Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What will it take to get people involved?

Although global warming has been an ever-pressing issue for decades, many people still do not change their lifestyles in order to accommodate the health of our atmosphere. Vehicle exhaust emission is not only one of the major contributing factors to global warming, it is a factor that each person can easily act to reduce. As can be seen in the table provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics the amount of fuel consumed, miles traveled per vehicle, and the average miles traveled per vehicle have all increased dramatically since 1950 <http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_04_09.html>
This proves that Americans simply are not paying attention to the detrimental effects of their actions on the environment! It is common knowledge that nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions from vehicles is a major contributor to global warming, so what actions are necessary to get Americans to stop polluting the air so much? Several initiatives have been taken already, such as the Clean Energy- Environment State Partnership, which promotes and encourages the use of clean energy consumption at an affordable cost to consumers <http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/policy/neartermghgreduction.html>. No matter how productive this organization may be within itself, however, it is voluntary, and therefore many people will never be exposed to it nor will they participate. Therefore, I propose that the federal government enforce laws that require the construction of sidewalks and pathways in all major towns and cities in the US. This legislature would be effective because it would facilitate an alternative mode of transportation that would be safe for the environment <http://www.italladdsup.gov/drivers/alternative.asp> I understand that this would not eliminate the threat of exhaust emissions to the air, after all, vehicles have become almost a necessity in American society. I do believe, however, that if the option was available and easy to do, people would choose an alternate form of transportation for everyday trips. I believe that together, we can take a step towards a cleaner earth.


Alcohol 101 said...

Global warming is a major problem for our environment there is no question about that, but the way to solve the problem is difficult to achieve. The solution for paving the world with cement as to help facilitate walking may not be the correct answer. There are many advantages to concrete but there are also disadvantages.
For one concrete is able to store heat, it is harder to cool down a planet when they have all the heat being released from concrete. Also concrete is horrible with water. It does not allow water to move through the surface, and that water has to go somewhere taking all the oil and pollutants on top of the cement with it. When living in an area with limited drainage such as the coastal areas there main effort is trying to maintaining water quality, concrete can be a major problem. Every time it rains and the city is one cement block, there is major flooding and the inlets are polluted for days.

Elizabeth said...

So honestly I don't think that people are really going to care unless something drastic happens to them that effects the way that they live and it is tangible. Global warming is only prevalent when you look at the statistics, it's effects are not really being felt. Once they are more people will work against it, unfortunately at that point it might be to late to do any good.

Ryn said...

I agree with Elizabeth, it is easy just to peg global warming as an issue out of the individual's control. It is so easy to overlook all of the little steps that can be taken to improve the problem because it takes a team effort on basically every person in the world. Also, I was wondering what is the other side to the issue?