Beeline

Air Pollution on the Rise

Kailyn Baumann, Contributor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 

   Since the 1970s when scientists started to investigate the link between our health and air pollution, states and governments across the globe have passed various air emission laws and restrictions trying to reduce the levels of air pollution in our atmosphere. The same year, Congress passed the Clean Air Act Amendments, our national air quality regulations.  

   Starting back in the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution, our Earth’s atmosphere has seen a rise in air pollution; anything from carbon monoxide to cigarette smoke. Activities like mining, smelting, construction projects, and driving cars produce chemicals and gases that pollute our atmosphere.

   “I mean, anywhere that you are driving cars or have factories or doing every day life, you are going to be producing a lot of chemicals that are going into our atmosphere,” Ms. Kim Bond said.

   On average, Americans released 5.319 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2018 according to the New York Times. That number was 3.4 percent higher than last years report, making it the biggest rise of carbon dioxide emissions in over eight years.

   According to the State of the Air report in 2014, 47 percent of Americans live in counties with high levels of air pollution. The Arlington-D.C. area is one of the most polluted cities in the country. On the other side, Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Charlottesville are a few of the cleanest cities.

   “Here in America it’s a bit of a mixed bag because around here our cities are quite clean while other places like Tampa and New York are dirtier,” freshman Jason Farnsworth said. “It varies by the people who live there whether there’s a lot of air pollution.”

   The Global Carbon Project reported that global carbon emissions would need to fall 50 percent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 if we wanted to end air pollution. This is a big number considering that 91 percent of of the world’s population live in areas where the level of pollution in the air exceeds the World’s Health Organization limits.

   “There’s nothing that can be done at this point to lower our air pollution [emissions],” junior Mark Bradshaw said. “We’re already so industrialized and so focused on industry. No one’s going to stop doing that [type of work] and [the workers] want to continue making a profit off of that industry. So, I think air pollution is going to keep going.”

   Thankfully, cities across the globe have started to take steps to reduce air pollution in their own neighborhoods. New Delhi, India, has banned all new diesel cars and are encouraging citizens to use Uber. Oslo, the capital of Norway, has added bike lanes to roads and has urged its citizens to bike instead of taking cars. The city aims to transition to a car-free city in the coming years.

   In 2017, Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board approved a regulation on factories to how much carbon dioxide they pump into the atmosphere.

   “People need to be more considerate of the environment in general,” sophomore Darrah Meyers said.  “Driving to and from places is a lot faster, but if it’s ruining the environment in the long run, then we should find a new way of transportation.”

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




The Student News Site of Brookville High School
Air Pollution on the Rise