Today’s culture rates individuals based on material items such as the vehicle they drive, the clothing they wear, the kind of community they live in, the home they live in, and several other factors that have increased consumerism and industrial practices. Furthermore, figures show that the middle class is increasingly expanding, which means that more consumers are acquiring higher buying power, which will help to drive the consumerism habit (Drabble, Ratzmann, Hoorens, Khodyakov, & Yaqub, 2015). Production for goods and services is a positive indicator of progress; but, as it exceeds what the ecosystem will withstand, ecological imbalances are unavoidable. One of the environmental challenges that the world has been tackling is the increase in air pollution which is linked to depletion of the ozone layer which leads to cancer and presence of toxic fumes which contribute to respiratory among other problems in the society. The farming activities, exhaust from industries and automobiles, burning of fossil fuels are some of the causes of air pollution across the world, which shall be the focus of the essay.
Fossil fuels which include coal and petroleum are common sources of energy for industrial activities. When these materials are burnt they emit toxic gases into the air such sulfur dioxide which pollutes the air (Perera, 2017). Fossil fuels are also used by cars, airplanes, and trains which intensify the problem across the world as they are used persistently. This is why research on green energy which has resulted in the production of hybrid cars and wind-powered machines for industries and domestic usage. Also, carbon monoxide is a toxic gas which results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. When these gases reach the atmosphere since they are acidic, they lead to situations of acid rain which corrode building and cars and destroys crops which is a threat to the global food security. Hence, they pollute the atmosphere by changing the quality of air and it PH which affects other aspects of the ecosystem. This situation is worsened by the increasing demand for products from the industries and people preferring to have personal cars than using public transports which cumulatively lead to the issues of air pollution as more fossil fuel is burned.
Agricultural activities are critical for the production of food for the ever-increasing hum population; however, it is proportionally contributing to air pollution (Sun, Yun, & Yu, 2017). The global population has been increasing, and since food is one of the basic needs, farming activities have been intensified to cater to the large population, as a way of improving food security and preventing malnutrition. Scientific discoveries have improved the production of food, but it has been at the expense of polluting the air. During farming, fertilizers are needed to provide the plants with adequate nutrition. Also, pesticides and insecticides are required to prevent predation from harmful pests and insects that destroy crops before they could be harvested for human consumption. However, these activities are good, but the manufacturing process utilizes hazardous chemicals which are harmful when they escape to the atmosphere and lead to air pollution. For instance, nitrous and phosphorous fertilizers emit their acid gases which when escapes to the atmosphere they change the quality of air. When people inhale the acidic gases, they develop respiratory problems. Moreover, they are a source of greenhouse gases which are linked to global warming that has contributed to climate change among other global disasters.
The manufacturing activities require the use of various chemicals whose waste products such as fumes when released to the atmosphere without proper screening they lead to air pollution (Al-Hasnawi, Hussain, Al-Ansari, & Knutsson, 201). The demand for new and trendy clothes, gadgets, and home appliances among other things to satisfy the materialistic nature of consumerism have intensified manufacturing, and the outcome is air pollution. For instance, chlorine gas, hydrochloric acid, asbestos, and other radioactive materials are some of the pollutants used in industries during the manufacturing process with waste materials that potentially pollute the air (Choudhary & Garg, 2017). When these materials such as hydrocarbons and acidic gases are released or escape to the atmosphere, they deplete the quality of air. Countries such as India, USA, and China which are manufacturing giants records some of the highest cases of air pollution and since space is connected the effects spreads and affects other parts of the world.
In conclusion, air pollution is a global environmental problem that affects every country on earth. Some of the cause include the use of fossil fuel, manufacturing activities, and from farming. These causes are a result of the rise in materialism due to consumerism habits they are rapidly growing, as people seeking to quench their third for new clothes, electronics, and other things. The expanding middle class could be used to predict that air pollution will continue to grow as people will seeking more goods to satisfy their desire to acquire more materials. Furthermore, the increasing scientific discoveries, especially on the new electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, can only increase the demand for fashionable ones which will ultimately contribute to the pollution higher than the current rates.
Al-Hasnawi, S., Hussain, H. M., Al-Ansari, N., & Knutsson, S. (2016). The Effect of the Industrial Activities on Air Pollution at Baiji and its surrounding areas, Iraq. Engineering, 8(1), 34-44.
Choudhary, M. P., & Garg, V. (2017). Causes, Consequences, and Control of Air Pollution. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279202084_Causes_Consequences_and_Control_of_Air_Pollution
Drabble, S., Ratzmann, N., Hoorens, S., Khodyakov, D., & Yaqub, O. (2015). The rise of a global middle class–Global societal trends to 2030: Thematic report 6. Published by the RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif., and Cambridge, UK, 2015.–63 p.
Perera, F. (2017). Pollution from Fossil-Fuel Combustion is the Leading Environmental Threat to Global Pediatric Health and Equity: Solutions Exist. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(1), 16.
Sun, F., Yun, D. A. I., & Yu, X. (2017). Air pollution, food production, and food security: A review from the perspective of the food system. Journal of integrative agriculture, 16(12), 2945-2962.