Air Pollution in Ontario
Air pollution is a major topic in our society it is a subject to be taken seriously because it causes many problems in our environment causing it to be very unhealthy for our living lifestyle. Air pollution is described as the accumulation of something where it is not wanted and the introduction of something into the environment that adversely affects the environment or the usefulness of it s components.
Many different types of pollutants are produced in our air that we humans basically are responsible for. Like Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which is a natural component of air. But it is also a pollutant. By burning fossil fuels we release an average of 5.6 billion molecules of CO2 every year. But we are headed into a world where we can automatically change that number to 30 billion in a matter of years. Another pollutant is Carbon Monoxide (CO) which is a product of combustion and it is primarily made from motor vehicles. It produces many hazardous problems for us humans because it s a dangerous molecule, produces a poisonous gas, causes impaired vision and poor coordination, headaches, angina and the worst of all death. It is contributor to smog. Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) which is the burning of fossil fuels like coal which is used to generate electricity, also produced from ore smelters, chemical plants and trash burning facilities. This also has it s toll on our environment in which it limits visibility when in the air, causes problems for the respiratory systems and makes plant leaves yellow. This molecule combines with water vapour to form Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4) which is a corrosive substance that damages the lungs and eats away iron and steel. This molecule is a major component of Acid Rain. Nitric Oxide (NO) is a pollutant produced from the burning of fossil fuels and is quickly changed to Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). When combined the two gases are generally defined as Nitrogen Oxides (NOX). Motor vehicles are responsible for half of the nitrogen oxides emitted, 1/3 is emitted from power plants and industrial plants produce the rest. This pollutant is a major component of smog. When this pollutant reacts with water vapour Nitric Acid (HNO3) is formed this corrodes metals and is present in Acid Rain. The pollutant Ozone (O3) is a form of oxygen that is primarily present in the stratosphere and responsible for blocking ultraviolet radiation and the concentrations near the earth s surface contribute to the production of smog.
In Ontario smog is produced from many different types of sources. Statistics show that 32% comes from transportation, 7% from industries, 6% from electricity, 4% comes from residential areas and 50% of the smog in Ontario comes from the USA. A (1990-2000) study shows that there has been a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario government operations and 19% reduction by Canadian government operations. There s a big problem with this number. It shows that as a society we aren t applying ourselves in the manner that we want to or should. We aren t choosing the right direction thus were letting such a big topic go by as it basically means nothing to us. But it will mean something to the next three or four generations because they will have to deal with the many problems that we are headed into. Acid Rain is common but it s already a sign showing that something isn t right. Usually when something isn t right we go back, find where our mistake is and fix it, so that it is right. Why are we not fixing this problem to its fullest extent so that it doesn t get any worse? That s a question many people have asked and the answer has two factors. Not enough funding by the government and the other is a lot of people would lose their jobs because they work at plants that produce gases that help in the making of air pollution. So we now have more than one situation to deal with. This is where confusion starts to occur and decision-making is taken into factor. But it always goes in the way we would presume it would go. If you fix the problem the government would lose too much money because the government would have to pay the workers of the plant welfare money unless of course they have another job which they can afford live on. If the government doesn t fix the air pollution problem it will save money thus not a penny is spent. But just for the government to keep a good reputation they will give some money to fix the problem. Once again we move to square one, it doesn t help solve the problem because the money will not fix the hole in the ozone layer. The plants and cars will still produce their harmful un-environmentally friendly gases and with that the air we breath will once again decrease to soon leave us wearing astronaut helmets on our heads hooked up to a oxygen tank. Is this the way we want our life to end up? Many things can be done and there have always been alternatives to help the environment. Some solutions include if you tend to use the car to go from one place to another back and fourth and the distance is a pretty long drive I would consider that most people would drive. But you could help the environment by taking the bus or taxi or maybe even the train. When travelling to work and a family friend or relative leaves around the same time and they live a short distance from you, you can consider carpooling. Others consider biking to their destination and maybe even walking thus you can save the environment and you ll be exercising at the same time. Usually people don t care but that one car off the road may lead to two cars and maybe three. Just those three cars make a huge difference and that is why the earth hasn t made us pay for our mistakes. Those people make the difference and it shows how much they care.
I bet that 99.9% of our society will say that s crazy I m not wearing any sort of device on my head to let me stay alive, and the other 0.01% will say, Astronaut helmets cool! A typical scene on our part as we don t tend to think about what were doing leading to the next generations after us a hell of a disgusting future. Take this time to look at how much trees and flowers there are and take a deep breath. Just imagine the day when it will be all gone. Now take that situation and compare it with taking a deep breath out of a plastic bag while your head is in it, something we shouldn t do because we would suffocate leaving me with this last point. This will someday be the way us humans will have to breath slowly and carefully. Just remember we can go days without eating but we can hardly go a minute in this world without the help of oxygen.
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