Automobiles and Pollution
In years past, levels of air, noise, and sight pollution were much lower than they are today. There are more cars on the road today, and because of this we experience higher levels of pollution than before. The automobile is probably the leading contributor pollution in our cities. They release toxic emissions into our atmosphere. Automobiles are linked particularly to carbon monoxide pollution. They are noisy (especially if you are living near the highway), and they take up valuable space in the form of vast parking lots that are unpleasing to the eye. Why are there more automobiles on the road today than there was in the past? Understanding the answer to this question is important when trying to propose an effective solution to the increasing levels of pollution that we are experiencing. Our current levels of high pollution are the result of an increased number of vehicles on the road.
There are several factors that have caused the increase in the number of cars that we have on our roads today. First, and most obvious, is the fact that our population has been growing over time and continues to grow exponentially, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. We have more cars on our roads today for the simple fact that there are more people living in our country.
There are a greater percentage of drivers on our roads today as well as a larger population in general. I say this for the following reason. Our standard of living is relatively high, compared to other countries. Our per capita income is high enough for many of our citizens to be able to buy cars. This means that more people will continue to drive their single occupancy vehicles downtown to work or school, polluting all the way, and leave their cars in parking lots that interrupt the natural beauty of our cities. This occurs daily in the lives of millions of people who never give a second thought to the harmful effects that their actions have on the quality of life in our country as well as in our planet.
Americans are known for our passion for the automobile. The automobile symbolizes freedom and independence. Freedom is the backbone of our country. Many of our historical documents were written with freedom as the major theme. For example, the declaration of independence proposes freedom from an oppressive government. Freedom is a concept that most Americans take pride in. For this reason, the automobile is attractive to us. If you own your own automobile, you are free to go any place you like whenever you want. You suddenly become independent and you no longer have to rely on other people for rides. This is a common feeling among 16-year-olds. With the acquisition of the drivers license comes a whole new world of opportunity and responsibility.
Another factor to be considered is the American concept of time. Time is money. Because of this we are usually in a hurry, so we hop in our cars and off we go, late for some...