Sustainability: Carbon Dioxide Emission Essay

Submitted By zhangruocheng
Words: 1205
Pages: 5

Video Clip Assignment

Driving to Work

Video Clip Explanation

Sustainability has become a primary subjective in many countries around the world. Pollution, global warming & climate change and resource depletion have drawn the world’s attention. Many agree that global warming may be the greatest threat facing our world. What are the contributors to global warming? The answer is human activities! In this report we are going to look at one of the bad practices around Auckland region which contributes to global warming and how this bad practice affects our world, also how this problem can be addressed or solved.

When mentioning the term global warming, the other term greenhouse effect goes into our mind along with it. The greenhouse effect can be described as that energy from the sun radiates to the earth’s surface; in turn, the earth reflects energy back into space; some atmospheric gases (carbon dioxide, and other gases) Hold some of the escaping energy and retaining heat like the glass barrier of a greenhouse; these gases are therefore known as greenhouse gases; the greenhouse effect is the increase in temperature on earth as certain gases in the atmosphere hold energy. The greenhouse effect is a part of the natural processes; however, burning fossil fuel and deforestation also produce carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and therefore increases the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This means more heat is trapped on the earth than it can escape, which results in the increase in global temperature [ (Shah, 2011) ].

In the video, we have looked at one of the traffic congestions occurred on the highway via North Harbor Bridge. Statics show 560 motor vehicles are owned by per 1000 people in New Zealand [ ( ]; there are over 3 million motor vehicles registered in New Zealand (Statistics NZ, 2001), this is a five-fold increase since 1951. Approximately 80.3% of the people who live in Auckland travel to work by car (Statistics NZ, 1996). With such high percentages of car ownership and car usage, large amount of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are emitted into the atmosphere; due to the above reasons, vehicle emission has become one of the dominant factors of New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emission. 11.6% of the New Zealand transport network are state highways but nearly 50% of all vehicle kilometres travelled (vkt) (Brown, 2009). According to these statics, it is not difficult to answer why the traffic on the highway from downtown to north shore is always congested. As we all know that car emission goes on as the engine starts, even if the car stops, as long as the engine operates car emission does not stop, therefore each car in traffic congestion is emitting exhaust gases which includes carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. These carbon dioxide gases are about 40% of our carbon dioxide emissions which is equivalent to around 20% of our total national greenhouse gas emissions [ ( ]. This is one of the evidences of why anthropogenic (human) activities are responsible for global warming; in another word, this is the finger print from human on global warming and climate change. Driving to work is unsustainable not just because it contributes greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; in addition car exhaust emission is harmful to human health. By only looking at Auckland, 253 people over the age of 30 were killed as a result of motor vehicle emissions in 2002 (Health effects due to motor vehicle air pollution in New Zealand, Report to the MOT, 20 January 2002). This is more than three times the Auckland region’s road toll in 2001 of 73 deaths. Other impacts from car emissions on human health include cancer, respiratory and circulatory problems [ ( ].

All the unsustainable facts mentioned above are caused by over use of motor vehicles. Driving to work use to be described as fast and convenient, whereas now it is