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The Effect Of Motor Transport On The Environment
In today’s modern society we have developed a dependence on motor vehicle transportation. It has become a milestone when we receive our license and are able to drive. Even with the increased awareness of global warming more people have not taken a more eco-friendly stance on driving. According to statistics Canada 74% of the people aged 18 and up go everywhere by car (Turcotte 9). The sheer amount of motor vehicles and their hazardous emissions are very dangerous to our environment and the human body. The excessive amounts of vehicle emissions in our atmosphere are causing many health concerns as well as raising the chances for global warming. Also, the maintenance to fuel our desire to drive is drastically hurting our environment. If we do not limit the amount of vehicle emissions soon there will be huge repercussions in the future.
Firstly, the emissions released by vehicles are very hazardous to the human body. Vehicles release many dangerous toxins through their exhaust system. One of these toxins is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is both colourless and odourless. However, it still causes a great deal of damage to the human body. Carbon monoxide poisoning may be the cause for over 50% of fatal poisonings (Omaye 1). Once in the body, Carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin to produce carboxyhemoglobin, when this happens hemoglobin is no longer available to deliver oxygen to bodily tissues (Bailey 3). Another toxic by product released from vehicle emissions is benzene. Benzene is emitted from vehicle exhausts as fuel that has not been burnt and also through evaporation from the fuel system. Long-term exposure has been linked with leukaemia (Brain 1). The human population is not the only one being damaged from the huge amounts of air pollution. The earth is also being damaged from the vehicle emissions.
A couple of years ago, many people were confused on whether or not to believe the preposterous myth known as global warming. However, the confusion has come to an end and global warming has become a harsh reality. Due to the copious amounts of vehicle emissions global warming is becoming more prevalent. When a car burns gasoline it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (Brain 5). Once in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide lets in the light energy emitted by the sun but traps the earth's heat energy (Hall 5). This then leads to the rise in temperature and global warming. The Union of Concerned Scientists even states that vehicle emissions are the primary contributor to global warming. They also state that one-third of all carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is attributed to vehicle emissions. With global warming on the rise, more precautions need to be taken to ensure the safety of the planet.
Lastly, in the process of maintaining our driving addiction a great deal of damage has to be done to our environment. At first oil and other fossil fuels were found in abundance in nature. However, with the increased amount of driving the fossil fuels are being depleting at an alarming rate (Sule 2). Even transporting fossil fuels can be an extremely dangerous task. On November 14, 2012 336,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in Arthur Kill after a storage tank was lifted and ruptured from the surge from Sandy (Thompson 1-3). This is not the only oil spill as there are numerous other ones. Oil spills not only pollute the ocean but also harm all the marine life living in that ocean. Roads are another necessity to maintain the driving urge. Roads are very damaging to the environment. Laurence et al even stated that highway proximity is the “single most important predictor of deforestation.”
To conclude, the copious amount of driving in today’s society has had many consequences. The vehicle emissions are very dangerous to both our environment and our bodies. The emissions raise many health concerns as well as contribute to global warming. Also, the effort it takes to maintain the ability to drive is very dangerous to our environment. Although many people see no harm in driving there are many direct and indirect ways it is hurting our environment. The copious amounts of driving we do needs to be limited if we want to maintain the healthiness of our earth. Even though we have caused almost irreversible damage to our environment it is not too late to change our habits. More eco-friendly alternatives need to be implemented.
Bailey, Regina. "Carbon Monoxide." About.com Biology. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <http://biology.about.com/od/molecularbiology/a/carbon_monoxide.htm>.
Brain, Marshall. "How Gasoline Works." HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/gasoline5.htm>.
Hall, Shane. "How Does CO2 Cause Global Warming?" EHow. Demand Media, 22 Apr. 2009. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4926991_co-cause-global-warming.html>.
Omaye, Stanley. "Metabolic Modulation of Carbon Monoxide Toxicity." ScienceDirect.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0300483X02003876>.
Sule, Ashwini Kulkarni. Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 23 Jan. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/fossil-fuels-advantages-and-disadvantages.html>.
Thompson, Brian. "336K Gallons of Diesel Fuel Leak in Arthur Kill." NBC New York. N.p., 14 Nov. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Arthur-Kill-Oil-Spill-Diesel-Fuel-Motiva-Staten-Island-Woodbridge-NJ-176676451.html>.
Turcotte, Martin. "Dependence on Cars in Urban Neighbourhoods." Canadian Social Trends: Dependence on Cars in Urban Neighbourhoods. Statistics Canada, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.