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Air Pollution: The Biggest Threat to Well-being in Today’s World

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 2106 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Air pollution is a hot button issue when it comes to the environment. Air Pollution has always found its way into the world causing harm to the quality of life. In the world that we live, it’s where human life and animals every day depend on for example, soil, air, water, and the different surroundings or ecosystems. One of the environmental most talked topic about is air pollution where harmful substances filled with chemicals, matter, and other toxins that can cause damage to people and other living organisms or damaging the environment into the air. There is air, water, and waste pollution just to name a few that causes problems for the world. Most of air pollution is imposed by humans and natural based, since those are the top reasons that releases toxins, it might as well make it responsible. Air is all among us, but we continue to live in our filth. What is the reason behind this defective reason and why? Based on air pollution, what will be discussed is it morally wrong for people to burn fossil fuels, big companies or agricultural industries are putting themselves first then society and in conclusion with what air pollution can be linked to towards society.

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Fossil fuels are all over the world in the U.S and across the world. Fossil fuels are the primary source of energy for most of the industrialized world and utilizing fossil fuels has been vital to the industrialization expansion. Pollution being released from everyday vehicles include trucks, cars, trains, aircraft, causing an immense amount of air pollution. Regardless of the renewable and nuclear energies have made in recent decades, most of energy used by society still comes from the three main fossil fuels: petroleum, natural gas, and coal. As consumers, we cause air pollution meanderingly, when we buy goods and amenities that use energy for manufacture and distribution. Most of air pollution that we cause comes from burning coal, oil, gas, and fuel to produce electricity and power going towards our vehicles or even homes, harming the environment all around.

The environment’s fossil fuel supply is slowly diminishing progressively. There is a struggle between providing effective energy to the world and conserving the natural resources instead, but it is difficult for companies having to do so without preserving fuel. For example, producing a faster car to reach a location faster, is by using more fuel. Letting people use the car, the company is allowing people to know the greatest good for the population. On the other hand, there is no discussion for the preserving natural resources and the company as a moral understanding for the human welfare over the environment; as fossil fuels for example cannot experience pleasure, as they are ignored and used up (Denchak). Fossil fuels are a nonrenewable resource, but we tend to ponder what fossil fuel we tend use in the present, will it be forever lost for generations to come? Is this reasonable? Should we pay attention? Is it moral to take risks concerning the wellbeing of upcoming generations? Our duties towards the younger generations are raised by the fact that fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource in which every barrel or gas, oil or coal is being burned making it a hazard towards both present and future generations.

When it comes to whether air pollution is moral or unmoral, one view of ethics that helps develop an environmental ethic: Utilitarianism. A fit to live in environment is something to which every human being and animal has a right. To some extent, U.S. law knows this concept. The view of Utilitarian’s see is that environmental problems as market flaws, claiming that pollution should be avoided. The theory means that individuals in society aim to take advantage of their value as well as to other members in society. Therefore, a good environmental rule to control air pollution will help the population as well as the government because they will no longer be worried with the health problems related with air pollution for once. For instance, through cost-benefit examination, people take part in activities that result in both positive and negative consequences in the society. The article “No, coal is not good for humanity” declares “the use of coal power plants benefits both the population and businesses due to cheap electricity. However, the government and the population must tolerate the cost of operating a coal power plant such as increased number of early deaths because of particulate pollution (Szoke). Given the fact that premature deaths are statistical, the government tends trade off economic benefits against human suffering. This action is morally problematic because building more coal power plants will result in increased number of individuals suffering from various health problems and eventually succumbing to death, increasing numbers.

There are big agricultural industries that use resources, causing air pollution. Many businesses depend greatly on fossil fuels using vehicles, furnaces, power plants etc. which can burn a large amount of fuel. Manufacturing operations and coal-burning power plants tend to release impurities into the atmosphere. Both oil and coal are immoral, but not only for the environment, but for all living things, like plants and animals. They are both limited, and won’t last forever, and the sooner to rid ourselves of the need for these two harmful resources, the better. While oil and coal companies continue to endorse their products, and the best yet is clean coal, which is an unethical meaning of something that just isn’t possible, their ethics come into question, particularly in environmental ethics. Most of the world problems are resulting from both, with oil spills, mining accidents, fires, including climate change and global warming into the picture.

Another factor that causes industrial companies to create air pollution are that it comes from the agriculture in which livestock such as cows, manure, soils, and rice production are happening. The article “How to control Industrial Pollution” states “Technology has advanced extremely over the last two decades and today, there’s access to more products and services than ever before. With the same technology that makes our lives easier, subsidizes to pollution, it’s affecting our health and the environment (Picincu)”. Manufacturing plants, factories, ships, research labs and other businesses remove chemicals or release harmful byproducts into the environment. Chemicals like sulfur dioxides, nitrous oxides, carbon monoxide and substances where organic compounds are among the most common pollutants end up in the food we eat, the air we inhale and the water we consume. Many management practices being done on agricultural soils can lead to increased availability of nitrogen in the soil resulting emissions of nitrous oxide, uses of artificial and organic fertilizers, the drainage of organic soil, and irrigation practices. Livestock, such as cattle, produce methane as part of their normal digestive processes.

Now on why fossils fuels and agricultural industries have obligations on to reduce their carbon footprints is because it benefits effective practices reduce operating costs and help increase employee productivity in a way. In fact, most U.S. workers would be more content with a job where they can make a social or environmental impression on the world and where they are creating less of the fossil fuels used. The oil and gas companies that extract and market the coal, they have some accountability for selling and renovating the carbon footprint economy because they decide about which resources are removed and marketed. It’s the consumers that burn and demand more fossil fuels that these companies provide. The companies may have some responsibility for their product — for imploring in favor of the carbon economy, and for getting subsidies and arguing for support — some responsibility should to fall on people, homes, and companies, using the fossil fuels. What companies do is to produce the fuels, extract and market the fuels, so that we can use for ourselves. It’s mostly consumers that produce the carbon dioxide by using the fossil fuels, by being greedy.

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With air pollution being emitted into the world, there’s a relation between society and how it makes as a person behave morally. Even though the environmental and health expenses of air pollution are known, a research was done showing studies from the schools of Columbia and Harvard and the University of Michigan all saw that anxiety was not the only factor linking air pollution and crime. The “broken-windows” theory means that low level behavior such as public intoxication or destruction can lead to an increase in crime and anti-social behavior responsible for the rise. According to findings, the study suggests that air pollution not only taints people’s health but can influence their morality. In the article “Air pollution increases unethical behavior” Julie lee states “my colleagues tested the theory that the stress and anxiety that comes from living with air pollution is a contributing factor. Our results support the contention that air pollution not only degrades people’s health but can also contaminate their morality (Guest).” The connection between pollution and crime has been rising for several years. A 2015 study done by National Bureau of Economic Research states “We Found violent crimes were 2.2 percent higher in neighborhoods downwind of air pollution (Thomas)”.

In the first of their four studies, assistant professor Jackson Lu and his colleagues added more to this evidence. Using data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the EPA from the years 1999 to 2009, they compared air pollution levels and crime rates in 9,360 American cities (Lu).They found that, even after taking a variety of factors into reason, including poverty and unemployment rates and the numerical stats of the local police force, cities with the highest levels of air pollution also had higher rates in major categories of crime, counting murder, assault, and theft knowing that something in the wind can make a person behave irrational.

In the world, we all live in an ecosystem where a simple action of one has the potential to affect the many living. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what the action will happen and what it will do. It’s our fault to have polluted the environment that we live in and we are waking up and claiming our own responsibility. We are trying to reduce the damage and try to improve the environment for all human, ecosystems and even animals. There can be good news which is that every positive action counts and can change the negative. The small determination towards making a greener environment can start a healing result. We may still be able to save of what’s left of the natural resources and make the world livable to be in and to help our present and future generations. The only reasonable solution is that everybody needs to find a way to reduce air pollution so that in the end, someday, is eliminated for the greater good.

Works Cited

  • Denchak, Melissa. “Fossil Fuels: The Dirty Facts.” NRDC, 22 Aug. 2018, www.nrdc.org/stories/fossil-fuels-dirty-facts.
  • Guest, Greta. “Air Pollution Increases Unethical Behavior, Crime.” University of Michigan News, 4 Apr. 2018, news.umich.edu/air-pollution-increases-unethical-behavior-crime/.
  • Lu, Jackson G. “Polluted Air May Pollute Our Morality.” Association for Psychological Science, 7 Feb. 2018, www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/polluted-air-may-pollute-our-morality.html.
  • Picincu, Andra. “How to Control Industrial Pollution.” Bizfluent, 21 Nov. 2018, bizfluent.com/how-6392061-control-industrial-pollution.html.
  • Thomas, Madeleine. “The Causes of Violent Crime Are Blowing in the Wind.” Pacific Standard, Pacific Standard, 29 Dec. 2015, psmag.com/environment/what-if-the-causes-of-violent-crime-are-blowing-in-the-wind.
  • Szoke, Helen. “No, Coal Is Not Good for Humanity.” ABC News, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 29 July 2015, www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-29/szoke-no,-coal-is-not-good-for-humanity/6656184.


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