One of the main concerns we face is air pollution, as it can cause such wide spread damage – with one of the greatest contributors being fuel combustion from motor vehicles. Whilst it is pertinent to remain hopeful and look to the positive steps, we as a world have taken towards greener vehicles, we must remember the impact such issues have on the globe. There are three types of air pollution, each creating huge issues for our world…
Burning fossil fuels results in an acceleration of global warming due to the greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere. They trap the heat from the sun and contribute to the melting of ice caps, resulting in rising sea levels, and an increase in extreme weather, which results in loss of lives, and damages to agricultural production. It is projected that rising sea levels will endanger around 200 million people by 2100.
This is a type of air pollution that reduces visibility and is attributed health implications for humans, animals and plants. For example, in New Delhi, the air pollution has reached severe levels, with many nurses reporting an increase in the number of patients complaining of respiratory diseases – e.g. asthma. Whilst New Delhi is an extreme example of the negative effects air pollution can have there are many other locations around the world that are heading in this direction.
Toxic pollutants include such chemicals as dioxins, lead and benzenes which can again be released during the burning of fossil fuels. Whilst smog can cause health concerns, the implications of toxic pollutants is much graver – in fact, air pollution causes as many as 7 million premature deaths every year. These toxic pollutants can also cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system and can result in cancer.
This is clearly an issue that must be taken extremely seriously, the time for cleaner energy is now, and this is one of the contributing factors that our team has entered the Shell’s Eco-Marathon. The competition encourages young minds to use innovation as a means of contributing to the effort towards sustainable energy.