surveyed last year have successfully implemented the policies. This implies that there is still a big challenge in controlling the air pollution. In the chapter, the methods that can be used to mitigate pollution are only two, implying that there needs to be more research on the area (Creutzig and Dongquan 130). The chapter does not examine the success of the application of the strategies extensively.   The author highlights that the leading cause of air pollution is the little attention that the issue attracts. However, the author does not indicate the strategies that can be used to enhance the awareness on air pollution. It is therefore crucial for more funds to be set aside for research on the environmental issues.

Conclusion

While the transport sector is important in building and developing the economy, it contributes largely to air pollution. The adverse impacts of air pollution are costing economies such China a lot of money that would otherwise be used for other development projects. The reduction in quality of lives in the affected regions is evident due to poor health that the pollution causes. It is therefore crucial to intensify the efforts that can be used to reduce the air pollution. There are various strategies that have been put in place to reduce pollution but the implementation is yet to be done. In countries such as China where the level of pollution is very high, the efforts to control the situation are still futile (Creutzig and Dongquan 129). The authorities responsible for environmental issues ought to be stricter in enforcing the measures to reduce pollution. The people should be encouraged to use the non-motorized means of transportation so as to have cleaner air and a healthier environment to live in. From the chapter, it is clear that there are still some gaps on transportation and environment that needs to be addressed. It is crucial to carry out more research on issues such as mitigation strategies so as to enhance the control of pollution. More research will help the countries enhance the air control measures and improve the quality of life. From my personal experience, it is clear that the air pollution can result in many health complications. The strategies used by the United States and the Chinese government in mitigating pollution are relevant but stricter measures need to be adopted to enhance the mitigation.

 

Works Cited

Akimoto, Hajime. “Global air quality and pollution.” Science 302.5651 (2003): 16-119.

Creutzig, Felix, and Dongquan He. “Climate change mitigation and co-benefits of             feasible transport demand policies in Beijing.” Transportation Research Part D:         Transport and Environment 14.2 (2009): 120-131.

In Hanson, S., & In Giuliano, G. (2004). Transport and Environment. In The geography of urban             transportation. New York: Guilford Press.

Harlan, Sharon L., and Darren M. Ruddell. “Climate change and health in cities: impacts of heat and air pollution and potential co-benefits from mitigation and adaptation.” Current             Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 3.3 (2011): 126-134.

Kotval, Zeenat. “Environmental Issues.” 28 Sept. 2015. Presentation.