Natural Gas and Baudler Air Pollution Essay

Submitted By tbaudler
Words: 757
Pages: 4

Air Pollution Tony Baudler

Air pollution is an important issue in the United States and throughout the world. It is defined as the expulsion of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm to people or damage to the environment. It can be in the form of solid particles, liquid droplets or gases. Air pollution could come from natural sources, such as volcanoes, wildfires and dust storms, but most of it comes from industrial plants, power plants and vehicles. The exhaust from these sources contains nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and particulates that are all considered contaminates. Fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, are available and inexpensive to use. We use fossil fuels to make electricity, heat our homes, run our cars and provide energy for our factories. The problem is that using these fossil fuels pollutes the air. However, it is difficult and expensive to develop and use other energy sources that would not pollute the air. People could have to pay as much as 30 percent more for their electricity if a fuel other than coal is used to produce electricity. It is easier to continue using these sources since they are available to us now. It is also easier to continue doing things as we have been and not worry about what future generations will do. Air pollution has some serious negative effects on our health and our environment. Sulfur oxides can cause respiratory illnesses. People who live in big cities develop asthma and pneumonia easier because they are exposed to air pollution. Air pollution not only affects the lungs but also can affect heart rate, blood pressure, blood vessel function, blood clotting and heart rate variability. Carbon monoxide drives oxygen out of the bloodstream and causes apathy, fatigue, headaches, disorientation and decreased muscular coordination. Furthermore, the World Health Organization has linked 2.4 million deaths each year to air pollution. An environmental problem is acid rain that contaminates drinking water and damages aquatic life with the chemicals polluting the air. Another result of air pollution in the environment is the holes in the ozone layer of the atmosphere that can increase the amount of damaging ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun. This damage to the environment is difficult or impossible to repair. My opinion of this issue is that it is a complicated problem that needs lots of different solutions, but we need to stop polluting the air. We should find a way to limit the amount of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and other contaminants that we put in the air. We should use renewable resources such as solar energy, wind energy and geothermal pressure instead of using up fossil fuels that cannot be replaced. Another big part of the air pollution comes from car exhaust, so more people should consider buying a hybrid or electric powered car as well as riding a bicycle and driving less. Furthermore in a study by the National Center for Environmental Economics, it costs us four times more in public health and environmental damage expenses to continue using the energy sources we have than to