Pollution Essay

Humanity is mired in the era of consumption. Every day new products are made, various services are offered. Production is impossible without demand, and we create it. But who thinks about what is behind the manufacture of such a coveted product?

Today, the problem of environmental pollution is one of the most relevant and common problems in modern society. Every day, a person pollutes our green planet with garbage, the amount of which will soon go beyond all conceivable limits of the norm.

To prevent serious problems, each of us now must seriously think about it, because planet Earth is our home, therefore, the prevention of pollution of our nature is a common duty of all mankind. If we all begin to take care of our planet together, we can solve all environmental problems.

The resources of our planet will someday run out, they are not eternal. Many people do not even think about the state in which we leave the Earth at the disposal of our children and grandchildren. They can never breathe fresh air, enjoy the splendor of the purest reservoirs, seas, and oceans if humanity continues to consciously destroy the planet.

Example 1: How to Prevent Air Pollution

Let us take a nice look to talk about what the air pollution? on really is. I mean the reality is that the issue of air pollution control needs is something that we all are well aware of. But are we facing the exact way that we have to prevent it? Really, its a major problem to the whole of the continent and it can cause global warming to all over the world. There are three steps that we have to take to solve this air pollution problems: recycling, saving energy and placing factories outside of the city.

Recycling is one of the best ways to reduce air pollution. The first step we need to take is that we have to pro duce less to conserve mor energy. second, We see many people throwing things in the roads in our daily life. some of these people foced them to do this with out containers on the road and some others do this by offense? very.

So we have to put containers to every were possible and we have to show the others who do this by consciously. also, we have to work hard to stop whatever can increase air pollution. y the way we have to stop using volotile organic compounds (VOC) which are the gases that are emitted from certain materials. These materials include spray paints, pesticides, glues, permanent markers, etc. Instead of going for materials that contain VOCs, we have to go to the products that contain water as basically or have low levels of VOCs. Second step that we can prevent air pollution is saving energy.

Surely, how much energy we save, reduces the amount of air pollution in the air. imple steps that we can save energy is using les natural gasses, gasoline and electricity which can actually save a lot of fossil fuels. In order to save electricity, we to take small steps like using fans instead of air conditioners, turn off electrical appliances when we leave a room, replace our incandescent lights with fluorescent lights, use solar energy, use a microwave to heat up small meals than burning the gas stove, purchase energy saving appliances, and so on.

Also, there is another step that we can save energy to reduce air polution. For example when we are driving, we to take these steps like obeying the speed limit, replacing our car’s air filter on time, accelerating gradually, keeping our tires inflated properly, buying cars that are designed to emit low pollution. The last step is that we have to locate factories outside of the cities. As we all are well aware of, factories produce a lot of carbon dioxide which is very dangerous to the hole global.

The reality is that we need them because they are necesary to our lives. But the only way we can reduce their harmfulness is that we have to make them outside of the cities. Also, we have stop doing same factories which are same work if there are enough factories that can do the job as much as we need. Because building same factories will only increase the emissions. In conclusion, we have to take these above steps to prevent this global problem which is air pollution.

Actually no matter where you live, air is that one element that will always be around you. So, if you think that staying at home will keep you safe no matter how polluted it is outside, you are completely wrong. In fact if you see many recent researches which are talked to air pollution, you would know that air pollution is the leading cause of many air borne diseases like bronchitis, asthma, non fatal heart attacks, and other respiratory conditions leading to premature deaths all across the globe.

Example 2: Causes and Effects of Air Pollution

When air gets polluted with dust, smoke, motor vehicles, mills and factories etc. is called air pollution. We know that air is an important element of our environment. But it is a matter of great regret that it is being polluted day by day in different reasons. Causes of Air pollution:

There are different kinds of reasons of air pollution. The causes of air pollution are described below.

1. Using poison in agriculture: In agricultural sectors, farmers often use insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers etc. These get mixed with air and causes air pollution. Besides, Ammonia is a very common by product from agriculture related activities and is one of the most hazardous gases in the atmosphere. ➢ Air Pollution-Paragraph

2. Burning of Fossil Fuels: Burning of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and other factory combustibles is one the major causes of air pollution. Smoke emitting from vehicles like buses, trucks, jeeps, cars, trains, airplanes etc. causes air pollution.

3. Industrial smoke: In mills and factories, large amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic compounds, and chemicals is emitted that causes air pollution. It is true that mills and factories can be found at every corner of the world that cause a huge amount of harmful gases that are the major causes of air pollution.

4. Indoor activities: Different kinds of household activities like cleaning products, washing, painting etc. emit different kinds of toxic chemicals in the air and cause air pollution.

Effects of Air pollution

There are different kinds of negative and harmful effects of air pollution. The effects of air pollution are described below.

1. Global warming: Air pollution causes global warming in a great scale. With increased temperatures world wide, increase in sea levels and melting of ice from colder regions and icebergs, displacement and loss of habitat have already signaled an impending disaster if actions for preservation and normalization aren’t undertaken soon.

2. Causes diseases: The effects of Air pollution are very harmful for health. It causes different kinds of respiratory diseases like heart attack, Cancer, bronchitis etc. Every year millions of people of all over the world die due to direct or indirect effects of air pollution.

3. Acid Rain:

Acid raining is another effects of air pollution. Harmful gases like nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides are released into the atmosphere during the burning of fossil fuels. When it rains, the water droplets combines with these air pollutants, becomes acidic and then falls on the ground in the form of acid rain. Acid rain can cause great damage to human, animals and crops.

4. Depletion of Ozone layer:

Air pollution depletes Ozone layer. Ozone exists in earth’s stratosphere and is responsible for protecting humans from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Earth’s ozone layer is depleting due to the presence of chlorofluorocarbons, hydro chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. As ozone layer will go thin, it will emit harmful rays back on earth and can cause skin and eye related problems. UV rays also have the capability to affect crops.

5. Harms to the wild life:

Air pollution harms the wilderness. Humans and animals face a lot of devastating effects due to air pollution. Toxic chemicals present in the air can force wildlife species to move to new place and change their habitat. The toxic pollutants deposit over the surface of the water and can also affect sea animals.

6. Depletion of Ozone layer:

Air pollution depletes Ozone layer. Ozone exists in earth’s stratosphere and is responsible for protecting humans from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Earth’s ozone layer is depleting due to the presence of chlorofluorocarbons, hydro chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. As ozone layer will go thin, it will emit harmful rays back on earth and can cause skin and eye related problems. UV rays also have the capability to affect crops.

Conclusion

In the long run, it can be said that it is the right time to protect air pollution. To create a better place to live in for the human being and wilderness we have stop air pollution.

Example 3: Ocean Pollution

The pollution of the ocean is rapidly becoming a crucial problem on Earth. The major causes of sea pollution are oil spills, toxic waste, and dumping of other harmful materials into the ocean. This pollution will directly affect the living organisms in the ocean and indirectly affect human’s health and resources. We, as humans, should learn more about these in order to have the knowledge on how to solve this problem effectively. Oil spill is perhaps the most publicly acknowledged cause of sea pollution.

Large tanker accident like the Exxon Valdez had been rapidly known worldwide. This incident happened in Prince William Sound, Alaska in March 1989, where the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker, grounded on Bligh Reef, spilling almost 11 million gallons of crude oil. It is considered as one of the most devastating human-caused environmental tragedy. Plenty of people didn’t realize that hundreds of millions of gallons of oil are quietly end up in our oceans by other sources such as routine shipping, run-offs, and dumping every year.

Toxic wastes are poisonous chemical and biological materials that are produced from industrial plants or facilities and agricultural work that are carried away through freshwater and into the rivers, lakes, and ocean. These dangerous pollutants include chemical contaminants such as Lead, Mercury, Asbestos, Sulphur, Nitrates, etc. , and biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, etc. Dumping of litter into the ocean can cause huge problems to the marine life. The ocean is a virtual dumping ground for rubbish.

That garbage includes scrap fish nets, plastic bags, tin cans, glass or plastic bottles etc. Sea pollution will cause different harmful effects on the wildlife. For example, oil spills frequently the kill marine lives and further cause extinctions. Blow holes of the whales and dolphins will be clogged by the oil, making them very difficult to breathe and communicate regularly. And the fur of the otters, seals and penguin will be coasted by a thick layer of oil, leaving them exposed to hypothermia.

When oil floats on the water, this will block the sunlight from the photosynthetic aquatic plants. Sea pollution is also harmful to human’s health. Although it may not directly and immediately affect human’s health, it can damage our health after a long term of exposure. For instance, industrial waste is one of the dangerous pollutants which are extremely harmful to human’s health. Chemical properties such as Mercury and Lead are consumed by human indirectly from consuming fishes that have been caught from the polluted ocean.

And Lead is dangerous to our health, especially children’s and pregnant women’s as it accumulates in the body and will affect the central nervous system. There are many ways that ocean pollution can be prevented or controlled. A lot of people are unaware that huge portion of the pollution problem can be tracked right back to their own backyards and homes. Therefore, sea pollution can be prevented by keeping to some simple guidelines in our daily life. For example, be aware of what we throw down the sink or toilet.

Solvent litter like paints or oil should not be thrown down the drain as it will slowly flow to the ocean through the streams and rivers. And of course the most basic way to prevent sea pollution is to avoid throwing rubbish into the rivers, lakes and oceans. One of the other ways to control sea pollution is through industrial water treatment. In order to release sewage back into the environment safely, the raw sewage must first be treated correctly in a water treatment plant.

In the water treatment plant, the sewage will go through a few phases, which includes a numbers of chambers and chemical processes, to filter, degrade and get rid of any left-over impurities in order to minimize the toxicity level and amount of the waste. “Prevention is better than cure. ” It is not just the government’s responsibility, but is every individual’s responsibility to put in effort to help control and prevent the pollution of the ocean. This is a very important task to protect and improve the quality of the environment for our future generations.

Example 4: General Environmental Pollution and the Kyoto protocol

What is environmental pollution?

It can be defined as the act of environmental contamination, usually caused by man-made wastes.

The Environment and Opportunity Cost

At first thought, these two concepts seem to be fairly unrelated.

However, both of these concepts come down to one single principle – Scarcity. As economists, we have seen that society tries to make the best arrangements between various resources in order to gain maximum benefit. Unfortunately, these arrangements which provide maximum benefit to an individual or firm can have detrimental side effects to other individuals and/or firms.

Environmental problems would not arise if there was a superabundance of resources. There would be no worries about running out of supplies. Most waste products could be easily and harmlessly dispersed if there were boundless oceans and atmosphere. Many of our environmental problems occur simply because we have tended to treat world resources as if they were limitless.

Scarcity forces upon us the necessity of making choices by comparing alternatives.

We are all aware that if limited resources are fully employed, an increase in the output of one commodity or service can only be achieved by having less of another – more resources being used to clean-up the environment will mean fewer resources available for consumer goods.

(Explain opportunity cost and trade off)

(Explain shifting of PPC inwards in long run due to unhealthy workforce and hence less productivity of workforce – should we locate at A or at B? – Most developed nations would aim for B whilst most developing nations would really produce at A)

(Explain minimum consumption limited – why points below/above are unachievable)

Economic Causes of Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution is basically caused due to economic actions of a firm – i.e. production of a good or service. Environmental pollution is a form of a negative externality.

Most economic actions of firms contribute towards some external cost. This is illustrated below.

The cost of producing oil, to a firm is C. However, this is only the private cost of production of oil – i.e. the cost of manufacturing oil to the firm, which includes its fixed and variable costs.

The firm pays C to produce an output of Q. However, it does not take into account the social cost of producing oil. The social cost is the private cost plus any external costs. In this case, the external cost is the vertical distance between the two supply curves, E1T. The oil factory emits harmful chemicals which damages the environment. This, in the long run, causes health problems for the local residents, as it contaminates the air, soil and water. These infected inhabitants will need to be treated at the NHS. This is ultimately funded by the government, who pays the cost of cleanup.

In order to bare this cost on the firm, the government must try to equate MPC with MSC, as the product is currently being overproduced, from society’s point of view. In order to do this, it must set policies to shift the MPC curve leftwards to the MSC curve, by basically reducing supply. At this point, the cost to the firm will be C1 at an output level of Q1. At this reduced output level, a social optimum point will be reached.

However, reducing production can lead to a firms cost increasing, as it moves leftwards on the AC curve.

If such an increase in costs comes from a more vital product, say oil, it can cause cost-push inflation in the economy.

We shall now take a real-life example of the French oil industry and a French oil company called TotalFinaElf. TFE has consistently been leading the list for the worst French polluters, followed by other French oil firms. The French government, a couple of years ago decided to implement more stringent policies in order to reduce pollution and environmental damage.

The policies that were implemented have been discussed below.

1. The first policy implemented was a flat rate tax.

The tax leads to an increase in the cost of production, a reduction in production and hence a reduction in pollution. The social optimum point of production is at OQ, where the firm pays tax equal to EQ. This is equal to its marginal profit in pollution and hence there is no profit on the last unit.

However, the French government soon realised that such a policy was not very effective for a number of reasons.

It placed the same amount of tax on producers regardless of their size and regardless how much they individually polluted the atmosphere.

It was very difficult to place a monetary value on the extent of the damage and hence the tax rate.

Oil is a necessity and has an inelastic demand. For this reason, the oil producers were able to pass on most of the tax cost onto the consumer and hence it had no effect on reducing pollution caused by these firms.

2. Another policy that was thought of, but not implemented was a form of regulation.

Under this policy the French government would allow production of oil of OQ barrels.

Beyond this limit, the French government decided to ban production of oil. However, this policy was not put into effect because of the fact that demand for oil is inelastic. Reducing supply, would lead to an increase in price and hence cost-push inflation. (Draw diag.)

The French government has still not decided on an appropriate policy to implement. The French government is trying to implement a policy which combines property rights and environmental taxes. They have realised that it is very difficult to extend property rights and identify the polluter.

The Kyoto Protocol

The policies implemented by various nations, to limit greenhouse gas emissions have had a fairly adverse effect on their economies and industries. The Kyoto Protocol was set up to alleviate these adverse effects and to continue pursuing the goal of reducing pollution and environmental degradation. The purpose of the mechanisms described in the protocol, entails channeling investments in energy efficient and energy conservation to countries and projects where the cost per unit of emissions reduction is lowest. This concept would entail a large-scale resource transfer from relatively energy-efficient, high cost countries to energy-inefficient, low cost countries.

The pact requires industrialised countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 8% of the 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012

The establishment of emissions reduction targets was a very complicated issue in the early phase of the international negotiations. Many countries could point to special circumstances that justified a more lax treatment of them compared to other countries. This argument was accepted to a limited extent. Notably, Russia and the Ukraine were given a zero target as opposed to the western industrialized countries that would have to reduce their emissions by 2010. The Kyoto Protocol uses a system of pollution permits which can be traded on an international market.

The USA is opposed to this treaty, because it claims that it will have a devastating effect on its economy. It claims that it will lead to serious job losses, inflation and a fall in GDP. How – We have seen that pollution occurs because of overproduction and over consumption. Reducing production will lead to more factors of production becoming unemployed, and also a fall in GDP.

This has brought various criticisms, especially from the UK. All nations claim that the USA, by a large margin, is the world’s largest polluter and hence should sign the treaty for the well-being of future generations.

“The US contains 4% of the world’s population but produces about 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions. By comparison, Britain emits 3% – about the same as India which has 15 times as many people”

Source: BBC

President Bush “Under the Protocol, the U.S. is supposed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by seven percent. With four percent of the world’s population, the country accounts for about 25 percent of the Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions”

European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstr�m says ‘But this ignorant, short sighted and selfish politician, long since firmly jammed into the pockets of the oil lobby, clearly couldn’t care less. The talks in Bonn in July must now concentrate on world action independent of the U.S.’ ”

Example 5: Air Pollution in Kuwait

Air pollution is one of the problems facing the international communities. Air pollution is known to have devastating effects on the environment. Kuwait has a long history of air pollution since the era of the Gulf War.  During the Gulf War, more than 600 oil wells were set on fire leading to loss of 6 million barrels of oil everyday and devastating air pollution. There were large pools and lakes of oil that led to water and land pollution.

The burning oil wells of Kuwait, which were equated to Chernobyl disaster, emitted tons of green house gases like sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen leading to devastating effects on plant and animals. Although the oil fires were put out, the imprint on the environment are still evident many more years after the Gulf War. Since the massive air pollution during the Gulf War, Kuwait has made progress in cleaning the environment but air pollution is still rampant.

Policy Challenge

Since the Gulf War, air pollution is still a major problem in Kuwait.  The government has embarked on a massive program to clean the air but the policies adopted have not provided total solution to the problem.

Kuwait Environment Public Authority has been on the frontline in fighting the air pollution problems which dates back to the Gulf War era. However, most of the environmental policies that were formulated by the government then were aimed at reversing air pollution effect of the Gulf War and most of them have not been able to tackle the current problems (Al Jeran and Khan, 2009).

There has been tremendous growth in population in the country and the business environment has also grown in different ways. Large settlement in cities and towns has led to increased air pollution mainly from increase number of vehicles emitting tons of pollutant gases every day. Kuwait oil industry which is the mainstay economic activity in the country has also contributed to air pollution.

Analysis of the problem

According to the results of a study that was published in Al-Qabas Newspaper in June 2006, more than 86.9% of Kuwait population considers air pollution as the biggest environmental challenge they have to deal with (Al-Mutairi and Koushki, 2009). This is evidence of increased air pollution which shows that there has been little progress to reverse the effect of the Gulf wars more than a decade later.

Air pollution in Kuwait has been contributed by two main sources including transport and oil industry. Studies have reveals that automobiles are the main mode of transport in the country with an average employed person making more than 6.1 trips every day with a mean length of 13.6 km.

Studies also show an average individual is likely to be delayed for more than 68 minutes everyday in traffic congestion (Koushki, 2007). A study carried out in 2005 revealed that an average Kuwait resident traveling to and from work generated about: (Al-Mutairi and Koushki, 2009)

a)  31,275 tons of Volatile Organic Compounds

b)  247,764 tones of carbon monoxide

c)  19,594 tons of oxides of nitrogen

d)  1,703 tons of sulfur dioxide

e)  6 million tons of carbon dioxide

 Traffic has been rated as the leading cause of air pollution in Kuwait urban areas.

However, in the rural and urban areas, power stations and oil refinery plants makes a huge contribution to air pollution as well. Kuwait is one of the oil rich countries and oil contributed a large part to the country GDP. However, oil exploration has come with serious effects on the environment, notably grey clouds of smoke from oil refineries that goes up the sky.

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