Lacey G. Utah

Our Pollution Problem

Air pollution effects all living things. It's not getting better, and we need to do something about it.

In elementary school on the announcements each day, our principal would update us on the air quality. Some days, the pollution trapped in the valley would be so bad that we couldn’t even go outside for recess. If this is what it was like 10 years ago in my small Utah Valley town, what is the air pollution like now in large cities like New York City or Chicago? We all know that our air quality is a problem. Now how do we fix it, or at least stop it from advancing further? Some ways we could help save the environment is converting more cars into emission free vehicles, use more renewable energy sources to avoid coal burning, and working hard to recycle all of the things we use. One of the biggest ways to help would be turning the millions of cars on the road each day to emission free or electric engines.

In late September 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that 92% of the world population lives in locations where the air quality exceeds WHO limitations. That means a mere 8% of the entire world lives in areas where they are not subject to polluted air. This isn’t a problem with too much controversy, it is very straightforward trouble on our planet. However, in order for Earth to be liveable for generations to come, we need to take matters into our own hands and change the direction we are headed in. Changing cars from gas powered to electricity powered has many benefits, the main one being less air pollution.

Air pollution is caused by many things, some of which being fossil fuels being burned and natural gasses floating up into the atmosphere. Some of the causes of our air problem cannot be prevented, and occur just as a part of life. On the other hand, most others can and should be prevented. How can we stop these things from polluting our environment? We can make cars emission free. With all the millions of vehicles on roads each day, we can cut down on daily pollution that is added to our air.

Some people argue that converting cars to electric or low emission would cost too much, and therefore, not be worth it. In reality, the money we are putting elsewhere to pay for oil, gas, and other ways to help our environment is much more than we would pay to convert our cars. Also, we could use that excess money for research for emission-free vehicles. By investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, we could save money on imports such as burned coal, gas, and oil. If we would just use all that capital to go towards this cause instead, overtime it would pay itself off and help our pollution problem.

Many sources from National Geographic explains some other ways we can make less of an impact on our environment. They say, “On a personal level, driving and flying less, recycling, and conservation reduces a person’s ‘carbon footprint’—the amount of carbon dioxide a person is responsible for putting into the atmosphere.” While we should definitely take drastic and large measures to save our planet, like converting cars into electric or emission free engines, we also need to take our own baby steps. We need to work hard to carpool, recycle more, and make an effort to give back to the Earth.

Future President, something needs to change. I live in a city in Utah Valley where air pollution can easily get trapped and ruin our air quality. I have been conscious of pollutants all my life, and from a very young age, it has severely concerned me. This is not a problem we can brush off and procrastinate to solve. We need to take baby steps by recycling and driving less to reduce our carbon footprint, and take bigger steps by turning our vehicles into zero emission or electric cars. One day far into the future, I hope that our great-great-great grandchildren will have the ability to play outside because the planet will still be suitable for habitation like it has been for us. That will only be the case, Future President, if something changes.

Spanish Fork High School

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