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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Death Of A Planet - 1364 words
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Death of a Planet Air pollution is a very big problem in the United States. A large partof air pollution comes from cars. The Environmental Protection Agency says,'The most polluting activity an average person does everyday is drive theircar'(1 factsheet OMS-5). Most people probably aren't aware that they arepolluting the environment. Maybe if everyone knew how serious this pollutionproblem is, they would find ways to reduce the pollution.
Most pollution that is released by cars comes from the exhaust, mainlyin the form of hydrocarbons(1 factsheet, OMS-5). Hydrocarbons are organiccompounds ,a combination of two or more elements, that contain only carbon andhydrogen (2 factsheet, OMS-5). Hydrocarbons are released when fuel in theengine burns partially. When hydrocarbons come in contact with sunlight theyform ground level ozone. Ground level ozone is a major ingredient in theformation of smog. Ground level ozone is responsible for irritating eyes,damaging lungs, and it complicating respiratory problems. Hydrocarbons aren'tthe only pollutants released through car exhaust
Two more pollutants released through car exhaust are carbon monoxide andnitrogen oxide. The first reduces the flow of oxygen to the bloodstream, andcould harm people with heart disease. Nitrogen oxide is formed when a carengine gets hot. It contains chemicals that aid in the formation of groundlevel ozone as well as acid rain (2 factsheet, OMS-5). Acid rain destroys theoutsides of buildings, statues, etc. Acid rain can also contaminate drinkingwater, damage vegetation, and destroy sealife.
These two pollutants are two ofthe most dangerous pollutants released through car exhaust. If these twopollutants were cut down just a little bit our planet would be a safer place tolive. Carbon dioxide is another gas released through exhaust emissions. Itisn't dangerous directly to humans, but it is considered to be a 'green housegas.' A 'greenhouse gas' is a gas that is associated with global warming.Global warming is the gradual increase of temperature due to human activity.Certain gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone allow radiation fromthe sun to break through the atmosphere and go to the earth's surface. Globalwarming affects all living things on the entire planet (4 factsheet OMS-5). Another type of hydrocarbon pollutant occurs through fuel evaporation.These hydrocarbon pollutants are produced four different ways. The first way iscalled diurnal.
This is when the venting of gasoline vapors occurs due to thetemperature of the car's engine rising. The second way is running losses. Thisis the venting of gasoline when the car's engine is running. The third way iscalled hot soak. Hot soak occurs when gasoline evaporates after the car hasbeen turned off.
The fourth way additional hydrocarbons are released occurswhen a person is refueling a car. This occurs when a person fills up their gastank. While the tank is being filled gasoline vapors are forced out. One wayto cut down on this type of pollution is to have the car tuned properly. Therefueling problem can be reduced with the use of vapor recovery system.
Thissystem traps the vapor inside the tank. These systems are present at many gasstations in highly polluted areas (4 factsheet, OMS-5). Some cities around the world are very dangerous to live in because ofcar pollution. One city is Athens, Greece. In Athens the number of deaths riseson days with greater air pollution. Just breathing the air in Bombay is the sameas smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day (97 Brown).
Over 150 million peoplein the United States live in areas where the Environmental Protection Agencyconsiders the air to be unhealthy. The American Lung Association says, 'Theunhealthy air leads to 120, 000 deaths every year' (97 Brown). The citizens ofearth are killing themselves. They are killing themselves for convenience.Eventhough the actions taken by the government and car manufacturers havereduced car emissions a lot since 1970, The number of miles an average persontravels in a day has doubled (4 factsheet OMS-4). The average person must finda way to reduce the number of miles he or she drives.
One way to do these is tocar pool. If a large number of people started to car pool, pollution producedby cars would be reduced. This would reduce the amount of smog in urban areas,making these polluted areas a better place to live. There are many other alternatives to reduce car emissions besidescarpooling. One possible solution is to use fuels cleaner than gasoline.
Thereare many types of alternative fuels that could be used, and the number of fuelsincreases as technology becomes more advanced. One type of alternative fuel isalcohol. One type of alcohol is methanol. Methanol is made from natural gasand coal. Another type of alcohol is ethanol. Ethanol is produced from grainsor sugar.
Cars fueled by alcohol could produce as much as 80 to 90 percent lessemissions than cars fueled with gasoline. Both methanol and ethanol are highoctane liquid fuels. The reason why these two fuels are possible alternatives isbecause they are efficient and made from natural ingredients, and they polluteless (4 factsheet, OMS-4). Another alternative fuel is electricity. This isn't a very efficientfuel right now, because the technology is limited.
Recent advances in theproduction of electric cars could make this a reality in the future. It ispossible for cars powered with electricity to release little or no emissions.If this alternative fuel becomes a reality and is used in most cars, it willknock a big chunk out of the pollution problem all around the world (5 factsheet,OMS-5). Another alternative fuel is natural gas. Natural gas is only good forcars where driving long distances isn't important. It is possible for naturalgas to produce 85 percent to 95 percent less emissions than gasoline fueled cars(5 factsheet, OMS-5).
With this alternative fuel car emissions could be reduceda great deal to benefit the entire world. Another way to reduce pollution released by gasoline powered cars is totest them for dangerous amounts of pollutants regularly. Emissions testingprograms are already in effect in California, Arizona, and Colorado. Texas willhave an emissions testing program soon. The test is very simple. A car istested for hydrocarbons and other ground level ozone forming chemicals that arereleased through car exhaust. If the level of pollutants is high, the car failsthe test.
Then the car must be taken to a mechanic, so the engine can be tunedto release fewer chemicals into the air. After the car is taken to a mechanicand repaired, the car is tested again. This test does cost the car owner money,but it's a small price to pay for the reduction of pollutants released by cars(105 Brown). Researchers are working on a machine that can test cars for hydrocarbonpollution while the car is on the road. This system is called the remotesensing device. The device is placed on the side of the road. As a car drivesby it measures the level of hydrocarbon emissions released by the car. Thesystem can't measure nitrogen oxide emissions yet, but researchers are workingon another system to go along with this device.
If the car is releasing a highlevel of hydrocarbon emissions a video camera takes a picture of the car'slicense plate, and sends the license plate number and the emissions data to acomputer (1 factsheet, OMS-15). Then the owner of the car is notified about thepolluting car, and they are required to have the problem fixed (2 factsheet,OMS-15). If remote sensing devices are used to detect hydrocarbon emissions,polluting cars can be recognized sooner than regular testing, done year by year.If the remote sensing devices are used people don't have to worry about theircar being tested. They just have to get their car repaired when the device saysit's polluting the environment. Air pollution caused by cars is a serious problem that can be reduced byaverage everyday people.
If the citizens of earth don't act fast, and reducethe amount of pollution caused world wide, earth will be a horrible place tolive. If something isn't done soon there might not be a place to live at all.Works CitedBrown, Lester R. The World Watch Reader: On Environmental Issues. NewYurk:Norton, 1991. 97-105.The Environmental Protection Agency. Automobiles and Ozone: Factsheet OMS-4. http://www.epa.gov/OMS WWW/04-ozone.htm.
1993. 4.The Environmental Protection Agency. Automobile Emission: An overiew: FactsheetOMS-5. http://www.epa.gov/OMS www/05-autos.htm. 1994. 1-5.The Environmental Protection Agency. Remote Sensing: A Supplemental Tool forVehicle Emission Control: Factsheet OMS-15. http://www.epa.gov/OMS www/ 15--remot.htm.
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