When purchasing a vehicle, many people never think about the outrageous impact it has on the environment. To say that people should not drive vehicles is more than unrealistic. However, many people are aware but not overly concerned that every time one is driving their vehicle to any location, they are causing harm to the environment.
Vehicles produce nearly one-third of air pollution in the U.S. (National Geographic, 1). Pollution from vehicles is one of the most influential causes of global warming (Green, 1). Vehicles emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which factor to one-fifth of the United States’ population for global warming (Green, 1). “Warmer global temperatures affect farming, wildlife, sea levels and natural landscapes” (Green, 1).However, without greenhouse gases, Earth would be covered in ice (Green, 1). Burning an excessive amount of fossil fuels, like gasoline and diesel, have cause an increase of 1 degree Fahrenheit since pre-industrial times (Green, 1). At the rate that vehicles are being used, this statistic will only increase in the future.
Vehicles have a major health concern to humans. Air pollutants from vehicles include nitrogen oxides, particles, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, which all have a damaging impact on the lives of humans, animals, and vegetation (Car Pollution, 6). Diesel engines emit high levels of particulate matter, which causes skin and eye irritation and allergies (Green, 1). These particles lodge deep into the lungs of humans and animals, causing respiratory problems (Green, 1).
Oil dependence is affected by the use of vehicles. From an economic standpoint, the supply of gas outweighs the demand. When the supply for gas is greater than the demand of gas, then the price goes down. When the supply for gas is less than the demand of gas, then the price increases.
An indirect impact to the environment from the use of vehicles relates to suburban growth (Salerno, 10/19/15). Vehicles allow more people to migrate out of the city and to live in the suburbs. With that being said, more energy is being used. Commuting into the city causes people to use vehicles more often than before. Also, people living in the suburbs using air conditioning units and taking care of their property (lawn, cars, materials, etc.), all require the use of energy (Salerno, 10/19/15). Although some of these factors of energy use are not directly coming from vehicles, the increasing amount of people using vehicles caused more chances for humans to use more energy.
Another environmental impact that vehicles have are material costs. Model changes in vehicles from every year require a lot more material to make these updated models. (Salerno, 10/19/15). Just imagine all the rubber being used for the tires of cars. A surplus amount of new cars each year require a lot of vulcanized, synthetic rubber for the tires, as well as a variety of other material that is necessary to build a vehicle (Salerno, 10/19/15). The increasing amount of people that are using vehicles means that more interstate highway systems need to be developed. Interstate highway systems are developed through destructing habitat and changing the perception of nature (Salerno, 10/19/15).
Pollution from vehicles is an issue humans should be concerned about. It occurs in just about every aspect of the human life, from affecting your own personal health, to causing the climate to change, pollution that comes from cars is taking a toll on our environment. Because vehicles are such an immense part of everyday human life, this problem will likely never extinct. However, there are alternative ways of transportation to limit the use of a vehicle. Simply walking or biking to a nearby location instead of using a vehicle to reach your destination makes a difference. Also, car pooling and using public transportation are another way of eliminating the amount of vehicles on the road. Another alternative is the newly founded electric vehicles which are more beneficial in terms of pollution and oil dependence. These vehicles have battery pack stored with energy in order to operate the vehicle, rather than needing gasoline.
Effects of Car Pollutants on the Environment- http://classroom.synonym.com/effects-car-pollutants-environment-23581.html
Second Hand (Exhaust) Smoke: Negative Effects of Car Emissions – http://www.greeneffect.me/second-hand-exhaust-smoking-negative-effects-of-car-emissionss/
Putting a Stop to Car Idling: Emissions Worsen Global Warming Conditions – http://www.brighthub.com/environment/science-environmental/articles/64074.aspx
Vehicles, Air Pollution, and Human Health – http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/vehicles-air-pollution-and-human-health#.VjPHABGFPIU
Quit Griping About Gas Prices — It’s All in Your Head!-http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/06/26/quit-griping-about-gas-prices—-its-all-in-your-.aspx
How The Internet of Things Improves Public Transportation For Passengers- http://www.davranetworks.com/news/how-the-internet-of-things-improves-public-transportation-for-passengers
Beth Salerno, Hi109: Environmental History class, Saint Anselm College, October 19, 2015