The U.S. Government and the Environmental Pollution

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Pollution is everywhere. It is in the air we breathe and the water we drink, albeit microscopic levels, it is still there. It affects everyone and everything in today’s growing society whether it is a small impact or a large one. Human beings have been polluting for hundreds of years and it will not stop any time soon. It has really begun to take off since the start of industry. Early factories burned coal to run their machines and conductors used it to power their steam locomotives. Industrial pollution has only increased since then with a growing population and a need for more energy.

But, thanks to government intervention along the way, some of the detrimental effects have been reduced and slowed. I believe the government can help slow the environmental impact of industrial pollution in the United States (U.S.) by controlling industry pollution more tightly like, banning certain chemicals that negatively affect the environment, making companies filter out higher amounts of pollution before being able to release it into the atmosphere, and giving tax breaks to industry leaders who can reduce their pollution a certain percentage.

First, what is pollution? Pollution defined is, “The action of polluting especially by environmental contamination with man-made waste” according to Merriam Webster. Also, not all of it is the same; For example, noise, light, and heat are examples of pollution not to mention the already occurring soil, water, and air contamination that already exists. Noise and light pollution aren’t life-threatening but they are considered intrusive to the average standard of living. Thermal on the other hand can be very life threatening over the years due to its affiliation with global warming. Global warming is a real phenomenon where the earth’s climatic temperature has been increasing over recent decades due to the “Greenhouse Effect”. This allows gases like carbon dioxide and CFCs to trap heat.

The soil is often contaminated through farming which uses chemicals to help grow crops but can end up damaging the land. The natural sources of water people have is usually polluted through poor waste management techniques wherein chemicals and litter clog waterways and make it unsafe for the environment. Air besmirchment comes from pure air combining with fumes and harmful chemicals. “Some effects include [an] increase in smog, higher rain acidity, crop depletion from inadequate oxygen, and higher rates of asthma.”(History.com) Pollution has been around for a long time, but a big increase of it began around when the industrial revolution was coming to stage. It began around the middle of the nineteenth century when people started using coal more and more to heat their homes and power factories.

Much of the power in the U.S. has been provided by coal power plants but in recent years reliance on coal has gone down while natural gas use has surpassed it to become the most used source of energy. Plants supplying energy are dotted all over the U.S. and not all have harmful outcomes such as clean energy sources such as wind and solar. However, super polluters as they have been termed, still produce metric tons of air pollution which adversely affects the environment and organisms in it. Breathing polluted air can have adverse health problems. “Breathing particle pollution year-round can shorten life by one to three years. It causes many other health effects, premature births to serious respiratory disorders, even when the particle levels are very low. It makes asthma worse and causes wheezing, coughing and respiratory irritation in anyone with sensitive airways. It also triggers heart attacks, strokes, irregular heartbeat, and premature death.”(Alex Hall)

Drinking unsafe water can also have adverse effects on people, plants and animals. The world relies on a clean environment to function and industrial pollution is helping take that away. This climate change is raising the earth’s temperature which is melting glaciers and ice caps in the world’s northern regions. This can also lead to more extreme weather conditions. Professor Alex Hall of UCLA has many areas of expertise such as global warming, climate change, and greenhouse gases to name a few. One of his studies is, “How Climate Change is Fueling Southern California Wildfires”. Here he explains that an increase in greenhouse gases will generate an increase in California wildfires. He also goes on to say wildfires can affect water sources; The rains can wash ash into reservoirs making it hard to use. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal agency of the united states that deals with the protection of environmental and human health. It was established in 1970 by Richard Nixon due to a spread of environmental concerns.

“The EPA works to enforce laws such as the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the National Environmental Education Act and the Clean Water Act….” They have been working toward regulating carbon emissions from power plants and vehicles which are big contributors to climate change. An Article by ecologist Vijayalaxmi Kinhal looks into ways to help with ongoing environmental contamination. “Understanding the various forms of pollution and how it is created form the first steps in discovering the best way to stop it. Individuals create pollution and individuals can also put an end to many forms of pollution.”(Vijayalaxmi Kinhal) Switching to clean energy like solar, wind and even geothermal is good for the environment and they are also all renewable resources. Another way to help is to avoid products and materials that cannot be recycled. Recycling is a good method of conservation as well because it cuts down on the pure products that need to be produced by using recycled materials to make the same products.

Also, keeping the environment clean from trash and inorganic materials can keep an ecosystem healthy. Planting trees is a way to help because of the fresh air they produce and resources they replenish. Most people agree that pollution is a bad thing. Whilst people debate on the side of good, most of the action will need to come from big companies and government. “there are still many parties out there who try and play down the effects of climate change and pollution, whether it be because of misled beliefs or (more likely) vested financial interests.”(Pollution Solution) This shows that pollution may not be a favorable problem to target. However, these leaders and businesses may give in to public pressure, which in turn could help in the fight against it. There are also more ideas to which it can be delayed. While the U.S. government has solutions in place there are other ideas that could be considered when it comes to slowing the countries pollution output.

Chemicals are used all over the world and though the name may have a stigma, not all chemicals are bad. However, chemicals that are a harm to people and the environment should be stopped. Asbestos was a common material used decades ago but has been banned due to the health risk it creates. Stopping or replacing dangerous chemicals that people need to use in an unsafe fashion would keep people healthy and protect the environment from chemical pollution. Another subject is air pollution. The U.S. government is ahead in the air pollution sector because of the Clean Air Act of 1970. It has been able to greatly reduce air pollution and the percentage of aggregates in the air. However, in order to slow it down even further or maybe even stop it, the government should promote ways of producing zero emissions. The EPA helps this already by offering financial motivation to drive electric cars. Another idea is to pressure industry to switch to clean energy which will also lower air impurity.

Also, Industry switching over to cleaner forms of energy can cause a chain effect on the nation. Although the U.S. has rules and regulations for a less polluted country, offering an incentive to help industries economically can, in turn, lower their emissions is another plan. Congress could offer factories and powerplants tax breaks for cleaner by-products of their work but also for proper disposal of any hazardous material. The pollution of the United States is no joking matter. Slowing down this threat is an achievable feat. The population needs to focus on not only a safer but a cleaner world to live in. The contamination of industry can be delayed through an effort to take responsibility for climate change like issues such as greenhouse gases and environmental protection. The government may be able to help in this situation by controlling the chemicals that are used, saving the air people breathe, and giving industry motivation to help in the progress of a cleaner United States of America.

Cite this paper

The U.S. Government and the Environmental Pollution. (2021, Oct 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-u-s-government-and-the-environmental-pollution/

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