April 15, 2012
Energy conservation is a simple way to solve many problems but the one we are focusing on today is called acid rain. Acid rain is a devastating effect of energy consumption. The only way to reduce it is to use less natural resources, or energy conservation. Energy consumption and air pollution has become a hot topic recently and is so linked to each other that you cannot have one without the other. One of the worst places for acid rain is China. This is due to their massive consumption of energy sources. The nonrenewable resource they mostly use is coal. Their ...view middle of the document...
These depositions come from some natural sources such as volcanoes and decaying vegetation but mainly it comes from man-made sources; that is to say from fossil fuel combustion. Most of the emissions of nitric and sulfuric acids come from electric power generation.(EPA 2007)
While the effects of acid rain may not be seen clearly and immediately on humans it does affect humans. They can cause lung and heart disorders, such as asthma and bronchitis. These two things alone can kill someone one more so than the other. Bronchitis has been known to lead to pneumonia which causes death in the very young and very old. Asthma may not kill you but it will seriously limit the life you may want to live. The nitric acids can mix with the volatile organic compounds in the ozone and cause humans to develop asthma and emphysema, which are forms of lung inflammation.
There is however a good effect even in the midst of all the bad. Acid rain limits global warming. It does this by reducing methane emissions from natural wetland areas. This is due to sulphur-eating bacteria competing and beating the methane-emitting microbes for substrates in the wetland regions. Experiments have been done and the results prove that sulphur deposits can reduce methane production in small regions by up to 30% by activating the sulphur-eating bacteria.
There is currently a program in place called the Acid Rain Program. This program set a goal of reducing the sulfuric dioxide levels by 10 million tons below the 1980 levels. There are two phases of this plan, the first started in 1995 and affected 445 units bringing emissions down almost 40% below the required level. The second began in 2000 affecting 2,000 units. There was a second goal to have a 2 million reduction of nitric dioxide emissions by 2000 while it was not completely met it was doing well. The program has three primary objectives reduce sulfuric and nitric dioxide emissions; minimize compliance costs, maximize economic efficiency, and permit strong economic growth; and promote pollution prevention and energy efficient strategies and technologies. The program has made great strides in reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
After reading all they have done to improve the environment I think they are doing what they can at the moment. With the entire U.S. on board however they can do more. They are doing what they can and they have brought about changes that could have taken years to achieve had they not developed a plan everyone could live with. I do feel they could have done more to educate everyone else in the U.S. The fact that I had not heard about this program does and does not upset me. When the plan was actually implemented in 1995 I was only 8 years old. I also have not been interested too much in environmental science until this class. But at the same time I am surprised since I surf the internet all day and I have not come across any mention of this program and I know I would have...