IMPACTS OF VEHICLES ON ENVIRONMENT IN WESTERN COUNTRIES

Over the years, there has been a considerable increase inenvironmental campaigns with the primary objective of reducing thelevel of pollution within the environment. Various governments havecome together and initiated global conventions to raise awarenessabout the changing climatic conditions1.Additionally, contamination from other sources within the environmenthas also been known to contribute considerably to the waste disposalwithin the environment. With the heightened pressure and uncertaintybeing caused by the global warming phenomenon, environmentalconservatism is devising ways to enable them to control the rates ofpollution2.Their roles are significantly influenced by the growing concernsacross all areas around the world and the increasing demand foraction to control the level of emissions within the society.

Motor vehicles have been identified as some of the primarycontributors to pollution within the environment3.Emissions from such engines are known to be behind some of the worstenvironmental scenarios across the world. The waste from the exhaustpipes has contributed to the gross level of pollution within theenvironment4.In this paper, the focus is on the environmental impacts of motorvehicles on the western nations. As an argumentative essay, both thepros and cons will be extensively analyzed. After that, theconclusion will be based on which of the prevailing arguments fitsthe research paper as well as the rationale for its selection.

Research Question

In today’s world, the environmental problem has become an importantissue due to human activities. People cannot ignore the impacts ofpollution. For instance, the air quality becomes worse especially indeveloped countries, more and more animals die because of thedangerous environment. According to a lot of researchers, vehiclesexhaust is one of the reasons which cause the environmental problems.The most important thing is that vehicle cannot be a part of humanlife. However, it is important also to identify the critical role itplays in facilitating day-to-day activates with regards to bothcommercial and domestic uses. Based on the above background, theresearch question will be:

  • What are the impacts of vehicles emission on the environment?

Aim of the Project

The objective of this project is to explore this question in westerncountries and find out how to solve this problem efficiently.Specifically, I would like to analyze several methods under differentconditions. For example, how to address this question in the crowdedcity with a big population5.There must be an effective way to achieve the goal which makes theenvironment better. Additionally, the research paper will identifyopposing arguments and develop a comparison analysis with the primaryobjective of identifying the most effective action as well ashighlighting the rationale for the selection of the alternative.

Analysis

Several disadvantages can be attributed to the emissions from motorvehicles within the environment6.Most cars use fuel in the form of complex chemicals. Duringcombustion, the chemical elements are broken down into smallerquantities thereby producing carbon monoxide a gas considered to bepoisonous if taken in greater amounts. Therefore, there is auniversal consensus that motor vehicles that use petroleum as theirsource of fuel are likely to pollute the environment more incomparison to other forms of transportation such as electric cars andbicycles that are based on mechanical energy7.

In the Western nations, more than 70% of individuals reside and workin the urban centers. It is, therefore, a common feature to haveseveral motor vehicles in the city centers of such nations8.The effect of motor vehicle pollution is evident in such locations.However, the impact of motor vehicles pollution also extend to therural areas9.An example of such an area is the Alpine Valley that has been shownto have a high concentration as a result of traffic-related airpollution. The effects of the motor vehicles, however, extend beyondthe environmental factors. They are also considered as health hazardsas is the case of the United Kingdom whereby the rate of pedestriandeath rates has continued to spiral over the years. In othercountries as well, the fatalities witnessed contribute to raiseconcerns and calls for necessary actions to be taken promptly10.

Air Pollution

Motor vehicles emit carbon monoxide and other pollutants into theenvironment. In some areas, they inhibit the visibility ofindividuals since the smoke emitted is thick enough to interfere withthe normal visibility of individuals11.In the Western nations, the concentration of motor vehicles withincertain regions is usually high. Additionally, due to better livingconditions and strong economies, individuals from these countries arein a position to purchase cars as a means of transport12.The high number of motor vehicle purchases culminates in increasedlevel of air pollution due to increased concentrations of carbonmonoxide and other poisonous gases in the atmosphere. Therefore,there is need to establish ways through which such gases can becontrolled within the stipulated time13.

Noise Pollution

Motor vehicles are responsible for increased noise pollution in somewestern nations. In the developed western nations, the number ofindividuals who are able to afford cars is high14.Moreover, due to stronger economic situations, the cost of thevehicles is comparatively lower in comparison to other countries andtherefore, there is increased affordability and hence supply15.Honking and loud engines are synonymous with areas that have highconcentrations of motor vehicles. The increased noise levels are anuisance to the occupants of such areas. If the pollution is notchecked and the necessary policies implemented by the relevantregulatory authorities, then it is likely that the situation mightget worse taking into consideration the fact that the level ofproduction of motor vehicles continues to increase on a daily basis16.

Photochemical Smog

The pollution effects of motor vehicles extend beyond air and noisepollution. Photochemical smog first came into the public limelightduring the 1950s17.Los Angeles was one of the first cities to be hit by this spreadingoccurrence. Though initially confused with the winter smog, it soonbecame a reality when the frequency of appearance increased toexceptional levels. Research indicated that this form of pollutionwas caused by motor vehicle emissions. It led to degradation invisibility. Though it was established that the haze was caused bychemical reactions between volatile chemical compounds, car emissionsfeatured prominently on the major contributors18.

Th effect was worsened by the exposure of the release chemicals tosunlight which catalyzed the entire reaction19.Better known as the Los Angeles smog, this form of occurrence hasbeen proven to be a common feature in areas that predominantlyexhibit high atmospheric levels of hydrocarbons and oxides ofnitrogen. This is in addition to intense sunlight. The areas worsthit by this environmental dilemma include the Los Angeles Basin inCalifornia and New Mexico City20.Though these areas have higher latitudes, they also recordsignificantly higher number of motor vehicles in comparison to othertowns in the Western nations.

Acid Rain

Another factor considered to be a secondary pollutant is acid rain.It is recognized as a prominent regional environmental issue21.In this case, the studies have also established that the contributionof motor vehicles concerning acid deposition is significantlymassive. Other contributors to this environmental degradation processinclude aerosols and photochemical smog. When such gases in theatmosphere mix with rain water, they develop devastating effects.Road vehicles are identified as some of the sources of hydrochloricacid emissions which arise from the decomposition of1,2-dichloroethane22.This is a component that is added to the gasoline as a scavenger inalkyl lead additives. The most affected regions are Europe and theUnited States. Though the ultimate level of acid rain cannot beattributed to the motor vehicle emissions, the role played by suchemissions cannot be ignored.

Electric vehicles

With globalization, there have been technological advancements invarious sectors of the economy23.Massive research in the mechanical industry has culminated in thecreation of electric cars. These are seen as the way forward inensuring that the levels of pollution are reduced through theelimination of gasoline and other petroleum products used as fuel.The major advantage of electric vehicles can be derived from the factthat the car has no emissions and as such does not have any form ofpollution. However, it has been established that in some area, theelectric vehicles are likely to cause more harm to the individualsand local populace when compared to the motor vehicles usinggasoline24.

An experiment was conducted to determine whether electric cars wereharmful in some areas. The research deviated from the analysis of thedeviation and focused on the smokestack found in these vehicles25.The EV that does not generate any form 0of environmental pollutionduring day time might need to be charged later on. To do this, theremust be electricity connection. This requires electricity beinggenerated by a power plant. Additionally, consider that the powergenerator is being propelled by coal as its fuel26.This will indicate that the amount of pollution being produced by thepower generator will exceed that emanating from the tailpipes ofvehicles that use gasoline and other petroleum fuels to facilitatemovement. By using concrete measures, the study that was conducted inthe US proceeded to map out areas where the gas cars were likely tocause more pollution in the environment27.This took into account the vehicle emissions tailpipes andelectricity grids.

The outcomes indicated that in certain areas, the level of harmcaused by heat was so significant that the relevant authoritiesshould consider various strategies such as taxing to reduceproduction and the subsequent consumption through various means.Based on the results obtained from the study, the environmentaldamage inherent in motor vehicles was regional. In areas where thepower grid was regarded as clean, the damage caused by the electriccars was significantly lower. However, in areas where the power gridis driven by energy obtained from coal combustion, the cost inherentin the emissions ranged more than five cents a mile.

Conclusions

Pollution is an environmental menace that wreaks havoc across allplatforms. There have been several resolutions by the major globalpowers with the primary role of regulating such activities andensuring adherence to the standards set for the main purpose ofensuring environmental conservation. One of the largest contributorsto the pollution of the environment is the motor vehicle industry.This is the most common means of transportation in the world.Moreover, the rates at which car purchases are made have beenincreasing significantly over the years. Therefore, the westernnations have a higher concentration of cars which release toxic gasesto the surrounding environment. This increases pollution and affectsthe efforts being made to ensure conservation.

The introduction of the electric vehicles that have no emissions wasseen as one of the ways through which the influence of motor vehiclesabout pollution of the environment would be curtailed28.However, there have been some concerns especially for power plantsthat are fueled by coal. In such instances, the combustion of coal isdeemed to have extreme environmental degradation influence incomparison to the gases emitted by the standard vehicles. However,this is only evident in certain areas. Though massive efforts arebeing made to reduce environmental pollution, the motor vehiclescontinue to be one of the greatest depositors of such pollutants intothe environment29.

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Fogh Mortensen, Lars, Helen Mountford, and NilsAxel Braathen. 2001.&nbspOECDenvironmental outlook. Paris:Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Gärling, Tommy, Dick Ettema, and MargaretaFriman. 2014.&nbspHandbook ofsustainable travel.http://site.ebrary.com/id/10784613.

Larminie, James, and John Lowry. 2013.&nbspElectricvehicle technology explained.Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. http://www.myilibrary.com?id=372119.

Leitman, Seth, Bob Brant, and Bob Brant.2009.&nbspBuild your own electricvehicle. New York: McGraw-Hill.http://site.ebrary.com/id/10254552.

McKenzie, Daniel H., D. Eric Hyatt, and V.Janet McDonald. 1992.&nbspEcologicalindicators Volume 1 Volume 1.London: Springer.http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=1282354.

Rana, S. V. S. (2011).&nbspEnvironmentalpollution: Health and toxicology.Oxford: Alpha Science International Ltd.

Vesilind, P. Aarne, J. Jeffrey Peirce, and RuthF. Weiner. 1990.&nbspEnvironmentalpollution and control. Boston:Butterworth-Heinemann. http://books.google.com/books?id=nP9RAAAAMAAJ.

Webb, Robert H., and Howard G. Wilshire.1983.&nbspEnvironmental Effects ofOff-Road Vehicles Impacts and Management in Arid Regions.New York, NY: Springer New York.http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-5454-6.

Wee, Bert van, Jan Anne Annema, and DavidBanister. 2013.&nbspThe transportsystem and transport policy: an introduction.https://courses.edx.org/c4x/DelftX/NGI101x/asset/NGI_week1_Readings_TheTransportSystemAndTransportPolicy.pdf.

1McKenzie, Daniel H., D. Eric Hyatt, and V. Janet McDonald. 1992.&nbspEcological indicators Volume 1 Volume 1. London: Springer.

2Gärling, Tommy, Dick Ettema, and Margareta Friman. 2014.&nbspHandbook of sustainable travel. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10784613.

3Rana, S. V. S. (2011).&nbspEnvironmental pollution: Health and toxicology. Oxford: Alpha Science International Ltd.

4Rana, S. V. S. (2011).&nbspEnvironmental pollution: Health and toxicology. Oxford: Alpha Science International Ltd.

5Best, Gerald A. 1999.&nbspEnvironmental pollution studies. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

6 McKenzie, Daniel H., D. Eric Hyatt, and V. Janet McDonald. 1992.&nbspEcological indicators Volume 1 Volume 1. London: Springer.

7Rana, S. V. S. (2011).&nbspEnvironmental pollution: Health and toxicology. Oxford: Alpha Science International Ltd.

8Gärling, Tommy, Dick Ettema, and Margareta Friman. 2014.&nbspHandbook of sustainable travel. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10784613.

9Rana, S. V. S. (2011).&nbspEnvironmental pollution: Health and toxicology. Oxford: Alpha Science International Ltd.

10Best, Gerald A. 1999.&nbspEnvironmental pollution studies. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

11Best, Gerald A. 1999.&nbspEnvironmental pollution studies. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

12 Rana, S. V. S. (2011).&nbspEnvironmental pollution: Health and toxicology. Oxford: Alpha Science International Ltd.

13 Fogh Mortensen, Lars, Helen Mountford, and Nils Axel Braathen. 2001.&nbspOECD environmental outlook. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

14 Wee, Bert van, Jan Anne Annema, and David Banister. 2013.&nbspThe transport system and transport policy: an introduction.

15Best, Gerald A. 1999.&nbspEnvironmental pollution studies. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

16Best, Gerald A. 1999.&nbspEnvironmental pollution studies. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

17 Webb, Robert H., and Howard G. Wilshire. 1983.&nbspEnvironmental Effects of Off-Road Vehicles Impacts and Management in Arid Regions. New York, NY: Springer New York.

18 Wee, Bert van, Jan Anne Annema, and David Banister. 2013.&nbspThe transport system and transport policy: an introduction.

19Fogh Mortensen, Lars, Helen Mountford, and Nils Axel Braathen. 2001.&nbspOECD environmental outlook. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

20 Vesilind, P. Aarne, J. Jeffrey Peirce, and Ruth F. Weiner. 1990.&nbspEnvironmental pollution and control. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann.

21Wee, Bert van, Jan Anne Annema, and David Banister. 2013.&nbspThe transport system and transport policy: an introduction.

22Leitman, Seth, Bob Brant, and Bob Brant. 2009.&nbspBuild your own electric vehicle. New York: McGraw-Hill. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10254552.

23Webb, Robert H., and Howard G. Wilshire. 1983.&nbspEnvironmental Effects of Off-Road Vehicles Impacts and Management in Arid Regions. New York, NY: Springer New York.

24Leitman, Seth, Bob Brant, and Bob Brant. 2009.&nbspBuild your own electric vehicle. New York: McGraw-Hill. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10254552.

25Vesilind, P. Aarne, J. Jeffrey Peirce, and Ruth F. Weiner. 1990.&nbspEnvironmental pollution and control. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann.

26Larminie, James, and John Lowry. 2013.&nbspElectric vehicle technology explained. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. http://www.myilibrary.com?id=372119.

27Rana, S. V. S. (2011).&nbspEnvironmental pollution: Health and toxicology. Oxford: Alpha Science International Ltd.

28Fogh Mortensen, Lars, Helen Mountford, and Nils Axel Braathen. 2001.&nbspOECD environmental outlook. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

29Larminie, James, and John Lowry. 2013.&nbspElectric vehicle technology explained. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. http://www.myilibrary.com?id=372119.