Research shows that, on average, over one billion people are added to the world every twelve years. Put it shorter terms, that is almost 220,000 people per day (howmany.org). Not only does this rapidly increasing population case overcrowding and less access to food and natural resources, it causes a tremendous strain on our environment. The air is steadily becoming more and more polluted and water is becoming more toxic. These different toxins are a result of a myriad of daily habits that humans do every day. For example, the emissions cars give off contribute to toxins in the air, dumping waste in the water instead of disposing of it properly contributes to the water being less safe to drink, farmers using pesticides on crops contributes to unhealthy food, soil, and water, and the list of daily habits go on. Our daily practices do not help the environment; however, if we were to make some changes, accommodate the way we do things, we can protect our environment and prevent further damage. Four suggested measures for reducing carbon emissions and addressing the pollution issue are random emission testing, establishing green spaces or urban forestry, using alternate means of transportation, and carpooling.
Because overpopulation is part of the cause of pollution and carbon emissions, many people wonder why can we not simply curb the population growth. In the New York Times article,
Reducing Carbon by Curbing Pollution
, Eduardo Porter discusses the argument that we can address the environmental problems by slowing down the birth rate. He begins by listing other countries that at one time or another did control how many people were born. He lists “the Indian government [that] forcibly sterilized millions of women” in the 1970s, he mentions that families in select places like Bangladesh and Indonesia were being forced to have less women, and even China mandated a “onechild policy” in 1980 (nytimes.com).
Population control would have a somewhat positive effect on the environment but, it is not enough to change everything. Not only is it a controversial subject, but it does not solve all of the contributing factors to carbon emissions and pollution. As Porter states in his article
“population growth is only one factor and not necessarily the most important one contributing to global climate change” (nytimes.com).
Besides overpopulation, there are other major factors that influence carbon emissions and pollution. Such factors are emissions by cars, and other vehicles, that pollute the air.
Therefore, there are two suggested measures to address this issue. The first suggestion is random emission testing emission testing is helpful because it checks how much hazardous material is being released from a motor vehicle with a combustion engine (wise geek). By conducting these tests, we can reduce the amount of pollutants that is going into the air. This, in turn, can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming, it will reduce the amount of hydrocarbons, which creates smog and can be responsible for cancer, will be reduced, also carbon monoxide, which is most dangerous to those who suffer from heart disease, will be reduced (wisegeek). Obviously, the plus side to random emission testing is that the air will be cleaner and the environment will be healthier. The downside is that these tests could be an inconvenience to the car owner whose car does not pass the emission tests. The owner may or may not have the money to fix this issue. These tests
themselves are also very expensive. Furthermore, even after the test, it will be difficult to follow through by enforcing that the car owner either fixes his car or gets another that actually passes the emissions tests.
This leads to the second suggestion to reduce carbon emissions using alternate means of transportation. By